Following on from my visit previously mentioned in our last post, I returned to my sons classroom to help their 6th class complete a piece that they wanted to make as part of their graduation. I had planned 3 weeks of making but the children worked very quickly so 2 full visits were enough. Each visit was 3 hours long.
We began by looking at all the painted flowers again, having great fun trying to remember which belonged to who as they had been stored under teacher’s desk during the week. Once the arguments were over we discussed how and where we would place them on the frame. We agreed to attach the flowers and then fill in the gaps. Everyone began cutting a length of wire and attaching it to their flowers. This was used to secure the flowers to the wire mesh frame.
Some of the flowers were made from a range of materials. Some had a bottle within a bottle, making it tricky to attach the wire without the middle falling out! We finally got wire on all of them and began attaching them to the frame.
Once attached we noticed some gaps, where the flowers didn’t cover the mesh frame. We discussed the problem and how we could cover the spaces. Some suggested weaving gold and silver foil strips behind the flowers. We tried it and discovered that we could also use this to attach some CD’s, giving the piece a bit of bling.
At this stage only 5 or 6 children could work on the piece at the same time, from the front and the back. When I left the teacher allowed them to weave when they had their work finished during the week and it quickly filled up.
I returned the day before they were due to graduate and helped make the final touches. When they were happy and agreed the piece was finished, we covered it with a large sheet so the other pupils would not see if before the presentation the following day.
On the day of the graduation, all parents were invited into the classroom. Speeches were made and the pupils shared their favorite moments during their 8 years in the school. At the end they shared with everyone how they had made a piece of art as a gift to the school. It was finally unveiled and will take pride of place in the school garden next September.
I really enjoyed working with the kids on this project, and could see that they really felt proud about leaving a gift for the school as a way of thanks.