365 Days of Earrings

Friday, September 30, 2011

Taking time to create with sand and wool roving

Today I wore this pair of stylized bears that I bought in a museum gift shop many years ago. I chose them today because one of our 3rd grade projects this afternoon was sand painting.

I showed my students how to mix sand and powdered tempera to create colored sand, explaining that Navajo artists use rocks, lichen, berries, and other natural materials to create their colors.

I'd love to take this project to this more authentic level. Maybe one day I'll try it myself. The "old masters" once ground all of their own pigments...

Like Johannes Vermeer who painted Girl with a Pearl Earring! And Navajo sandpainters whose paintings are ephemeral creations, striking in their symmetrical perfection but intended to vanish with the desert winds.

This afternoon, my students explored sand painting, each creating an animal or geometric design. As they finished they made cardboard looms on which to weave wool roving.

I love to share ancient crafts with modern children. They find as much joy in working with natural materials, sand and wool, as children have since time began. And so do I.

1 comment:

K├Ąthe said...

Wow! Awesome project. Love this :)