Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Not a Tube

Not a Box by Antoinette Portis is a favorite among our preschool studio classes.
We often talk about reusing and finding new uses for things in the studio - for instance the many recycled containers that hold our supplies.
For this project, we tried using our collage supplies to create variations on cardboard tubes.
It's not a tube, it's a...

Rocket ship!
Light saber - notice the button to turn it on.
a princess
and a castle!
I was surprised by all the careful de-constructing as well as construction related to using the tubes.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Exploring the Loom

A stand-up loom is a new feature in the studio and has generated varied interest from our four to six year old classes. Almost everyone first thought it was a harp.

Soon there were explorations of weaving in and out of the warp thread with colorful ribbons.
Sometimes it was a good strategy to have a partner to pass the ribbon back and forth working out a pattern.
It seemed to progress that one child would teach another who would become the partner until one lost interest and then another would come along so a new partner was trained. As you can see above, initially there was weaving all over the loom. We tried to start at the top but realized that we were working against gravity so we switched to weaving from the bottom up. Sometimes pulling out the woven strand was part of the fun - we need to understand how things come apart as well as how the fit together.
This student had previous weaving experience in preschool ans was more focused on the task and beginning to work on patterns in his weaving. His interest encouraged his peers to want to learn in our next class.
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It has been a goal this winter to bring some fiber arts into the studio and we began with some explorations of weaving in our Thursday after school studio. We tried two methods, the first, shown below is a loom with warp strings created over the opening in a mat board.

The student weaves and the final piece will be displayed in the mat.
We are also trying out some simple small wooden looms as seen below here.
This loom is designed for the weaving to come off the loom when complete. Weaving takes time and concentration as well as attention to patterns and detail.
Fortunately, several students had some weaving experience and were able to share their knowledge as the instructors are learning along with the students.
Others branched out to improvise simple creations from woven pieces. Below is a hammock made from a small piece of weaving.
Another student warped a piece of card board on both sides and wrapped it in such a way that when her weaving is complete she will be able to take out the card board and form a bag. She did a similar project on a smaller scale at school and remembered how to wrap the warp to create a larger bag - more pictures to come when it's complete.
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