One Sunday a month is “Special Sunday” where we provide an additional art activity in the back of the Art Studio for visitors to try. This past Sunday The Studio’s summer intern, Alison, selected materials to play with visual textures and silhouettes. We turned on the overhead projector and several shadow puppet enthusiasts tried their hand at creating silhouettes on the wall . Nice rooster!
Visitors used metallic crayons to make marks onto black construction paper using rubbing plates. Some visitors cut and glued black paper shapes over their rubbings to make layered designs.
To learn more about upcoming events at The Carle, including Special Sundays in the Studio, click here.
The up side of my being *slightly* hord-ish is that great stuff is on hand when need and inspiration come crashing together. That means many partially used/broken things collect in bags, baskets and boxes, at home and in the Studio awaiting their chance to be transformed into treasure. Broken crayon pieces are one such item. In the Studio we routinely recycle them into new crayon disks which work great at our toddler drawing table.
Once we’ve amassed enough pieces to make a rainbow of crayon disks we peel all the papers off and sort them by color into a muffin or cupcake tin that’s been sprayed with a little veggie oil, filling each well about half to two thirds full. The oil helps them to pop out later. We picked up a tin expressly for this use after my first attempt with metallic crayons stained my cupcake tin.
The the tin goes into the oven on low heat- around 250 degrees. When the crayons have melted (about 15 mins.) I take the tin out (using a mit!) and gently stir each section with a toothpick. That first time when I used mostly metallic crayons I didn’t stir and the wax ended up separated from the pigment.
When the pan cools, I turn it over to pop the disks out. They’re ready to use or gift. In the Studio, we cut the muffin size disks in half so they’re easy for small hands to hold and offer a variety of mark-making edges.
I’ve found many ideas across the internet for variations on shapes and method. Family Fun suggests making Crayon Heart Valentines, others use a variety of candy or soap-making molds to create different shapes.
Please note that since this process involves the oven and hot wax, I usually complete it by myself. If you want children to join in, you could have them peel off the papers and sort them in the tins. My favorite ways to sort are by temperature (warm colors/cool colors) and color families (reds, blues, oranges, etc.). In my next experiment I’m going to try melting the black and white pieces together.
Last Saturday I had the pleasure of documenting Making Art and Dance Together, a class for 3-6 year olds and their adult companions in the galleries and Art Studio. Lead by dancer and choreographer Laura Pravitz, the class explored “The Story of the Empty Page and the Color Wheel” through creative movement, dance and paint.
Families loved experiencing Eric Carle’s art and entering the creative process of page design in such a fun and innovative way. As one young participant put it, “I want to dance like that everyday!”
For more information about classes at The Carle, click here.
One of the many books that has helped shape my approach to making art with children is Young at Art by Susan Stiker, available in the Museum’s Shop and for viewing in the Studio’s Resource Library. Aimed at parents and educators of 1 to 5 year olds, the book is filled with practical and developmentally-appropriate ideas for offering materials to young children. These thoughts from the introduction parallel my approach in the Studio and support how I view my role as a studio educator. “I believe children engage in critical thinking and learn how to become problem solvers when they are allowed to work, within very clear parameters but with complete freedom, with basic art materials…It [art by young children] is not a ‘frill,’ not merely ‘charming,’ but the very foundation upon which all later reading, writing, and drawing are built.”
How do you view your role as an educator or parent when it comes to your children’s artistic endeavors?
In honor of The Very Hungry Caterpillar day on March 20, 2011, Penguin Young Readers Group and Canson invited classes to celebrate spring by reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar and creating posters inspired by it. Though many great works were submitted, The Art Studio has the pleasure of exhibiting 8 winning entries through July. The Grand Prize winner, above, is by first graders at Milestone Community School, Leesburg, FL.
the seven Second Place winners are : first grade, West Elementary School, Stoughton, MA (upper left); first and second grade, Riverview Elementary School, Miles City, MT (right)
first grade, St. Timothy School, Maple Lake, MN (lower left); kindergarten, Indian Creek Elementary School, San Antonio, TX (upper left); kindergarten, Bates Rich Beginnings School, Fairport, NY (uppper right); second grade, Peek’s Chapel Elementary School, Conyers GA (lower right),
and second grade, Midvale Elementary School, Midvale, UT. Congratulations to all!
Last week Diana was on the road making art with three Kindergarten classes at Learning Community Charter School in Central Falls, R.I. She had a lot of fun talking with students about Eric Carle’s process and helping them make collages. The school put together a fabulous slideshow of their students exploring the stamps, paint, scissors and glue, take a look!
For details about bringing the Carle’s Outreach Programs to your school, library or event, click here.
The new Public Art Project, Beginning with Black is inspired by art from The Three Robbers, which will be featured in the exhibition Chronicler of the Absurd: The Art of Tomi Ungerer opening June 18th. Come on over to experiment with this often forgotten shade through drawing and design. Guest appearances will be made by other colors. Stop by before July 14th to see which ones are featured!
Welcome to Making Art with Children, a blog from the Art Studio at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Whether you’re a parent, educator or artist, we hope the ideas shared here inspire you to create meaningful experiences with children and art.
The Studio is a space for visitors of all ages to explore materials and techniques, ignite their imagination and discover their own visual language. With a commitment to education through art, our goal is to foster creative and intellectual development through making art.
In The Art Studio Latin Landscapes April 10 - May 21, 2013 Free with Museum Admission Capture the beauty of the landscapes from Latino Folk Tales: Cuentos Populares–Art by Latino Artists and create a picturesque panorama adapting the textured drawing style of illustrator Raul Colón.