Welcome to Tessera!

Tessera Arts LLC

Our goal is to encourage a culture of collaboration, inclusiveness, and creative thinking through arts based early education.

Tessera leverages a curriculum of visual, musical, movement based and multi-sensory arts to incorporate a variety of educational subjects and environmental explorations. We are a secular community linking families from North Seattle, to Shoreline, Edmonds, and Bothell.

Now enrolling

Preschool Program & October Workshops

Sign up for our upcoming workshops while there’s still room, or see the menu above for more information on our selection of programs.

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.

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Autumn is Here!

The equinox arrived and a new season is born.  We’re welcome fall with autumn collages and walks through the nearby community garden to see all the plants ready for harvest.

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Tessera’s New Home

Our community’s new home in North Seattle at the United Methodist Church near Haller Lake, is just wonderful. We have plenty of space for indoor and outdoor play, with access to a huge hall and an adjoining fenced playground!

From the door to the classroom you can see how many wonderful options for engagement and enrichment the children have.

From the door to the classroom you can see how many wonderful options for engagement and enrichment the children have.

The community garden next door allows the children an opportunity to see plants grow and food being produced as the seasons pass and the plots are tended.

A small set of stairs leads right out a window and onto the playground!

A small set of stairs leads right out a window and onto the playground!

 

While insulated from the noise and danger of heavy traffic, our new space is easily accessible from I5 via 130th and 145th.

Our indoor play space is large enough for dance classes or to skate, scoot or play ball on rainy days

Our indoor play space is large enough for dance classes or to skate, scoot or play ball on rainy days

We are so grateful to the wonderful community that helped us weather the transitions brought on by the expansion of the Shoreline school district. This new space will be a great opportunity for our community to grow again.

Our very own swings!

Our very own swings!

Heights to climb, swift slides, and a teeter-totter

Heights to climb, swift slides, and a teeter-totter

With room yo make a six or seven person play family.

With room yo make a six or seven person play family.

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Paper Making Camp

We are making bad guy piñatas, starting with You Know Who! Voldemort won't stand a chance!

We are making bad guy piñatas, starting with You Know Who! Voldemort won’t stand a chance!

We've been adding lavender and dried flowers to our paper.

We’ve been adding lavender and dried flowers to our paper.

The pulp needs to be drained before the flowers are sprinkled on top.

The pulp needs to be drained before the flowers are sprinkled on top.

Every parchment has its own unique charm. The texture and color add such lovely highlights.

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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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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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