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

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Ceramic Bowls Using Nature

Each year I am happy to create art projects with kids at the Waverly School in Pasadena around the holidays. For a school fundraiser they have a holiday market where the school community makes and or donates objects to sell. I really try to create a project for the children that will really highlight their own creative thinking, while teaching them a particular technique. This year we made these delicate ceramic bowls with the 5th and 6th graders.
We used low-fire white clay, paper bowls, rolling pins, pieces of plastic and herbs ( sage, rosemary and juniper). 

We used the paper bowls as a mold in order to have all the bowls be a bit uniformed but also have the artistic hand of each student. The small piece of plastic is so that the clay releases easily from the paper bowl.

After forming the bowl the children chose the herb they liked to use to create a pattern in the clay on the inside of the bowls. Then removing the herbs to leave an impression.

Afte firing them in the kiln the bowls are ready for the kids to glaze.

I gave them the choice of a few different blue glazes and a few different green glazes for the bowls so that people could purchase a few as a set.
The kids painted on the glaze making sure they got into all the crevices of the herbal impressions. They then wiped off the glaze which was then left in the crevices. The last step before the kiln was to brush on a clear glaze over the entire bowl so that it could be used with food.

The result are these gorgeous bowls that even though they are all different from each other, look fantastic together.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Making an Art Cart

ART WORKSHOP, the new book by Barbara Rucci with essays by Betsy McKenna, has so many wonderful ideas for colorful projects with children. The focus of these process oriented projects is for kids to explore the materials in a non pressure way developing their own curiosity, creativity and vocabulary.

There are a lot of things I like about this book, but what I was first taken by ( besides the luscious images) was how articulate this book is on supporting the making of art at home with your kids and creating an easily accessible space for your children to do so.

Excerpt from Art Workshop-
In the art room, Children work with their hands and innovate. The colorful and inviting materials feed their imagination and the dedicated space gives them  the freedom to explore their ideas. Open- ended creativity in the art room empowers our children to mess about, take risks and discover that they have good original ideas. -

This is such a thoughtful and invigorating way to think of the importance of children having the freedom to make art at home.

Okay so you may know this but I teach art to children ages 2-11 and since I have opened the Purple Twig studio here in LA I have not given my children much support in creating art at home. Now I am always bringing materials home from the studio when we have a big project in mind like making something for a class at school or for the holidays but not on an everyday spontaneous level.

Barbara talks about creating both permanent and temporal spaces for children own art materials so they can bring them out when the kids are so inclined. My home is quite small so I really responded to the idea of an art cart that the kids could wheel around from room to room ( well hopefully to wheel outside to create works of art since we are in Southern California).  I found this cart at IKEA and is what Barbara uses in the book, but any kind of device cart would do. I loaded it with the kinds of things my children art interested in.

Drawing materials are always a must to have and my children love watercolor so I filled the cart with watercolor pencils and paints and paper,  as well as, colored charcoal for drawing, paints and I found this old fish tackle box at a flea market which fit perfectly on the cart and fit all kinds of beads and bobbles in it.

They love the ease of wheeling it around to where they want ,and with my encouragement, outside.

I really can not tell you how excited I am by now having this in my home. I was taking the fact that my kids make so much art with me at the studio for granted. They love and needed an art cart at home.  If you are looking for something to distract your children from a screen, this is a fantastic idea.

For more information about the book go to artbarblog or just buy the book on Amazon