365 Days of Earrings

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Stained Glass Dragons

Last summer, when I visited the medieval town of Chartres, in France, I wandered into a stained glass studio. Amidst the stunning artwork on display I found glass for sale. I bought a container of small pieces of blues and aquas. This is the only pair of earrings that I've made so far.

Wandering along the cobbled streets of Chartres felt like a trip into the past. My husband John and I were often alone, standing by stone walls and buildings that have stood on the same spot for hundreds of years, perhaps even more than a thousand years. Many of the stained glass windows that we saw were created by medieval artists whose art seemed startlingly abstract.

I wore my Chartres stained glass today for an art project that I'd planned for my 3rd graders to share with their 7th grade mentors.

In writing workshop, the children are drafting fantasy stories in which dragons appear. We've talked about how dragons can represent our fears, our challenges, our emotions. Today I challenged the students to create their dragons on black paper, using colorful squares, rectangles, and triangles cut from construction paper.

Now this wall of our classroom reminds me of panels of stained glass. The bright colored paper draws the eye. The black background helps focus the attention. The viewer peers into each image, looking for detail, picking out bits and pieces. The children gather round, sharing their stories.

"Mine has the sharpest claws. No other dragon dares come close."

"My dragon breathes fire that chases away evil!"

"My dragon is invisible. No one can see him coming!"

Stories told in color, shining against a background of black.


Käthe said...

holy cow!!!! i love the stained glass dragons!

jwkrumich said...

What an amazing wall!