Inspired by this post, and our science theme of Electricity, I decided to talk to my students about inventors.
We began by discussing “what is an inventor?” and then brainstormed a list of as many inventions as they could think of. They had a hard time wondering what life might be like without a telephone, a car, and even a zipper!
And then the fun began. I pulled out all of our art supplies and asked them to be inventors for the afternoon! I didn’t get too picky with these little learners, some created use-able inventions, some models of inventions they would like to build bigger, and others made slight variations on items that were already invented. Whatever. We were inventing, finding ways to use materials, solving problems, and talking about what we were learning.
We were busy all afternoon, and I heard a lot of “Can I make another one?” and “Can we do this again tomorrow?”
We have been working a lot, as a class, on clearly communicating our ideas to others through the written word. So as an extension of designing our inventions, I took pictures of each inventor and invention and each child wrote a description of what they had designed and how it works. I also videotaped a number of the inventors explaining their design, to be shown as part of our school news. If you want to do this at home, you could always write a letter or send a video or email to a friend or relative showcasing the new invention!
- Read about some famous inventions and inventors
- Create inventions that solve a problem (for instance I asked some of my inventors if they could invent a use for all of the fabric scraps we have accumulated in our classroom!)
- Create inventions using a different set of materials (pipe and tubing would be fun, as would wood scraps)
- Choose a modern invention and try and spend a day without it! Experience a day without a car, or a telephone or electricity.
One of my favourite types of art, is art created by children. Perhaps this is because I spend so much of my day with kids, or because I have spent so much time studying creativity and art in education, but perhaps it is just that their wonderful imaginations shine through their artwork, and it is truly amazing.
And one of my favourite things to do with children’s art is to bring their creations to life.
What began as Christmas gift for the students in my class a few years ago has now become part of my business.
And although it is often challenging, it never feels like work.
Today I had the pleasure of giving life to this awesome fire-breathing dinosaur:
I can almost hear his loud roar, can’t you?
It seems I was a bit ambitious when I decided that not only would I create art every day, but I would post it on this blog every day too! In my head, I always imagine that I will have time enough for everything, but in the end the day is over, and there is always items on my to-do list left over. This week, art happened, but blogging about it did not.
I started to beat myself up over this, and then I remembered the reason I joined Art Every Day. To make art. To join in with others who think art and creativity are important. To enjoy the process.
So that is what I am going to do. Create art. Every day. And sometimes I will post it here, and sometimes I won’t. And I will be ok with that. This is supposed to be fun, right?
Here are a few of the projects I worked on this week:
Some of the rainbow fabrics I had fun playing with on Day 5 became a fun rainbow pencil roll. (The pink fabric was chosen by a mom who wanted a roll for her pink-loving daughter. Cute, isn’t it?)
More playing with fabric as I cut circles and squares of Christmas prints for more flowers. I can’t wait to start sewing them together!
My students and I studied cave painting and then went outside and mixed up our own mud paint and created drawings on the playground pavement, with our hands! What fun we had!
And I started working on a pattern for a sweater dinosaur. My patterns aren’t much to look at, but here is what I drew for his friendly face. (It will look much better when he comes to life, it always does!)
Happy art making!
After yesterday’s success, I decided to play around with a little more embroidery today. This is pure doodle, like the kind of things I used to sketch in the margins of my note paper in university, or the things I absentmindedly draw when I am talking on the phone for awhile. It’s nothing amazing, but it was fun, and I am enjoying becoming more comfortable with stitching this way.
I think one of the important things about this challenge is to remember that sometimes the process if making art is more important than what is produced. Sometimes it is refreshing to allow yourself the luxury of creating something just for the sake of creating, and being gentle with yourself when it doesn’t turn out like you had imagined.
It is OK to not create a masterpiece every time. It is OK just to play, and to have fun, and to let your creativity have free rein.
Long live the doodle!
Today I decided to try my hand at something I have been wanting to do for awhile – embroidery. I first decided I wanted to try something like this when I inherited a large amount of embroidery floss from my grandmother. A few weeks ago I was excited to find a few hoops at the local thrift store and have been waiting to “have the time” to get started ever since. Well, today was the day! This is one of the reasons why I love challenges like this. It forces me to get out of my comfort zone and to take the time to try something new.
I know there are lots of patterns for embroidery out there, but I decided instead to try something more freehand. I’m pretty pleased for my first attempt, and definitely think I’ll be doing more of this in the future!
Creating art, for me, is often about the words. I dance, I create music, I sew fabrics into quilts, I collage papers into artwork, and sometimes (but rarely) I even draw, and yet the words always shine through.
So, for this first day of November and Art Every Day I created a piece that is really, all about the words.
I love trees!
Welcome to my new home on the web! Although there is still some hammer and nailing going on in the background, and a few changes to come over the next few months, I am excited to be in my new home!
And what better way to christen a new blogging home than with some new projects?
This month I will be participating in the “Art Every Day Month” challenge, hosted by Creative Every Day. The goal is to create once piece of art every day (which is both exciting and scary!) I am looking forward to all that I will learn and create over the next few weeks and will, of course, post it all here.
November is also “Handmade Holidays” month on Sew, Mama, Sew, and although most of my sewing energy is going towards items for the shop, I am sure I will also squeeze in some time to make some handmade gifts of my own (or, at the very least, find lots of inspiration and add to my ever-expanding “to sew” list!)
It’s always so exciting to have new projects on the horizon, isn’t it? What will you be working on this month?