Sunday, September 18, 2011

Term 4 enrolments open

Please contact Sussex Neighbourhood House (phone 9354 2210)  for Creative Kids term 4 enrolments.

Term 4 October 15 – December 10
(no class 29 October Melbourne Cup weekend)

Any queries please don't hesitate to contact me.

Creatures in our ocean

The last day of term and as usual this is a fun class with a focus on 'the group'.

We began with a game of 'pencil tag', where each person begins by drawing their own safe space on a large (communal) sheet of paper. Then the game begins as one person/pencil moves out of their safe space and around the page whilst doing their best to avoid being 'tagged' by another pencil! Returning to their safe space means they cannot be tagged. With 11 players all leaning over the paper, the CK's soon realised that you needed to allow space for others, or we couldn't all play.

Staying with the group theme we moved all materials and rugs out of the way to created an 'ocean' with flowing fabric and movement. We considered what we were in the ocean. There were vibrant mermaids, fast sharks, and vocal sea monsters in the turbulent ocean. For a few of us more quiet creatures we decided we needed a quiet space. The pile of cushions became our rocks and slowly a group of quiet ocean creatures gathered together.

The CK's then drew their ocean creatures, considering the qualities. Were they large, small, fast, slow, quiet or loud... These were created, decorated, cut-out and then placed on the 'ocean' fabric.

Cushions were added, as the rocks and cellophane as seaweed. The ocean quickly started to develop two areas. A safe, quiet space was needed for the quiet ocean creatures, consisting of the smallest fish in the sea, a small seahorse, a fish who likes quiet 'shhhh!' There were also the ocean creatures who liked both (loud and quiet) but felt like quiet today. These included a larger seahorse, a mermaid and the Queen of mermaids (self appointed). At the other end of the ocean the shark, the King of sea monsters (also self appointed) and his friend also a sea monster, caused turbulence and 'roughed-up' the sea.

The quiet characters of the ocean soon discovered that they need to protect their space. They used chairs and rugs to create a 'safe space'. The littlest and quietest creatures were placed under the chairs. Signs were placed to let the loud creatures know what they needed, but also at what point noise and craziness was allowed – a large black 'rock' was also placed as a signpost.

We then called a 'ocean council meeting' to discuss matters in the ocean. Each ocean creature had a chance to say what it was like for them in this ocean. What we came to know was that sometimes we have similarities in a group and sometimes we have differences. What some find fun others find annoying or frustrating. We can all swim in the same ocean so long as we create safe spaces for ourselves. How true.

I would just like to add an acknowledgment to 'My Art to Inspire',, a fantastic website/space for creatives to come together and share ideas. Both the 'tag drawing' and 'ocean' ideas came from this site – although adapted slightly. Credit where credits due. A.

Hopping about

10th September

As I hopped off to Fitzroy to teach Lynley our lovely local potter – who co-facilitates Mixed Media with me and take Tuesday Pottery classes at the House – hopped in to assist the CK's with clay. Some awesome frogs were created that are currently drying, ready for firing. Once complete I will take some pics to upload.

Thanks Lynley – the CK's tell me 'it was fun'!

I will also call parents when they are ready to collect from the office, or they can be collected from group next term. Cheers A.

Special events

3rd September

Last week one of the CK's reminded me that Father's Day was this weekend. So with the special day a sleep away I asked the CK's to think of a time that they spent with their Dad that was important to them. It might of been a time when they had fun with their Dad, or a time of excitement, something they shared together, perhaps a special activity or simply an everyday thing.

These special moments which included a rock-climbing adventure, a shared love of a football club or Dad's love of football and a funny Dad at the playground, amongst others, where then represented in a Father's Day card.

There was celebration.

And imagination... Dad was there when the Pokémon sprung off the ground Рhe knew all about it.

Naturally, football.

One even included her little brother, who is like a ring-tail possum
– he's a bit naughty sometimes, she tells me. Just like a possum. 

With cards complete those finished created a promotional piece for the House Market next weekend. As the market was about sustainability we re-used all sorts of recycled material. Little cards hung off the branches let people know when it was on. A great example of sustainability including not only the environmental but support of our community and of course the financial – it didn't cost us a thing. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Slow progress – great rewards

Two weeks ago the CKs started a challenging project – papier mache puppets! Challenging in two ways. The first being the medium, in week one. Papier mache requires a slow focus, it is not quick, but the more you work at it with small pieces the results soon start to build. It is also a bit gooey with flour and water (and a dash of salt to avoid any mold) as many discovered!

Using old toilet rolls and 'yesterdays newspapers' the CKs 'bracketed in'/decided what their puppets might be. There were witches, dogs, cartoon characters, a whale and a giraffe.

Week two brought a little more excitement and obvious rewards. However the CKs faced challenge two. There was paint, fabric, wool and threads but no glue or tape. So any pieces added need to be attached creatively.

But first the puppets needed to be drawn – 'what was the puppet to look like?' Once drawn paint colours were assigned dependent on the colours used in the drawing. Of course we don't like wasting, as the CK's know, so this was a good way to serve up only what we need.  

Fluffy the cat's creator realised that by applying the fabric or wool to wet paint, that the paint became an adhesive. She shared this wise knowing with the group – really helpful and a tip followed by others. 

Some completed puppets also had stories written and scenes created. 

This lucky little actress even had a 'lights/camera/action' board.

I really liked the use of wool with silver ornaments draped over the top of the 'set' which looked like lights to both myself and the artist. 

Two beautiful puppet girls were created side-by-side with their creators working together to mix up colours and offer assistance – great collaboration girls!

All puppets went home with their very proud artist/owner/creators – apologises to parents who had to place paper down in the car – there was no letting them dry to collect next week!

Only a few are shown here – they were all so special in their own unique ways.

Although challenging it was good to see that (despite the initial grumbles) if we stick with something long enough, stay focused and use our imaginations then we can end up with something we are proud of. Well done CK's.

Thanks to Chiara for the donation of fabric and wool!