Monday, 4 May 2015

Friday 1st May. The first group attending the workshops today was the Early Intervention class that are part of the Nead na Coille. We passed around a pre-made teacup for them to see what they would be making today. They all loved the texture of the cup and were fascinated that something that felt so hard was made from only cardboard and paper. We explained that the process of the glue drying makes the items very hard and durable. They started the process with great energy and made a great job of tearing the sheets of newspaper into small strips no bigger than the size of their hand. As certain textures can be challenging for children with certain learning difficulties, it was great that most of them used their fingers when applying the paste onto the paper. The result of the days’ workshop was some terrific looking teacups. We also spoke about the next stage of painting their cups, and for them to look at patterns in their everyday life to give them ideas for their designs. Senior Infants. This was their first time attending the workshops so we explained what the project was about and passed around the pre-made teacup for them to visualize what they would be making today. They got to work preparing the newspaper by tearing it into smaller strips. We explained that they need to keep the sheets of paper flat and tear it gently as if it was crumpled it would be harder to tear and also less likely to give a smooth surface on their cup. Next we went through the process of pasting the paper sheets onto the cardboard base using their fingers. We stressed how important it is to smooth the paper onto the surface making sure there are no lumps and bumps as they will dry that way and be difficult to paint. While the children were doing this we talked about the project and the different characters in the story and who their favourite is (the rabbit got the most votes!). 3rd & 4th Class. In the last workshop, the 3rd & 4th class students had begun the construction of their teacups so today they needed to either finish or touch up the cups and make their handles. As they are all now quite familiar with the process, they got to work straight away and even had the time to cover their handles before attaching them to the finished teacups. They were curious to know why they would be limited to only 2 colours when painting their finished cups. We explained that when they are finished and installed they would have a far greater impact giving the impression of a large mass of cups rather than a mish mash of different colours. They enjoyed discussing what they might paint as we explained that the cup should represent themselves and although they maybe uniform in colour, once looked at closely, each one would be unique in design. These should be regarded as a way to express their interests, opinions and what makes them different from their classmates. Some spoke about sing a horse shoe in their design as they are very keen on horse riding. These symbols can be combined with patterns such as dots, lines, circles, or anything they wish to use so we encouraged them also to look at everyday objects for inspiration.

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