Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Partridge in a Pear Tree Paper Wreath

I prepared for this workshop by cutting the centres out of paper plates and making some 2-piece templates for the partridge.
Students made golden pears by printing with real pears. I was a bit disappointed with the results - I think maybe the knife I used to cut the pears wasn't sharp enough so that the printing surface wasn't smooth. The students didn't mind though! After using the templates and some painted paper to make the partridge, we assembled the wreath, adding in some crepe paper leaves.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Paper Plate & Wool Christmas Decoration

This project uses very simple sewing to great effect. To prepare, I cut Christmas Tree shapes out of paper plates (I happened to find some gold ones) and punched some holes around the shape. I provided students with wool in festive colours and large plastic sewing needles. Students sewed in and out of the holes - some did it very systematically and some did it quite randomly - both techniques give a good result. After they had finished sewing I encouraged them to stick a few (hundred!) sequins around the plate. A loop of wool for hanging provided the finishing touch. Because the plates are gold foil they were quite hard to photograph but I hope you get the idea!
I had kept the cut-out tree shapes (of course!) and we used these to make some lovely Christmas cards.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Papier Mache Toadstools

For today's workshop I wanted to do another autumnal theme but felt that we had done enough autumn leaf projects. I hit upon the idea of making a toadstool. I told my students that we were doing papier mache but in fact this is a cheat's version of papier mache that is more like decoupage. A paper bowl and paper cup were covered in the appropriate colours of tissue. The cup in particular needed a few layers of tissue because it had a pattern on it. Some students (and carers) tried to save time by gluing on enormous bits of tissue but they soon found that this doesn't work because air gets trapped underneath and it doesn't stick down properly. After the pieces were dried with the help of a hairdryer I helped them attach the two together using doubled-up masking tape which worked quite well. The finishing touch was some white painted spots.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Leaf Print Trees

This project was really enjoyed by my students. They began by either placing their hand and forearm on the paper and having their carer draw round it, or by drawing around their carer's arm. After colouring in the silhouette with oil pastels they began adding leaves. I had brought in leaves in various shapes and sizes. I actually washed them before I gave them to my students because most of them really hate getting dirt on their hands and I thought the sight of a slug might really push them over the edge! I showed them how to place the leaves face down and paint the back with poster paint before pressing them onto the paper. A lot of my students have quite severe disabilities but pressing or patting something down onto paper is something that they can all do. I encouraged some of them to print some fallen leaves at the bottom of the picture too.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Tissue Paper Trees

Thanks to Kristin at For the Love of Art for this great idea. The colourful trees are small squares of tissue glued onto card. I made the mistake of getting my students to use chalk pastels for the background and then, of course, found that the trees wouldn't stick. I solved the problem by quickly stapling them on.

Bonfire Night Collage

Remember, Remember the 5th of November!
In the UK we celebrate a foiled plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605 with fireworks and bonfires on the 5th of November.
My students used paint and collage to capture the colour and glitter of the event.
We used some lovely deep blue card for the background. The fireworks were made by blowing watered down paint with straws and also by swirling the straw around in the paint to make patterns. The bonfires started with an oil pastel drawing to which they added scraps of tissue paper and sparkly sweet papers. The final touch was some glitter glue which was spread or dotted here and there on the fire.

Painted Paper Cats

Our painted paper came into use again for this workshop. I created simple two-piece templates for the cats which students embellished with cut-out paper eyes and wool whiskers. I wanted to keep the background simple so that the cats would stand out so we just used a contrasting colour of paper for the wall.