This old dog can learn new tricks!
Our class tonight was divided into four groups with each group teaching the others a craft. The aim was for us to get a feel for what it's like teaching adults as opposed to children.
The first session involved sticking our hands in a Jungle themed box and feeling the object inside. Then, with our choice of coloured plasticine we had to make what we'd felt. I thought of it as 'blind sculpture'!
This was such a fun and interesting experience! One observation was "It is interesting how everyone interprets themselves in their creation!" This statement led on to a conversation on Identity and that the resulting creations reprsented diversity, identity, colour, shape, pattern and perceptions. It was interesting to not how perception works with translation, in this instance from brain to hands, ie, the ideas transfer from one place (the brain) to another (the hands).
Another interesting observation was how student groups, when working together, have subliminal similarities, therefore it would be fascinating to record similarities within different student groups.
Sensory experiences are so important in children's lives because these experiences have far reaching implications for the self. Without sensory experiences one becomes risk averse and no longer resilient to certain situations consequently becoming a risk averse adult.
During our second session we learnt the craft of Batik which is a technique I have always wanted to learn and it was much easier than I thought it would be! We worked as agroup on long piece of silk which the tutors had divided into sections for us to work on individually. Working collectively on the same theme produced amazingly different interpretations and the end result looked like a beautiful piece of stained glass!
We noted that working collaboratively on the same piece is such a powerful experience yet it is not done often enough within UK schools. It was interesting to note that UK schools don't tend to use Batik much whereas certain other parts of the world do. I wonder, could this be due to our risk averse society or culture? Eastern cultures tend to value their traditional crafts whereas here, in the west, we seem to have let them fall by the wayside.
The third session was a demonstartion on various printmaking techniques such as collagraph, monoprint and reduction print.
The fourth and final session was an inttroduction to book making, the format being a barinstorming session between storytellr and illustrator. Working with contrasts we were given two words "troll" and "rocket". "Rocket", for example, changed from the obvious to be a dog's name! Many surreal ideas were thrown into the proverbial pot and it was interesting to not how different processes feed into the work creating contrast in order to maintain interest and drama throughout a story.
Bookmaking is a craft that was once popular in UK schools but seems to have dropped off the agenda.
All of the sessions involved hands on, tactile experiences. Using one's hands frees people up and makes play imaginative. Puppetry creates dialogue which is very important for maintaining connections. The collaboration and skill sharing this session provided was a valuable experience for me.