All Posts

Needle felting – 2d and 3d

Needle felting – 2d and 3d

This week everyone did a lot of stabbing – though of course not themselves or each other. Needle felting works by repeatedly stabbing the fleece with a special, barbed felting needle. This mats the fibres together and the felt gradually takes on a shape or form. You can do this 2d on top of pre-felt (semi felted fabric) or 3d to make small forms (most made animals). Be careful to do the stabbing on top of a large sponge and be careful always…

Wire and fabric sculptures

Wire and fabric sculptures

This week we used wire and fabric to make amazing sculptures. The idea came from Access Art but we didn’t use plinths this time, and the kids didn’t stick to people. The basic technique is to make a simple wire sculpture – e.g. a stick figure – and to cover it in strips of fabric ( I used a sheet from a charity shop). We used thin wire to keep wrapped around the fabric to keep it in place. Then they cut up…

Easy batik with glue!

Easy batik with glue!

This week we used glue instead of hot wax to form a resist against the acrylic paint. Originating in Indonesia, in batik  hot wax would be poured on using a tjanting (a kind of tiny pot on a stick with a hole in the bottom). Then when the wax is dry and hard paint is applied onto the material and it won’t go wherever the wax is. You can build up layers this way, and whatever colour is beneath the wax will be…

Using sewing as mark-making

Using sewing as mark-making

So this term we are exploring textiles – including felting, dying, weaving, and even construction. To kick off we started with sewing, a fundamental skill so many are denied the opportunity to learn these days. And one that will come in handy throughout the rest of the term. This wasn’t sewing as a technical exercise – instead I encouraged the children to see the thread as another way to make a mark, just like with a pencil or a brush. The size, direction…

Finished paper clay sculptures

Finished paper clay sculptures

So it was the last week of term this week and the kids  finished their paper clay sculptures, using either paint or torn paper (decoupage). I particularly loved the decoupaged ones which added a lovely texture, in keeping with the paper clay, as well as incorporating interesting patterns. But of course, the paint gave more control over the colours and texture. And some used both – see the goose and the perfume bottle! And one child even made a whole habitat for her…

Paper clay – parts 1+2

Paper clay – parts 1+2

These two weeks we were busy with paper clay sculptures. Paper clay is a kind of paper mache, but the paper is mulched first before applying to the armature. I used this recipe from Jonni Good and it worked really well. The first step is to create the armature. What worked best was cardboard and scrunched up newspaper (careful to scrunch up the newspaper as tight as you can)  but wire is also possible. Its really important that the sculpture is as tight…

Sewing sculptures

Sewing sculptures

This week and I challenged everyone to make paper/card sculptures with no glue or sellotape – only stitches! We used Barbara Hepworth for inspiration, particularly her pieces involving holes and wire, and discussed how we could achieve similar effects using toilet rolls, card and thread, as well as a hole punch for the holes.. It really is amazing what shapes and forms can be created just by cutting, folding and stiching together. And while most went for abstract,,Mateo manged to make a fish!

Making paper fabric for a catwalk!

Making paper fabric for a catwalk!

This week the kids used all manner of pattern making techniques to create a wonderfully vibrant fashion catwalk – with cardboard human and other animal mannequins. The process was simple enough – but the results certainly weren’t. We had scarfs, saris, hats, capes, boots – you name it! Using techniques such as scarffito (sratching into wet paint to reveal a painted layer underneath) and stenciling they first made their ‘fabric’ by covering a piece of A4 paper with their pattern design. While these…

monoprinting from magazines

monoprinting from magazines

This week we worked with collage to make amazing, but unusual monoprints. Usually monoprinting involves painting onto a plate of glass or perspex and taking a print, or you cover that plate with ink and then make marks to remove some of it and take a print. This way is a variation on the first type but with the added addition of magazines as the base from which to work from (as paper is the term’s theme). The kids all chose images from…