Colours, explorations and affected emotions are all part of this project. Warmth and coolness - excitement and something bordering on boredom - which might actually also be interpreted as a need for 'a time out' in an overstimulated world. The kids are learning and so am I, leaving me with a feeling of gratitude and amazement that I get to participate in all of this fun!
Yesterday we started day four of our exploratories with the grade 6-8's at a local middle school.
I was not sure what was going to happen on this day - there had been talk about having most of the same students for one more session, which would have suited me fine - since then they would know the 'drill' and thus be able to delve even deeper into the medium, the texture and the colour of the needlefelting project we are working on.
As it was though there were only two kids from the original group - and then the rest of them were newcomers.
I have a confession to make, I have a worry wort, it is a wort, which most times is well-behaved and not in my face - but .... sometimes when I engage into something completely focused and aiming at a preset end result then.... my worry wort starts itching.
And it did this time too, three deep breaths, another overview of the class, the groups and the tables and then.... seeing how my two helpers immediately found the groups which needed them and seeing at the kids were eager and curious to see what kind of magic or weirdness I was to bring out of my 'bag' exploratory session #4 took off.
The propper use of tools and fibre and felted bats was explained, fingers were pointed to the drawings of musical notes on the wall - and .... suddenly they were off - into their own worlds, being allowed to explore what a musical note looks like in their perception. Using a crayon and a piece of paper was an exercise to help them see what shapes the notes are, how big to make them, which kind of note to choose.
It is not easy to sit down with a crayon and just like that conjure up a musical note - when one is not used to drawing or depicting precisely with a writing or a colouring tool what the eye is observing or the inner eye is imagining it can be quite a challenge - a challenge which needs a goodly amount of self esteem in order for the person (in this case a kid) at the end of the crayon not to second guess themselves but trust that they will do it as beautifully and as perfect possible to the best of their ability. Exactly what is required for a community project like this. For the kids to be able to take a break from the every day schedule at the school and get to come to a classroom where they can quiet down, look for and listen to their inner voice talking about colour and imagination, texture and ..... cooperation for ... they do have to work together in their groups to plan a design for their 3' x 4' felted woolen rectangle.
We are working in the science lab so I suppose it makes sense that in some corner there would be large rulers eagerly anticipating measuring out lines and angles on the different surfaces.
The amazing thing is ... the visions of this group for their pieces are so different from what the first group did that all I can do is smile with delight.
I never thought I knew it all about anything in particular, and sharing has always been a personal delight for me.
But it still amazes me that everytime I leave the school after a felting session there is something new to contemplate, as far as approach and handling of the information needed to pass this on, what is important to make the kids comfortable and eager to keep going + all the little things which I hadn't really thought about but which resolved themselves as the session got warmed up and proceeded. It is with great joy that I see how the kids manage to focus and realize that what they do matters, that what they do is fun, right now and a bit down the line - it is good to be present in body as well as in mind when one has to learn and explore.
Already I know that when the pieces are all put together which will be sometime early in May there will be 6 playful, visually inviting sound-bafflers to put up at the market in Wolfville. It will be such delight to see the playful differences between the final works from the two groups alternating along the top part of the walls at the market. Two more weeks to go and then....... all will be revealed.