By Paula Briggs
This resource shares the Week Three session at Jeavons Wood Primary School in Cambourne, Cambridgeshire, in which I’ll be working with a year 5 pupil (Lily-Rani) and a year 4 pupil (Daniel) for one hour once a week. Through regular sessions, and in collaboration with the school, the aim is to:
- Provide the opportunity for the children to develop their hands-on making and visual arts skills through regular contact and small group work;
- Help build confidence in the children in all areas of their school life, including academic, social, creative and practical skills, and so demonstrate the importance of hands-on creative epxloration;
- Inspire visual arts projects amongst other pupils and staff in the school by sharing outcomes.
Week Three – Feeling Our Way Around Wool
Thanks to a kind donation of wool from Roger Oates Floors & Fabrics, we had some lovely cones of wool. They are incredibly tactile objects, and I thought before we use the wool for making, we should use it as the subject matter for some drawings.
After a quick chat about some of the qualities of the woollen cones, and what it was about them that we’d like to communicate in our drawings, the children began by taking a sheet of sugar paper and making four simple folds in it to help describe the shape of the cone (a gently rounded trapezium shape when seen as a “flat” shape).
The children then tore along the folded lines to create a shape. Although folding and tearing sounds like a simple activity, it does require skill and like any manual skill, practice.
Once we’d checked we were happy with the shapes, offering them up to the woollen cones and making small modifications, we then stuck them down on larger sheets of sugar paper.
Using a number of colours of oil pastel to build deep layers of colour, and applying the oil pastel with a decent amount of pressure, the children then coloured in their torn shapes. Fingers were used to further smudge the pastel to get rid of any white paper under the colour. We wanted to give the impression of dense wool.
The children then used graphite sticks to explore how they could use mark making to further develop the impression of “wool”. I asked the children to imagine they were drawing over the cone (i.e. to follow the contours of the cone with their marks), to help describe the way the yarn is wound. I also asked them to experiment with varying the pressure of the graphite to explore dark and light mark making.
Many thanks to Roger Oates Floors & Fabrics.