After school art: mosaic experiments

As if we haven’t spent enough time making mosaics this spring I’d also decided to use this technique as a colour exploration exercise at art club.

In a previous post I talked about how we explored contrast. The second session was very much about learning technique and the children used their colour contrast initials as mosaic designs. The results were quite regimented but I felt we all learnt a lot. For the last session I brought along some slates, mosaic tiles and found objects, talked about what we’d learnt last week then gave the children free rein to experiment.

They created some beautiful and fascinating art which would be impossible to finish with grouting. I have a lot of questions about mosaic: about where it stands in the art v craft debate and why it’s still such a popular medium for public art. By the end of this summer I should be able to answer a few of them.

After school art, Colour and mosaics

01c4d3104788be4af891eca00a8916951c5b31f65dLast week we were in a school making mosaics with children for the entire week. We’re always looking for ways to give children more creative decision making and control when using this process so I decided to explore some ideas with art club this term.

In this first session the children worked as a group to create their own colour wheel and think about colour mixing. They placed a selection of glass tiles where they felt they should sit on the colour wheel. Then, to think about the idea of contrast which is really important in mosaic, they took sheets of coloured paper and looked for tiles that really stood out against the background colour. Interestingly a lot of children automatically tried to match the colours so I probably need to think about how I explain the concept of contrast. As a group we talked about the colour choices.

The children used what they had learnt to plan some very simple mosaics which they’ll start work on next week.

After school art: observational drawing and painting, lichens

I’ve been trying to let the children lead my session planning more this term. Last week we enjoyed working with natural objects so this week I brought in some of the amazing lichen I’ve been finding in the forest this month. As they’d enjoyed working with colour last week I decided to introduce water colours this week. Some of the children used a mixed media approach combining the paint with charcoal and oil pastel.

After school art: nests

It was the last of four art club sessions for Norton children this week as well. They’ve worked on the same project as Lawshall so its been interesting to see different ways in which they interpret the idea and explore the materials.

It’s been good to watch the children find creative ways to overcome the difficulty of handling the natural materials. In some cases this meant holding someone else’s nest together while they fixed it with wire and in other cases some excellent collaborative artwork.