String Art and Thursday's Class

Where to begin with our talented string artists?!  One of my favorite things about working with kids is trying to find the balance between guiding them in a project - giving them the tools, materials, and the know-how to make something - and giving them the room to put their imaginations to work.  The kids looked at the things that the MiMBY Girl and I had made the other day and started thinking, then got right to work.

We had projects that were realistic: 

 

Alex's leaf

Alex's leaf

Emma's beautiful tree

Emma's beautiful tree

Messages to best buddies: 

Kate is thinking of her dear twin friends. 

Kate is thinking of her dear twin friends. 

There was great fun with shapes: 

Owen's star

Owen's star

Izzie's diamond

Izzie's diamond

Oliver's rectangle

Oliver's rectangle

We were all amazed at how layers of string made simple shapes look complex.  And how an abstract "scribble" is different when viewed three dimensionally.

Oliver's sculpture

Oliver's sculpture

The kids made a bunch more, and I think half the fun was the hammering in nails to wrap the string around.  I'm a big fan of teaching kids to use tools safely, and this morning's group showed great respect for the hammers and enjoyed the noise and the pounding. 

The process was pretty simple and the materials minimal.  We had cut cedar from the fence sections Mattie moved in the yard - a nice soft wood for beginning nail pounders. It happened to be weathered beautifully too.  Using contact paper, we created our shapes and designs and cut them out then adhered them to the wood for our outline for nailing.  A simple slip knot around a nail got us started, then we wrapped away.  We finished with that backwards knot that you use to tie boats to docks or cast on yarn, super glued the knots to hold and then trimmed.  The MiMBY Girl said her favorite part was the hammering.  

Thursday we will be making our own scratch paper.  I have some packaged stuff for them to experiment with before commencing, so they know what exactly it is they are doing.  I anticipate another fun morning!  Join us!