The children met a monster puppet I had made for them for the first time. This puppet didn’t speak any English, but it seemed to be able to understand some of what the children asked it and tried to communicate with them….
We returned to composite monsters from last week. Read out about each one, and collected new things about them, about their “stories”, are they goodies or baddies, what do they like to eat, to do, etc. Each child took a “post it” (or a few!) and wrote something about the monster they contributed to and then put it on the drawing.
Session 7 at Rathfarnham Educate Together
1st May 2014
After the long Easter break we followed our explorations with the class – introducing a new print making technique: a safe, practical and very `school-friendly` variation of LINO CUT printing.
I think this strand of the visual arts curriculum is one of those that many teachers find challenging and difficult to manage in a class room setting. Safety issues bring probably the biggest challenge – and would stand in the way of creation and experimentation with the technique. One of the solutions is of coarse to try to change the materials and tools used: instead of sharp cutting tools we use large masonry nails and the lino is replaced with soft foam plates (left over mounting material from a framer`s store).
The process worked very well, the children were now curious and eager to try something new and the images again show a different print result with a cloudy, slightly `smudged` finishes: small, dreamlike pictures of boats and sea life.
On Thursday 10th April, the children took a break from the classroom and visited Dun Laoghaire harbour and Sandycove beach for some inspiration to continue on our water journey.
Luckily, the weather was absolutely beautiful and we got to paddle in the sea and run bare-footed on the sandy sea shore.
We began our day looking through various ‘windows’ which looked out onto Dun Laoghaire harbour, each group from a different view-point. We then made our way down to Sandycove where we created different textured rubbings using our beautiful environs. Finally, we collected interesting materials from the beach which we hope to use in future prints.
It was an amazing day for the children’s creativity, freedom and most importantly….. friendships .
We started the session today by discussing
‘What makes a good print?’
It was quite a difficult question to pose the children and they came up with many impressive responses and viewpoints.
We then re-visited the mono-printing process and the children experimented with layering prints and colours on top of each other.
It is very interesting to watch the children improve at each stage of the process and watch how they are guided by past experiences.
Each child is learning how to make their prints more effective and are discovering that simplicity is often the key to success.
To finish the session, the children were asked to think of the colours that come to mind when they think of the sea.Using oil pastels, the children had to represent the sea through colour. Some found this abstract idea challenging but we were all pleasantly pleased with the final results.
We continued our `experiments` on the 13th of March – our fourth session at the school!
The COLLOGRAPH Process:
- Was `voted` by the children as the most enjoyable and interesting so far!
- Continued with Collograph Printing – layering textured collages on strong card plates recycled and found materials. These plates then are inked and printed on white paper.
- Used materials now also collected by the children or found in the class room/storage space.
- Further explored various visualizations of the themes and ideas previously discussed… Building on the previous session`s experiences, most images now were simplified and stronger, clearer in texture and form. Also it seemed that everyone was more careful and considerate with the colours and the amount of ink used!!:)
Re-visiting a printing technique that we tried at the last session proved to be a great idea: offering to consider process and its effect on outcome! It brought more concentration and choices of strong images. WELL DONE to everyone in the class – children and teachers! – on their beautiful work!!
Session No.3 at Rathfarnham Educate Together School on 6th of March was all about experimenting and trying out processes of `COLLAGRAPH` printing – really just starting with the technique; so everyone in the class constructed a textured plate from collected/reused/recycled/found materials and got the chance to make 1 print from it.
It proved to be evoking great enthusiasm, interest and excitement – and proved to be very much the start of this process as we run out of available time! :)) It was great fun and I was very impressed by the quality and details of these first prints!
So, we will certainly experiment and explore further, including possible combinations of mono-printing and collagraph techniques… And we need to work a bit more on visual interpretations of the theme – WATER. So we will have a lot more to record and report the next time!
We were delighted to welcome our creative practitioner, Tunde Toth, to RETNS last week. In our first session we explored the very broad theme of water which opened doors into the oceans deep and navigating the high seas. From element to fundamental requirement for life, we explored the many facets of water. The children were given the task of researching a particular aspect of water for homework and this began our discussion at the start of session two today. After careful explanation and demonstration by Tunde, the children then set about mixing colours, rolling inks, and experimenting with different lines and shapes to create mono-prints. Initially some found it difficult to gauge how much ink to use and discovered that their pictures were less effective when the ink was too think. I think the children really enjoyed the freedom of the lesson today and I could see them incorporate many aspects of their discussions on water into their prints. Every child created several prints and they now have the tricky job of deciding on their favourite one for the next session. I look forward to their responses. Patricia
Our first session with 5th class and their teacher Ms Patricia McManus at Rathfarnham Educate Together school was an attempt to explore our broad theme: WATER
We explored the theme and EXPLOREd the ways of our explorations…:) – and discovered how broad and diverse this theme really is so the children drew complicated and colourful MIND MAPS – plenty of ideas, connections and inspirations! We also started to work on our project diaries and hoping to set up our project corner in the class room next time.
The class is divided for 5 working groups, focusing on 5 different (but of coarse interconnected) aspects of water:
GROUP 1: WATER for life + Water on Earth`s Surface
GROUP 2: Weather Conditions (related to WATER)
GROUP 3: WATER based activities
GROUP 4: Boats and ships and related matter (Navigation?)
GROUP 5: WATER/UNDERWATER Life
This very first session was all about talking, chatting, discussing, getting to know each other…It was of coarse challenging, but filled with excellent responses, great level of enthusiasm and interest and some fun drawings!
Thankfully I had the support of parents who assisted in dismantling the work and installing it again into the shopping centre. A few car loads, lots of string and a shopping trolley or two and we had ‘The Children’s Pavilion’ on view in quite a busy shopping centre before lunch. The children were so excited when they heard that their piece would be on exhibition for all to see. The children took a trip to the shopping centre as a group but many of them also saw the work when on a shopping trip with their family. And to further add to their experience the ‘Drumdrum Gazette’ also printed an article and photograph of ‘The Children’s City’.