Helen Plant was also in action recently at Chudleigh Community Primary School, leading an ambitious series of art workshops.
Over two very full days, she worked with the whole of Y3 (over 70 children) in a series of small groups. Children prepared for the workshop in advance by practising drawing trees and parts of trees – leaves, bark, seed pods etc. Using starch resist, the outlines of leaf designs were painted onto A0 sized fabric sheets, and children working in pairs, coloured in the leaf shapes and then created fabric designs for a large scale series of posters based on the theme of each class's name. Each of the 5 classes in Y3 is named after a tree: sycamore, hazel, willow, oak and chestnut. The children had to learn new techniques such as starch resist and cooperated closely together in creating their designs.
The children, working in pairs, then coloured in the leaf shapes and backgrounds, learning how to vary the shading by mixing paint together to lighten and darken the base colours. Once the fabrics were fully dried, the children had to carefully pick off the dry starch paste to reveal the designs. The large fabric sheets will be photographed and the designs transferred onto acrylic boards to be mounted in each “tree” classroom, along with a sixth board used to record the Year 3 “Stars of the Week” and “Learners of the Week". What busy workshops they were! The children are already very proud of their achievements and will love the finished acrylic boards! We will post images of the completed boards in the April THF newsletter.
Helen Plant writes: "It was a 'full-on’ couple of days of non stop painting, but the results are lovely. All the staff at the school were great - really friendly and helpful, and the space to work in was great. (A nice modern, purpose-built school building!). The children were fairly young for this project, but I feel it was a good opportunity to learn tone and colour-blending as well as working collaboratively on large pieces, which they probably don’t do all the time. Hopefully this will be a real source of pride for them when the boards are up in the hall for all to see!"