Saturday, 12 September 2015

Aboriginal Fibre Sculptures


This lesson is thanks to Use Your Coloured Pencils.  They are inspired by Aboriginal Fibre Sculptures made by the Tjanpi Desert Weavers in Western Australia.  You can read about them here.  We had so much fun making these!

To make these we scrunched up newspaper, held it in place with masking tape (and sometimes wooden skewers) and then wrapped jute twine around the form.  To finish them off we wrapped them with coloured wool and added beads, google eyes, felt or pipe cleaners.  I asked the children to try and do Australian animals.

All my classes made these so we managed this project with children aged 6 to 12.  The younger children needed help with attaching limbs and heads and the wrapping of small parts or the curved parts of the body.  Some of these were finished in just one lesson, some took two lessons.

I just love how these turned out.  I've managed to snap some quick photos as they went out of the door as most children wanted to take them home immediately!


Koala Bear

Koala Bear



Koala Bear






Sugar Glider


Black Swan

Koala Bear




Fairy Penguin

Stumpy Lizard


Tasmanian Devil




Thursday, 10 September 2015

Mandalas - on used records & CDs and a Tibetan Sand Mandala

We have been looking at Mandalas recently in art class.

The word mandala comes from the ancient Sanskrit language and loosely means “circle” or “center.” It’s a simple geometric shape that has no beginning or end. Within its circular shape, the mandala has the power to promote relaxation, balance the body’s energies, enhance your creativity, and support healing. 

Over the past few weeks we have produced and coloured in several Mandalas.

Used Record Mandalas
I was very lucky to be donated some old records for my art classes (thanks Fiona Guthrie!).  For these I simply painted the middle part (which had writing) with black paint prior to the lessons.  The children then created Mandalas on these using Posca Paint markers.

CD Spinning Top Mandalas 
These were similar to our used record mandalas yet this time we used old CD's and I hot glued a marble into the hole in the center of each one.  This makes them spin if you hold the marble in the middle and give them a bit of a flick.  I loved this lesson as all the children gathered on the floor of the art room to watch their CD's spinning away.

Tibetan Sand Mandala
If you have ever watched a time lapse video of Tibetan Monks making a sand mandala you will know how absolutely memorising it can be.  If you haven't ever watched one - you must.  There are lots on you tube here are two of my favourites:
I decided this would be a great group activity for our last class of the term.  It went really well and as predicted some children were really into it and others not so much, yet everyone gave it a go and they all loved the destruction of it at the end.  

Monday Class Sand Mandala
What you need:
First you need to dye your sand.  I just bought play sand from Bunnings (hardware store).  I placed about 8 handfuls into a large ziplock bag with a few squirts of food colouring and mixed it up.  I put this sand out in the sun on newspaper to dry.  Once dry I placed it into small snack size zip lock bags ready for using.

I used a large piece of MDF for the board and hand drew a Mandala on this for the children to follow.  If you had time you could get the children to draw this themselves yet we were limited to just over an hour so we didn't have the time.

Tuesday Class Sand Mandala
How To:
I cut off a very small corner on the snack zip lock bags and placed a black texta line there so children knew which corner to pour from.  We then just poured the sand onto the mandala from the bags.  You could try making your own funnels out of paper.  We also used wooden skewers and small paint brushes to move the sand around.

I really just left the children to this as I was busy in the art room doing other things (children also had free choice activities to do and finishing off).  Children were allowed to come and go from the mandala and do as much as they wanted.   I'm really pleased with what they produced in the short time and how well they worked as a group.

Thursday Class Sand Mandala
At the end of the lesson when the mandala was complete all the children gathered around it. They could say or think a blessing for the mandala.  I then gave each of them a small piece of cardboard and they wiped the sand into the middle.  We then bagged the sand and since I have a little man made river in our garden the children either scattered the sand in this or took some home.

We talked about how sometimes things are not permanent and they shouldn’t get too attached.  You have to be content knowing that anything can destroy your work (eg pottery can blow up in the kiln or paint accidentally spills on your work). Sometimes you do the art for the sake of the art, not for the sake of keeping it.


Monday, 7 September 2015

Fathers Day Pressies

Check out what our Dad's received this year from our Sunnyside Art House Artists.....

Wooden Portraits (idea courtesy of That Artist Woman)

Painted on the front and back.  We used Posca paint markers for details the following week when the paint had dried.

Shrinkie Key rings 
(they had the choice of making these for Dad or their school bag)

Homemade Scratch Art Bookmarks

Homemade scratch boards were made (click here for a previous post on this), scratched, paper added to the back and then laminated.

Magnetic Canvas  - cut into small magnets or left as is

Paint, Posca Paint Markers and Permanent Markers were used to decorate these.

Magnet Tiles

We just used Posca paint markers on very small tiles and glued a magnet on the back of each one.

What Lucky Dads!