Welcome to Tessera!

Tessera Arts LLC

Tessera is a Greek word describing a small tile used to create mosaics. We work to provide children with opportunity for individual exploration, but also emphasize collaborative projects with peers. Every child is both a unique individual, and an integral part of our larger community. We work together to create a supportive, unhurried environment where children can focus on processes, creation and self expression.

⭐️ENROLL FOR SUMMER⭐️

Arts based  Preschool Program begins

September 6th 2017

In our new location, less than five minutes north, at Aurora and 240th. We will be sharing our new building with a community of dancers, artists, crafters and makers.  It couldn’t be more perfect. 

Sign up for our upcoming workshops while there’s still room!

Please see the menu above for more information on our selection of programs.

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🌈Rainbow Volcanoes🌋

Our final collaboration of the year! It would almost be sad if it weren’t so awesome. The multi caldera landscape of glorious technicolor vulcanism is a fantastic finale to a great year of collaborations.

We started with a layer of newspaper to help absorb moisture and map out the placement of the clay so every child would have their own looming volcano to work on in the whole.

It took a lot of little hands to get this much incredible detail into the base landscape.  It was really fun taking turns and working together, sharing our space and making something truly epic

 
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Making a new Tessera

 

The new building is coming along nicely. Renovations are still under way and will be for awhile longer. Once or summer program is complete, we should be ready to jump into our new home! With an entrance facing away from the street, drop off and pick up should be wonderfully peaceful.
The space is looking wonderful, with a huge play area and a couple of smaller rooms for focused crafts projects or quiet time when we need it. A little more work will make this space a worthy successor to our original space, and the community of artists and creators around us will be exactly the kind of place that has always made Tessera special. We can’t wait to get things ready for everyone to come and visit.

We’ll also be close to Mathay-Ballinger park, a short walk east of our new location, for when a rambunctious time on the playground is in order. The new play structures are really exciting, but all that open green space for running and playing is really important too.

Tessera has rented space from the Shoreline School District since 1998, but with the district growing, it’s been nice to rely on the Shoreline Center to help Tessera transition to meet the evolving needs of our community.

Our community is what makes Tessera what it is, and we can’t thank everyone enough for keeping our little village strong while the city around us continues to grow!

 

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Wetlands Wilderness Lore with Hawkeye

Our our most recent wilderness lore adventure with Hawkeye focused on wetlands.

He told us a thrilling tale of creeping through the mud, camouflaged with duckweed to the edge of a small pond in the wetlands.  Hawkeye nearly touched the foot of a foraging duck.  He told us that it was very fun, but very cold.

Hawkeye showed us a cattail he collected from the wetlands and we talked about all the other living things that can be found right around any given cattail in a wetland. Tadpoles, herons, egrets, dragonflies, crayfish, turtles, ducks, muskrats, snakes, raccoons, beetles and lily pads of all sizes. The kids guessed a lot of them on their own and several said they had seen some really huge lily pads before.

Hawkeye brought a lot of interesting plants and animal traces for us to study. Measuring huge skunk cabbage leaves was almost as popular as breaking their skin to release the stinky sap from inside. We examined scouring rush, which has been growing in wetlands since dinosaurs walked there!

The beaver skull was a favorite, but we also had the chance to study a raccoon pelt and a cast of its tracks as well as models of turtles and frogs. Hawkeye taught us about wetting our hands before handling a frog because it breathes through its skin and the moisture barrier will prevent our hands from drying the frog out. He also taught us how to find the flat spot behind a frogs eyes where it’s ears are, and that if the drog’s ear is larger than it’s eye it’s a male, smaller, a female.

We finished with a book called Frog Girl, by local author Paul Owen lewis, which tells of a First Nation princess who rescues the children from a frog village that have been caught in hunter’s traps.

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Clay Date: Tide Pool collaboration and Rooster feathers!

He's finIshed at last! With a glaze fired by Clay Date and feathers had placed by the kids, this rooster is ready to romp through a fantastic year ahead!

He’s finished at last! With a glaze fired by Clay Date and feathers had placed by the kids, this rooster is ready to romp through a fantastic year ahead!

The basic shapes of our collaboration begin to come together!

The basic shapes of our collaboration begin to come together!

 

When all the details are fleshed out, we add color to really bring the critters and corals alive.

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Winter Wonderland

Our winter landscape collaboration came together over several classes and our huge winter break workshop.

The papier-mâché hills build up as kids work together to grow the mountains high enough to touch the sky!

The papier-mâché hills build up as kids work together to grow the mountains high enough to touch the sky! Now to get the winter scene set…

Luckily we had some great reference material right outside!

A gentle fall of snowy shite paper transmogrified the newspaper hills into great snowy peaks.

A gentle fall of snowy shite paper transmogrified the newspaper hills into great snowy peaks.

The only thing about this post I didn't like was the lack of sources. This Guarfian article says that up to March 1st it cost $.5 million a day so $183 mil seems reasonable. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/mar/04/donald-trump-travel-costs-mar-a-lago-taxpayers $148 mil is confirmed here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/02/24/trump-national-endowment-arts-funding-battle-looming/98326712/

Of course, there *had* to be a snow monster! This guy looks like he’s big enough to have a bath in the lake.

The ice for our lake had to melt and refreeze before anyone was going to do any skating. Hopefully it's liquid long enough for that monster to take a dip!

The ice for our lake had to melt and refreeze before anyone was going to do any skating. Hopefully it’s liquid long enough for that monster to take a dip!

 

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Year of the Rooster

With the Chinese calendar turning over, we welcomed the Year of the Rooster the Tessera way:

with stories and art

We studied a lot of sources material before starting on own rooster project design

We studied a lot of sources material before starting on own rooster project design

 

From design to sculpting we’ve been working for a long while now, but the final touches will take place on Monday, Jan 30th at our Clay and Feathers Workshop

 

The children all had a chance to add their own ideas to the design of our rooster, with adult assistance when necessary.

The children all had a chance to add their own ideas to the design of our rooster, with adult assistance when necessary.

The kids named him Chocladoodledoo! once they'd helped finish up the design.

The kids named him Chocladoodledoo! once they’d helped finish up the design.

The structure of our rooster was built piece by piece by the kids, and then assembled with adult assistance.

The structure of our rooster was built piece by piece by the kids, and then assembled with adult assistance.

From raw clay to the finished product will slowly arise. Even the youngest loves rolling out clay to soften it up though!

From raw clay to the finished product will slowly arise. Even the youngest loves rolling out clay to soften it up though!

From the base grows the neck, with a lot of hands to support the body and shape the outside.

From the base grows the neck, with a lot of hands to support the body and shape the outside.

Shaping the tail and sculpting details of the head was work for older kids, while younger sculptors focused on textures and softening more clay.

Shaping the tail and sculpting details of the head was work for older kids, while younger sculptors focused on textures and softening more clay.

Having a look at his portrait here, the rooster seems pleased with the sight (considering his eyes are still coming together)

Having a look at his portrait here, the rooster seems pleased with the sight (considering his eyes are still coming together)

 

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Treats for kids and birds

This week at Tessera we’ve been making bird feeders out of oranges.  The best part is that we get to juice the oranges first.  With a few holes in the rind, they are easy to hang with yarn.  Make sure to grab a bag of seed at pickup so your child’s feeder can attracting migrating birds.

Everything we need to make a natural bird feeder (as well as some yummy juice!)

Everything we need to make a natural bird feeder (as well as some yummy juice!)

Some kids come for the bird feeder. Some are in it for the juice.  It's a fun way to start the day however you do it.

Some kids come for the bird feeder. Some are in it for the juice. It’s a fun way to start the day however you do it.

Hollowing out oranges to make a seed cup is the most delicious (for humans) part of making this kind of bird feeder.

Hollowing out oranges to make a seed cup is the most delicious (for humans) part of making this kind of bird feeder.

 

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Winter Break Gift Making Workshop

Spaces are filling up fast in Tessera’s winter break workshop!

Reserve your spot by Thursday, 12/15 and your child can stay until 3:30 at no additional cost!

Guarantee a your child has the chance to make unique handmade gifts for this holiday season.
Sign up today!

Hand made gifts wrapped by the kids themsleves are the best kind of present anyone can ask for.

Hand made gifts wrapped by the kids themselves are the best kind of present anyone can ask for.

Winter Break- Gift Making
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday
December 21,22, 23
9:30am-2:30pm
Children will make and take two quality, wrapped gifts, as well as unique items of their own design!Bring a lunch and be ready to get messy!
Price(USD): $225.00
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Exploring Fall with Hawkeye

Hawkeye’s lesson this month focused on harvest time and the growth and kinds of pumpkins. We started off discussing the season. Fall.

 The kids has a lot of great answers to Hawkeye’s pumpkin questions, like:

“Where to pumpkins come from?”

“From the pumpkin patch!”

“how do they get there?”

“they grow from the vines!”

“and they put water on it!

we read several books to learn more about pumpkins including:

“pumpkin pumpkin” and ‘Too Many pumpkins”

which taught us that pumpkins and a winter squash and that squash is a type of fruit.

Studying the colors of fall.

Studying the colors of fall.

Stickers, stamps and markers bring the colors of the harvest to life!

Stickers, stamps and markers bring the colors of the harvest to life!

Hawkeye brought a wide variety of winter plants to create a multisensory experience

Hawkeye brought a wide variety of winter plants to create a multisensory experience

 


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