Monday, 27 April 2015

Classes attending both workshop: Nead na Coille ASD class, 1st & 2nd class. The Nead na Coille is a special unit in Farran National School that caters for children with autism. It is broken up into the Special ASD class which caters for children of primary school age, and the early intervention class. On Friday the pupils in the ASD class joined us to make their small teacups that will be included in the installation. We explained to the children what we were making and showed them a finished teacup so they could visualize the finished piece.
The children were working with pre-made cardboard templates that were put together with masking tape. They had to attach the base themselves using tape. They then were given sheets of newspaper to tear up into manageable pieces no bigger than their hands. They loved the sound the paper made as they were tearing it into strips. Once there was enough paper, they then dipped their hands into the flour paste and rubbed it into both sides of the newspaper before smoothing it onto the cardboard template. They worked very hard at ensuring the paper was on correctly as it was explained that any lumps and bumps would remain once the paste had dried. They were fascinated that their cup which felt soft would dry and harden to resemble the one previously made by simply using a mixture of flour and water. Once the cups were covered fully twice with paper, they then made the handles by wrapping paper around the cardboard template and then bending it gently into an ‘S’ shape. These were then left of the window to air dry in the sun.
All the children thoroughly enjoyed the process and are looking forward to the next stage of painting their teacups. To prepare them for this stage we asked them to look at different patterns on objects in their daily lives that could be used to create their unique designs. 1st & 2nd class. The children also began the construction of their teacups for the installation. It helped having a finished teacup to pass around and again everyone was amazed at how hard and durable the cup was after the paper mache process was complete. !st & 2nd class were familiar with the basic process when they made the giant saucers a few weeks previously and we reminded them to tear the paper into manageable strips no bigger than the size of their hand. The children did an excellent job on making their cups and anyone who had finished then went to help any classmates who found the process a little more challenging. We discussed the patterns that are used on porcelain china cups that the children may have seen at home and what types of designs they may use themselves. The children will be limited to 2 colours when painting; blue and white. Having only 2 colours will give a level of uniformity to the teacups that will create a bigger impact than if they were all different colours. It also encourages the children to be more creative and having to look in more detail at patterns and designs to help create a unique item. They are encouraged to look at everyday objects around them for inspiration.

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