I think it’s important to reach out into the community and offer creative opportunities to children and local art groups. Recently I headed a project involving the entire village school. The local art group approached me to ask me if I had any ideas for a mural for our village hall. I thought it would be fantastic for every child in the local school (which my twins attend) to make a tile which would form the border of the main mural. The art group agreed.
When I went into school and told each class they would be making their own tile and it would be up on the village hall for the next hundred years, their faces beamed! Sixty children from 5-11yrs made a terracotta tile in relief (raised surface), themed on the village, its landmarks, hedgerows, farm animals, flowers, tractors, etc. The children thoroughly embraced the project and produced an amazing array of tiles. I used architectural terracotta which will be fired to 1220 degrees to add strength and depth of colour.
Last week I returned to the local Scout Group to do an animal sculpture session to help them achieve their Artist badge. I was working with the Beaver Scouts, the youngest members of Scouts aged 6-8yrs. I restricted the choice of animal to those they would to relate to (dog, cat or rabbit) and got them to think about what was happening in their animal sculpture’s life at that moment. Was it sniffing, sleeping, scratching or relaxed?
With 20 children in the group, it was certainly a busy and noisy session, but in their enthusiasm they produced some lovely animal sculptures. Once again I used the architectural terracotta and will fire them at a high temperature to give the surface a warmth and natural finish.
Perhaps I will show you the finished sculptures in another post.