Notebook, 1993-

MATERIALS & METHODS - A Perspective on Art Education - Activities for Children - Themes & Topics

Drawing & Painting -- Modeling & Sculpting

Fingerpainting -- Mural Making -- Paper-Mâché -- Puppets -- Mask-Making -- Crayon Encaustics -- Crayon Resist Drawing -- Crayon Sgraffito -- Collage -- Mobiles -- Watercolor -- Common Earth Clay -- Salt Ceramic [recipe] -- Clay / plasticene Non-hardening -- Carving in the Round -- Newspaper Modeling -- Paraffin or Wax Sculpture -- Plaster Plaques or Reliefs -- Relief in Plaster -- Relief in Soft Wood -- Repoussé -- Sandcasting -- Working With the Coping Saw or Jigsaw -- Straw/Toothpick Sculpting -- Painting on Window Glass -- Diorama -- Peep Shows -- Whittling -- Wire Sculpture

[From: [Meaning in Crafts. Mattil,, Edward L. Chairman, Dept. of Art, North Texas State University. Third Edition, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1971.]

Peep Shows

No matter what their age, children always have an air of excitement and enthusiasm when they are making peep shows. A shoe box is good for a peep show, and almost any shoe store will be glad to provide a sufficient number of boxes for the average class. Good peep shows require some imagination in the selection of scrap materials and a solid motivation, so that they will not be trite or stereotyped. Common materials can easily be gathered --weeds, twigs, sawdust from the school shop, pebbles, stones, leaves, vines, cotton, sticks, and so forth. At one end of the box, children cut a hole about the size of a quarter or fifty-cent piece with a pair of scissors, and open the top at the opposite end to give a kind of spotlight or theatre lighting effect. The scene is built on the inside bottom of the box. For example, perhaps it will be an ice-skating scene remembered from a winter vacation experience.

The children will easily think of uses for the scrap material available. A bit of broken mirror becomes an icy pond, broken twigs a campfire, crumpled cellophane the fire itself, colored papers the mountains in the background, bits of cotton hung on thread the clouds floating overhead, and a twig stuck in a piece of modeling clay a tree. Little figures may be modeled from plasticene or pipe cleaners. Here a stone may be a boulder and a bit of sand a mountain trail, and so it goes, with children finding new and imaginative uses for otherwise useless materials. This is the creative process. Finally, with colored cellophane covering some of the openings in the box, the child can light his peep show just as a stage designer lights his set, enlarging or closing one of the holes, changing from a piece of yellow cellophane to one of another color, thinking, deciding. In this constant flow of problems and solutions, of ideas and thoughts, is found the value of crafts in elementary education. For the child, the great thrill comes when he gets to peep into the opening of his neighbor's show and allows his to be viewed by others.

[Meaning in Crafts. Mattil,, Edward L. Chairman, Dept. of Art, North Texas State University. Third Edition, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1971.]



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