Tuesday, April 12, 2011

School Kids, antler necklaces and lots of questions, chidren are so much fun!

Yesterday to honor a request by my Booboo, I went to the school to show the children how to make antler necklaces. She is a little artist and wanted to share antler art with her classmates. She had asked Mrs. Cooper in advance and when I had taken the goat and lamb last week to both girls class rooms we had set up my coming to her class. Booboo has 18 kids in her class but as they had gotten several new students this spring and lost some she was not certain of the number there would be. When I arrived all the children were excited and chatty, Mrs. Cooper calmed them all down quietly. She has been a teacher since Goofy had had her about twenty years ago. she has grown into a wonderful teacher with a soft manner but seems to keep the children in line all the same.

I started by showing them a moose antler carving, some carved antler handles, pen and ink handles, a feather painting and a scapula pen and ink sculpture. They all had questions about what each was. one of them was sure the scapula was an antler from a deers head. They all got to learn about antlers, bones, and the difference between an antler and a horn. I then let them pick out the antler of their choice, Mrs. Cooper and Mrs. Blaylock got one as well, I let them keep the two extras and brought one home for Yogie to make a necklace. They all made their choice, each piece was the tip of an elk antler or a few were deer antler tips, after picking their favorite one, they used a pencil to draw whatever they wanted to on the side I had sand for them to draw on. Antlers have a natural coating on them so when I draw on them I sand the coating off, where I am going to draw, to access the more porous white interior. The children were at a loss as to what to draw on their pieces, I advised them they could put what ever they wanted. The antlers were long and thin so I suggested, flowers, snakes, their names, foot prints, curlicues anything would be just fine. Mrs. Cooper, drew flowers and SERENITY, on hers. Several of the little girls and boys went to work right away, little snakes, flowers and free form designs began to appear everywhere. One little boy couldn't seem to begin, I drew a wolf on a paper for him, but he was frustrated and couldn't bring himself to just have fun. All the other were done with their drawings and ready to color. I finally helped him draw a foot prints so he could continue. I had told him his mom and dad would be proud of what ever he did. He said they are separated, I told him they would both be proud of him when he saw each of them. One little girl couldn't understand why I knew her name, or how I knew her mom and dad. I told her I had carved the antler she had at her house, I had carved it for a friend of her parents for their wedding, she was amazed.

I don't usually use color on the antlers but had stopped and picked up colored felt markers thinking that the color would appeal to children more than the pen and ink. They began to color and all ended up with brightly color pieces. When each finished their coloring, I let them pick jute or faux sinew as the string to go around their neck. I showed them how to twist the end of the sinew to create a tight needle like end to thread threw the hole. I showed them how to wrap the sinew and create a knot. Booboo end up as the only child who chose the jute, so it tied a little different. When all the necklaces were completed I took them out to the playground to spray them with clear coat to set and protect their artwork and the necklace were complete. The kids were off to PE and I came home.

Poppie picked up the girls a little later from school. No necklace came home. Booboo advised that the kids were so excited after PE they would not calm down, so they could not bring their necklaces home until tomorrow. Four kids had to have refocuses. I believe they enjoyed their craft making, maybe a little too much..... tomorrow.

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