“Building Your World”

“Building Your World”

In a recent program at the Westwood Branch Library, children created their own worlds inspired by architecture, repurposed materials, and their own imaginations!

Participants engaged concepts of architecture, design, engineering, construction and environment, finding new uses for cast-off items, and recycling what could have been trash into  fanciful constructions of joy, wit, whimsy…and always, creativity.

Creating and using color…pipe cleaners, a wooden clothes pin, plastic and paint samples and cardboard ribbon spools!

Arranging a wooden cutout (left over from a furniture-making class) and a pipe cleaner on a project board…ready to add other materials.

Another young maker using the same wooden cutout in a whole different way. Clothespins and empty spools become hooks and clips for jewelry.

Drawing combined with unique packing material and plastic tiles topped by small spools form the visual structure for this young boy’s world.

Here the project board is used as a flat base, and din=mension is added with a gift box top, straws, and yet another employment of empty spools.

Participants worked flat on tables in the library’s multipurpose/community room, and most came at the start of the program, and stayed for its 1.5 hour entirety, allowing them time to truly play, design, experiment and build.

Lawrence worked what looked to be upside down on his project,

perhaps turning his project board base around to see how it was developing from both vantage points.

This lovely world of color, flowers animals and doors/flaps which lift up was created by a young girl of preschool age, working quietly in a corner with her mother. She made beautiful use of the materials, arranging cardboard, tile and paint samples and pipe cleaners to beautiful effect.  I would love to visit this world for a bit!

It was exciting to see children visualize wolds in real time, then create them concretely. I have to believe it was wonderful and empowering for the children and their adults as well.

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Tunneling our Way Through…Making Tunnel Books

Tunneling our Way Through…Making Tunnel Books

For the last class of our recent children’s bookmaking class at LACMA, we made tunnel books…comprised of two spines or sides, a back “page” holding them together.

To prepare for our project, we visited the beautiful LACMA Directors Roundtable Garden, resplendent with its Alexander Calder sculptures: mobiles and stabiles.

We observed how perspective is created by distance, saw how things looked smaller the farther away we are from them, and did a group exercise where each student in turn stated what they saw behind what the previous student said they saw…learning to see in “distance layers” (my terminology), I.E. in perspective.  We also explored the idea of scale seeing how large or small objects are in relation to each other.

Finally, we repaired to the lovely glassed in Plaza Studio, to put our learnings and observations into action, and create our books, exploring color, character, story and setting/environment in the process.

The results are…well, you can see for yourself why I called this class our “Seven From Heaven”!

Students of their own volition devised a theme,

such as this figure hiking,

and followed it through, in this case in silhouette form.

This young artist found images from magazines,

and created a scene with them.

Some created land, city and seascapes through cutting and shaping paper and cardstock strips, and adhering them to the spines,

to beautiful effect.

Students” individual color choices are always interesting…

and often very consistent…also with their clothing color choices, and probably more.

This innovative and well-traveled maker added the words, “Paris, London, New York” on these strips. her travels and where she has lived with her creative family is an important part of her identity.

The red spines on either side create a theatrical effect in this piece, that this bookmaker worked on with meticulous attention to detail, and tender loving care, as she did with all her projects.

I am so going to miss this class. It truly was heavenly to work with such motivated, thoughtful and devoted young creatives in the nurturing, inspirational and magnificent setting of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. May the “Seven From Heaven” ride LACMA art-mobile again soon, and may it be with me!

Making Our Own Books: Together!

Making Our Own Books: Together!

I had the wonderful experience of teaching “MAKE YOUR OWN BOOKS’, an enrichment class offered at Franklin Elementary School in Santa Monica by the CREST Enrichment program.

webaThe sweet and talented students ranged from first to fourth grade, and had a blast making books of different sizes, structures and materials.

webcThey first bound together their portfolios, made of hanging file folders, then designed and developed the outside covers of these,

webegetting acquainted with each other, their materials, myself, and their own creativity and imagination.

webdThen we began our book projects…which included accordion fold books, flag books, fan books,

webbsingle signature bindings, and side “stab” bindings.

webfTo celebrate our achievements, learning and fun, we had a “last class” family event.

webtFamily and CREST staff were invited to Make Books Together!

webkDid we have fun making “double” single signature books, learning the pamphlet stitch, and embellishing up a storm!

webu

webmMoms,

webh

webi

weblNannies,

webo

webs

webpand Dads got into the act,

webq

webr

webn

webvalong with our delightful students…

webwand CREST staffers who got to take a creative break!

i will miss this class, and the open, fluid creativity of the students. I hope to have the opportunity to work with them again!

 Wishing everyone a creative and healthful New Year…and a celebration of the positive power of the Imagination. Let us imagine a better world…and Make It, Together.

Booking Cubism: Making a Picasso-Inspired Flag Book

Booking Cubism: Making a Picasso-Inspired Flag Book

Inspired by the innovative artist  Pablo Picasso  and the  Cubist   style he pioneered with Georges BraqueCREST Enrichment students from kindergarten through 5th grade made Flag Books, and added special features (literally, features!) to reflect the fractured faces and images which dominated Picasso’s oeuvre during his Cubist period.

WEB3AI took photographs of the students faces, sized them, and printed each out on a page of blank white mailing labels. Students were then able to peel off different parts of their image, and put them onto the flags in their books. This young artist adds color to the black and white photographic images she has arranged in her book.

WEB4BAbove, the photographic portrait printed on the labels may be providing guidance to this young artist as she works on her Frida Kahlo-inspired self portrait.   Here the young artist can see her own rendition of her portrait, as well as the photograph of her face printed on labels. Her flag book is seen to her left.

WEB9a1This proud young artist shares his finished flag book, front,

WEB9cCback,

WEB9b1and center.

WEB3Parents and other family member joined us for our “Last Class” event of the session, and helped adhere the “portrait” labels to the flag book kinetic pages, which move from side to side when the book is pulled opened and pushed shut.  The flags make a satisfying flapping sound, too!

WEB9bThis devoted young artist displays a stunning sense of color, as well as design!

WEB6bHere, father and son work on the first grade student’s flag book, together.  What could be better?!

BookLand = FairyLand

BookLand = FairyLand

In a class called “Fairy Tales!” bookmaking becomes fairyland.

Students aged 4-6 draw fairies and other magical images on the “Fairy Glen Drop Cloth”, listen to Fairy Stories, and create wondrous books out of beautiful and fun materials.  The results are well, magical!

WEB8Accordion folded book…in pink.

WEB4These fairy-like girls depicted are the artist and her best friend.

WEB1We know who this “folded fan book” is for!

WEB2Three friends grace a page of this young artist’s “Flag Book”!

WEB3This patient and devoted young makers loves putting together collections of like materials and shapes.

WEB6Portfolios handmade out of humble file folders bound together with colorful shoelaces become magical….

WEB5beautiful…

WEB7and whimsical, festooned with ribbon, stickers and drawings.

WEB9To the right our “Fairy Glen” can be glimpsed…but it is the young bookmakers who truly cast the spell on this classroom and transform it into an art studio of creativity and enchantment.

The Studio defined…a magical place of wonder and transformation…