Purple Twig- Art Exploration for kids. A mom run small business in Los Angeles. Stop by to see the trials and tribulations.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Sidewalk Murals

During our Thanksgiving day camps we take inspiration from some native tribes from both America and Canada. We look at the different ways they live depending on where they live. We look at some of their sacred objects and artifacts to create artworks of our own. We looked at designs of the Southwestern tribes, Navajo, Apache and Pima. This time we made murals on the sidewalk in front of the studio. 

I used Rangoli pigments to mix with liquid starch. This brilliant idea came from my friend Lauren Sharpe owner of Art-i-fact, a kids art studio in San Francisco. Rangoli pigments are those colorful powders that Indians (from India) use to color elephants. They are water soluble so it mixes well with the liquid starch and slowly fades away with time and rain. Perfect for sidewalk painting. Look at these amazing colors.

Now looking for liquid starch was not as easy as I had hoped so I finally decided to just make it myself. It's simply make from corn starch and boiling water. I then mixed the powders with the liquid starch to make these brightly colored paints. 

After researching some designs we decided to use designs from the Apache, the Navajo and the Pima nations. We talked about the tribes and designs with the kids and then outlined the designs on the sidewalk with chalk.

Then the kids just went to town painting away. While they painted the kids began to organically talk about color, pattern and symmetry. We had some great conversations.

After a few days it faded into this beautiful vintage looking painting. 

Happy Painting!!!

Monday, November 25, 2013


There is nothing like a square dance to bring a community together. I approached my friend, Tracy Green, who owns The Green Bean in Eagle Rock, just down the street from the Purple Twig. She is also in the incredible band The Hollow Trees. If you know the Hollow Trees then you would know that Traci would be the perfect person to partner with to put together a family square dance.  So we did.

I got the ever talented Triple Chicken Foot for the music and the incredible caller, Susan Michaels. Traci rented the Legion Hall. Add some decorations, a food truck and we were ready to go.
Susan, the caller, not only teaches everyone the dances as we go, she also knows so many whimsical dances perfect for  little ones. We had kids as little as two dancing away. It's such an incredible way for families to spend time together. 

It was an incredible way for the community to come together, just laughing and dancing together. Thank you all who joined us.  It was so fun to work with Tracy on this and we are now talking about having it be a regular thing.

Come Dance With Us!!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Hand Building

We have been pinching, coiling, rolling as we find our way with clay.  I have been teaching a hand building class for kids ages 6-8. We have been making pots, pots and more pots by using the basic techniques of manipulating clay. Making pots is such a great way to introduce these techniques. I have watched these kids become more and more confident with the clay over the past 10 weeks.
We have been using a low-fire white clay.  Here are some great examples of the coiling technique.

They really experimented with the coils, making designs on top of the pots and sometimes with in the walls of the pot. Sometimes smoothing the away the coils and sometimes highlighting the coils. Some even sculpted creatures on top of the pots.

The low-fire glazes are bright and colorful.

 I love this little green beauty of a pot. 

Look at these amazing slab and pinched out pots. The kids really loved exploring with the crackle glazes.

We also experimented combining soft materials with the fired clay inspired by Tracy Wilkinson at TW Workshop here in Los Angeles. She makes incredible weavings attached to her pots. Although weaving seemed a bit ambitious for this age (or any age actually) I altered the project to be more age appropriate. The kids poked holes into the clay while forming their slab pots.  After firing and glazing they wove yarn or grass in and out of the holes. This process was frustrating for some of the kids but a such a great way to work through frustrations and succeed in creating something they can be really proud of.