Spring is here! Can you feel the buzz? We kick started our spring session with a wonderful flower project inspired by The Artful Parent. Suncatchers are a wonderful way to beautify a space and they are easy to make. All you need to make a suncatcher is clear contact paper and your choice of flat material such as tissue paper, maps, recycled art, etc…

We periodically make suncatchers at Studio Sprout so it was fun to switch it up by using natural materials fresh from our gardens. I invited families to bring in flowers and leaves from their own gardens and together we built a huge bouquet to choose from.

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 It’s important to use single petals vs. a whole flower because you want the contact paper to lay flat against the window. Also the less air gaps between contact paper and glass, or contact paper and contact paper, the longer the leaves and petals will last before they turn brown and fade. To pull apart the flowers and leaves we used both our hands and scissors. My students LOVED this project probably because we normally discourage kids from picking apart flowers while this project demanded it.

The morning light coming through the studio window illuminated the petals beautifully.

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The second focus of our spring session is stewardship of our planet. I believe stewardship goes hand-in-hand with art and a lot of magic happens when we make art with recycled materials. During my research for recycled art projects I ran across egg carton paintings done by The Chocolate Muffin Tree.

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Before embarking on painting this uneven surface we discussed the terrain and how one might color their “lakes and peaks”. I presented a few examples, one that was very free form and a few with patterns.  With the exception of showing examples and encouraging students to cover as much of the surface as possible this was a very open-ended project.

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I love my mixed age classes because you might have two students who are at different developmental stages and it still works great. Because the studio is “come as you are” children have the freedom to experiment with the materials, follow their instincts, and explore their own personal style. If a child is more drawn towards process and a sensory experience they are encouraged to follow that path, and students who are interested in concept, design, and technique are supported as well.

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Witnessing a student’s sense of accomplishment when an art piece is created warms my heart!

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