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Hi y'all--

Just hoping someone will have a good idea for a craft/art project (more art than craft) that 2 competent 10 year old girls would find fun, that doesn't seem cheesy, but that can be adapted so a 5 year old could do it too.

Inexpensive would make it a slam-dunk win of an idea. I'd like it to be something not too hard but harder than, say, beading or foamies (teh shudder) or something. Also because I haven't put enough stipulations on it-- it needs to be complete in a single afternoon.

PLEEEEASE help me come up with something really unique and hellacool to do? And NOTHING papier mache...

So far potentials are:

lino prints
abstract subtractive sculpture (plaster of paris casts) (might be too hard)
Some kind of decoupage/make your own box/purse thing
collage -- found materials from nature into representational art. Maybe.
Batik? (dunno much about it)
In a pinch, jewelry.

Thanks everyone-- I really appreciate it!

*hugs you all like a buncha wonderful stuffed aminals or something*


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 20th, 2008 02:17 am (UTC)
1. Button people and button flowers.

2. Some sort of assemblage - the problem is that you have to have a wide array of materials.

3. Groovy painted jewelry/keepsake/nifty things boxes. A ton of acrylic craft paints, some brushes, and one or two of those cheap plain wood boxes and you have an afternoon of awesome.

4. Do you have a sewing machine? Teach them how to sew a simple elastic waist skirt. It means a trip to the fabric store but you don't even need a pattern. The 5-year-old can consult on their own skirt while an adult or one of the 10-year-olds sews the seams and whatnots.

5. Altered board books. Again with the loads of paints. Take a few old board books (that way they don't have as many pages and the pages are good and sturdy, too), some paint, some fun papers, and either a poem or story written by the arteest. Again, the 5-year-old could play with painting a book of their own but it might be more of a picture book.

How's that for starters?
Jun. 20th, 2008 02:20 pm (UTC)
Ohmigosh-- good ideas!

I'm not sure what you mean by button people-- but the boxes sound like win, and the board books too...

More! MOre! Gimmee more! ;)
Jun. 20th, 2008 02:28 pm (UTC)
And I forgot to say but thank you for all your art stuff that you post on your blog- it makes me happy to see what you've made recently, from the shrine necklaces to that made of win table (I've always wanted to make a 'trapped items' table, and the buttons looked GREAT!) Thank you for sharing them; you're an inspiration dahling. As always. XD
Jun. 20th, 2008 12:49 pm (UTC)
I would wholeheartedly endorse lino prints--the Speedball blocks are soft and easy to carve--but the materials (blocks, inks, handles/gouges) can get costly, especially if you're buying for several kids. Plus the gouges are sharp.

The art museum here did a printmaking session once using styrofoam meat trays (kind of flat) as the blocks and pencils (or something similar) as the gouge. It actually worked well, and the attendees--all adults--really got into it.

I like the button people/flowers idea!
Jun. 20th, 2008 02:27 pm (UTC)
Ooooooh--what a cool thing to do!

I've never done lino prints either, is kind of why I'm intrigued-- I see your work and I'm always curious about it.

Dumb question: Could they feasibly draw a simple image, then use that as their template for carving instead of a picture?

And are there any special tips or tricks that you know-- things to avoid, or things to do to get a better result?

*huggles* Thanks-- I've missed talking with you, but I've been reading your blog religiously; it makes me happy to see all the art adventures you're always up to. :)

Jun. 20th, 2008 07:14 pm (UTC)
Sure, they could draw their own images. Most block printmakers do that, actually, and don't base them off photographs. (And even when I trace lines from photos, I'll change or "repair" things.) If you decide to use the soft Speedball blocks, the kids could draw right on the rubber.

Things to keep in mind:
--If you're doing letters or numbers on the block, they have to be in reverse for them to print correctly. If the kids encounter any trouble with that, have them write/draw out what they want on tracing paper, flip it over on the block, and scribble over the lines on the back--everything will show up on the block in reverse.
--The consistency of the ink you put on the block is key. If you roll it on too thick, it'll smudge or fill in the carved lines. If it's too thin, you'll get a faint print (which I kinda like sometimes).
--Also, if you're using Speedball inks, shake and knead the tubes a bit before you use them. The pigments sometimes separate from the water base when they've been sitting a while.
Jun. 20th, 2008 02:37 pm (UTC)
Also-- I was thinking about this...

What if they did lino print block techniques, but instead of using regular ink they used cloth paint and made T-shirts with their foam-block print? they could do small blocks and do it warhol-style, or a bigger single image..

And how do you do multiple colors to get a cool result, do youapply the ink directly to parts of the block or carve multiple blocks using the same source image but with different parts of it removed, or...? Any technique tips would be great so I don't tell the kids the wrong thing. (I'm going to experiment first this weekend LOL)

Sorry if they are dumb questions but it'll be MY first lino/block printing experience too, and, well-- I'm lucky enough to know an EXPERT. ;)
Jun. 20th, 2008 07:28 pm (UTC)
I've tried printing using cloth paint, and the consistency has been too thin and didn't really work for me, but don't let that stop you if you want to try printing on T-shirts. I know I've seen it done, and foam would probably work much better than my blocks for that!

As for multiple colors, I sometimes do multiple blocks to make one image (like the "Iron Spires" piece on my cbuchanan.net home page). That can be really complicated, though. A lot of printmakers do it all on one block--they carve their entire image with, say, a sky at the top, print that, then carve out the sky, print another color with the remaining image, and so on. I'm not so fond of that method because it limits the number of prints I can make. You also can apply different colors of ink to different parts of the block--though don't apply the ink *directly* to the block. Roll it out first, and apply it to the block with the roller. Otherwise it'll fill in the lines and crevices. Hmmm--and I have seen someone color right on a block with markers and print that way, but I've never tried that.

I get a lot of my color mixes simply by layering prints on top of one another. I'm a fan of "ghosting," which means I take a block I've just used to make a print and make a second or third print. I get a faint, kinda transparent result (which you can see all over my Web site).

Hopefully all of that helps! And hopefully you'll all get hooked on block printing. :) I think my biggest piece of advice with block printing is to not worry too much about how your prints look in the end--because sometimes the rawer and rougher they look, the better they are. (At the art museum's printmaking event, some of the adults thought their prints looked like trash, and I wanted to frame them!) Plus it's a great medium to experiment with (like you want to do with colors, fabric, etc.), which is one reason I enjoy it so much. I want to see photos of what y'all make!
Jun. 20th, 2008 05:37 pm (UTC)
I vaguely recall in elementary school doing something of a watered-down Batik sort of method... We made... Well scraps of fabric, but I'm sure you could turn 'em into flags or something...

If I recall - - -

* Scraps of fabric (whatever size)
* Lots of crayons

Melt the crayons down. Let the kids drip them all over the fabrics in whatever designs they want. Let the wax dry up until its all hard again. Once its hard, let the kids shake, roll, crumble, crunkle, shimmy and pull the fabric until all the excess crayon wax has unstuck and dropped away. And you should have really colorful designs left, with a neat crackle effect, something like real Batik!

Alternately? You should totally post this question up in the Craftgrrl LJ community - Those girls are HELLA creative, and could probably even direct you to posts with pictures and how-tos. :)

OH! Or you could try letting the kids make bubble prints...!

Mix up soapy water in several containers. Add food dye, a different color for each container. Using bubble wands or whatever's wand-like (slotted spoons, whatever!) - let the kids blow the bubble mixture against pieces of paper (hang 'em up for the best effect - the bubbles hopefully will blow into the paper and pop) - It makes neat-o pastel designs of randomness all over the papers. If you plan your paper size ahead, they can even fold them into cards, and draw over them once they're dry - make note cards or birthday cards or something, with the random bubble patterns as a background.

Hope any of this helps at all...! :)
Jun. 21st, 2008 09:58 am (UTC)
I'm liking the lino print option as well as the button people (which truly has too much potential for words...think of a button world!), but if you're still looking for options, I'd like to expand on your sculpture idea and throw out origami for consideration.

I can't say it enough...clay is pure fucking fun! Even when you're not making anything. It's just nice to get your hands into it and trip-out on how it reponds so immediately to the pressure you inflict upon it. And, it's similar to something the 5 year old may have tried before (ie-playdough). If you can design a simple figure (maybe an animal? My first experience with clay was making a dog entirely out of spheres, flattened and squashed) out of the basic shapes, you can teach them how shape can be used to create form as well as the scoring technique in ceramics.

Butterflies are an easy thing to fold and you'd probably only need to spend $3-$9 on a packet of paper (which should have enough paper for the three kids, though, you might want to buy an extra pack just in case). If you have some glitter and glue (hey, neater alternative; glittery t-shirt paints/puffy paints) they can decorate their paper creations to their liking and make them even more unique. *pictures Kix's gothic butterfly right now* Frogs are also fun and pretty easy to fold. You fold down their little butts and you can make them leap!
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


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