Back to art club after the clock change, by the end of these four weeks we’d be starting the sessions at dusk, a perfect time to think about light and dark. Continue reading
I’ve been using the jigsaw this week to cut shapes from wood for something I’m working on. The scraps I collect from the floor are intriguing shapes that I could never repeat or plan. Continue reading
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.
Last 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 so many people enjoyed the mosaic session we decided to use this medium again. This time we gave each participant a large tile as a base and a plate of different textures and colours of mosaic tiles to work with. Most people immediately started arranging the tiles into very precise patterns and asked for colours as they needed them. One lady experimented further by stacking tiles on top of each other to create a relief pattern.
We were very pleased to have some gentlemen join us today and one of them very carefully cut tiles for us.
Liz started drawing up the panel for the back fence and attracted a few spectators enjoying watching the process. This session felt lively and stimulating and everyone enjoyed a visit from Bury Free Press, EADT and Bury in Bloom.
Week 4 in St Peter’s and this week we wanted to explore painting with the residents. We also tried out a new location this week, overlooking the site where the art garden will be installed. The painting was kept simple using brushes and sponges to make decorative marks on bird boxes and pebbles for the garden. We were pleased that some of the participants took decisions on how to paint the bird boxes and enjoyed creating pattern, Other people enjoyed finding colours to represent the flowers on the table or the pattern in their clothes.
This week we took along mosaic tiles in a range of colours that the participants had said that they liked most in the garden. We gave each person a plate of mixed colours and surface textures and spent a while just chatting about how they looked and felt and how we might use then to make art.
Because the glue for outdoor mosaic work is not particularly kind to the skin we suggested that people could just lay out the tiles without fixing then we would photograph them to replicate with stronger materials. They laid out the tiles following the lines of cardboard templates based on the shapes they had cut last week.
The materials and process seemed very accessible and most people were very keen to handle the tiles and take creative decisions over the layout. Other participants enjoyed looking at finished mosaics we brought along and joining in the conversation about the garden plans.
It was our first art club after half term with quite a few new faces. I decided to start with some drawing to loosen up and took in some spectacular frilled tulips from the market. Continue reading
This week we encouraged the group to think about shapes of flowers. These would be used to inform the cut shapes for mosaics and metal flowers for the outdoor garden. Initially we let people handle the fresh flowers for inspiration but it was interesting that we soon found ideas closer to home such as the poppies on one lady’s tapestry and the woven flower design in the curtains. We all enjoyed seeing these aerial views of the flowers taken on my phone so next week we’ll be taking along the ipad so that people can see their artwork without having to stand up.