Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Marbles, Cubes. Tablets and Shaving Cream
I think I might be suffering from Spring fever or perhaps I simply miss the colors spring has to offer. I presented three lessons this week hoping to draw the children's eyes back to color - to the color tablets and the color of the cubes in the bead cabinet, to creating marbleized paper with a marble or two and, in a separate lesson, with shaving cream.
The first lesson demonstrated using two marbles, each dipped into a single color, to "paint" with. The children were very excited to see how this worked. They really enjoyed watching me rock the tray back and forth so as to roll the marble through the paint. I included in my presentation the statement that the lessons on marbleizing were the only two works where the trays were not to be returned to the shelves, but instead were part of the work itself. Here are a few photos:
The second lesson was on marbleizing paper with shaving cream and watercolors. The children could barely believe their eyes when they saw me spray the shaving cream into the tray and then squirt paint onto it. They watched silently as I placed a piece of paper on top of the cream and tapped it gently with my fingertips. Next, I pulled the paper off and wiped away the excess shaving cream with a squeegee. They were motionless while they watched.
Instantly, the marbleized effect appeared on the paper. Cristina said it was "Instant gratification." It was also beautiful. The children did not want to have snack, were willing to quietly wait their turn even if that meant that they had to wait more than a half an hour. And when each child took their turn, whether they were three years old or six, it worked and they wanted to do it again. Here are a few photos:
The lesson (Note: because I did not have a photo of myself adding color to the shaving cream I included one of Cristina in the sequence to illustrate it):
Another great thing about this work is that it is dry in about 5 - 10 minutes. It is not dripping wet but instead very easy to position for quick air drying. If mess is a concern, wait till it gets warmer and do it outside. Me, I think art should be liberating - so wet clothing, spills, gooey fingers and painted noses are just part of the creative act.
A four and a half year old successfully does the work:
A few examples of the finished work:
A clean-up table was set up right next to the work. The children maintain it themselves.
The last lesson was on pairing colors. This lesson combines math materials with sensorial materials. The children match the color of each cube from the bead cabinet with a single color tablet. Here is how the work is initially brought to a rug and then paired. Later, two children can do fetching or pairing with the materials.