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Monday, 18 January 2016

School Holiday Project 14: Clothing Collage

The kids were becoming a little bored during the school holidays and I thought it would be a great time to introduce them to the fun of collage work. I did this in a number of sittings with different kids in the group, approaching them individually according to their abilities and interests. Let me talk you through it and then maybe you could do the same thing with your kids.

The idea behind today's project was to show the kids that you could find textures and prints to be cut out as clothing for collaging onto drawn figures. They would need to open their minds to seeing new possibilities in things that would ordinarily not be associated with clothes at all. I started them off with some quickly drawn figures on repurposed cardboard.

My folks were cleaning out shelves and one of the books they were discarding was this book that was ages old already. It still had a price tag on the back, stating that it had cost only R3-95 all those years ago! Fashions had changed and it was the ideal book to repurpose.

To illustrate what my intention was with the project, I drew a top on the back of some packaging paper that was saved from one of the Christmas presents. It had a plain cardboard backing, but the other side was covered in sparkly silver stars. I then cut the top out.

Holding it to one of the hand-drawn dolls, the kids suddenly caught on and started searching for colour spots in the book that they could use.

One of them found this page with paint brushes and decided to cut a pair of shorts from the bristles.

He also realized that the red carpeting would provide exactly what he wanted for a shirt.

Isn't this cleverly put together, considering the origin of the colors?

Another one found a page with paint swatches and decided to cut a dress from this. It had a large empty space on the other page would be ideal to use for this purpose.

I loved watching them coming up with all sorts of clever ideas!

At one point, they all decided that the dolls were too plain and needed coloring. Even though this was not the aim of the exercise, I did not force my opinions on them, but allowed them do as they wanted. It was interesting to note how the preceding exercise had opened their minds to colour and the use of it. They all seemed to veer away from the normal 'correct' colors and experimented with different colors in the hair, skin, eyes, etc.

One of the boys lost interest in the clothing excercise real early on in the game already. He was much more fascinated by the pictures of tools that abounded throughout the book. All he wanted to do, was to cut these out and to collect them for a toolbox draw by hand. Why would I stop him? He had great fun doing this while we were busy with the clothing collages.

The following day another of the girls were visiting and she had brought along a fashion design book she had received from her grandparents.

This book was filled with similar figures to the ones we had drawn the previous day.

It also came with stencils for drawing in clothes for the dolls.

She had become quite good at this and was doing some very creative designing with her pencils.

It was time to introduce her to a new approach to the book. I found the ideal page for what I wanted to show her. This wallpaper would be excellent for a coat.

The stencil was placed on top of the wallpaper and traced with a pencil.

Cut along the lines.

We discussed adding pants to wear under the dress and pointed out that we could try different options. This heater could make pretty pants.

Laying the stencil in place, made this clear to see.

Paging further through the book, we came upon this page with wallpaper samples.

The moment the stencil was put in place, we both knew that this would be the winner.

I then pointed out that she could either use glue to clothe one of the unused dolls, or ...

... she could use Prestik to clothe any of the dolls, even a used one. This way she could build up a collection of clothes and eventually she would be able to mix and match as she pleased. This was a very popular suggestion and she keenly kept on playing long after I had left, not even realizing how educationally sound her game play was!

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Remember to keep nurturing your TALENT for making PRETTY things.
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