Collaboration: Papermache pumpkin in progress.

Our October collaboration is coming along quite nicely!

The kids have been taking turns adding layers of newspaper and then orange stained crepe paper to create a truly gigantic Tessera style jack-o-lantern.  It’s hanging up to dry, and so we can reach the bottom, right now.  Make sure to have a look when you come by the classroom!  Next week we’ll be adding decorations.

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Collaborations

The heart of what Tessera is lies in our collaborative projects.  Each one is the sum of many children working together under adult supervision.  For the children to succeed in making one of these wonders they must learn to communicate their needs and ideas with their cohort in order to complete the work. Some collaborations are more chaotic and complex as varied visions swirl against each other producing dynamic, exciting works.  Others, more typically the clay sculptures, have a singular vision led by our educators in which the children bring their voices in the form of the individual parts and pieces or stages in the process.

Each child’s art is, in these works, the metaphorical tiles from which Tessera takes its name. The whole of each mosaic of visions and talents being far more than the sum of its parts.  The practical and social skills that children learn in these processes is at the heart of what Tessera aims to teach.

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The perfect dresser for the ultimate junk drawer

Our collaborative ‘junk drawer’ project keeps growing, with a sculptural component taking shape in the drawer itself, while the color pallets of the dresser keeps evolving as the week goes on.

Before the kids got their hands on it, this old dresser was definitely in need of some sprucing up!

Before the kids got their hands on it, this old dresser was definitely in need of some sprucing up!

The kids worked hard to lay down a base coat of color.

The kids worked hard to lay down a base coat of color.

With the dresser fully covered the real work is about to begin...

With the dresser fully covered the real work is about to begin…

More details begin to emerge as the second coat of paint goes down.

More details begin to emerge as the second coat of paint goes down.

The longer the kids work the more incredible their collaborations become!

The longer the kids work the more incredible their collaborations become!

A lot of little hands have been working on this project and though the crowd gets thick l, they've been working together beautifully.

A lot of little hands have been working on this project and though the crowd gets thick l, they’ve been working together beautifully.

 

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Hawkeye’s final visit of the year

Our last wilderness lesson from Hawkeye this year let us explore all the growth and creatures of spring.  Fresh growth leaves, stories of returning plants and animals and samples of animal pelts allowed the children to have safe wilderness experiences and learn about the many living things that reemerge as spring blooms into the world.

 

 

 

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Monday’s Workshop

Our last workshop was a lot of fun, with some really interesting shapes coming into both our landscape and creatures. The clay was the star today and every child created something unique using a variety of techniques to create different textures and shapes for our landscape collaboration.

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Leprechaun Trap Surprise!

For our spring themed collaboration we built a huge trap for any leprechauns that might be out and about this St. Patrick’s Day.  Much of the structural work was done during our ‘Things Green’ workshop back on March 7th, but all the kids have worked to make this year’s trap the most alluring, leprechaun baiting ever.

 

We started with a great variety of parts.

Some of the kids made miniature traps, and leprechaun houses.

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Everyone worked together to build an elaborate base for our trap, with a tunnel to draw in smaller leprechauns, multiple trap chambers inside, and eventually a whole extra larger side trap!

The end result was fantastic, both in its elaborate intricacy, the variety of the trap styles and the number of kids that had a chance to work together on this wonderful leprechaun trap.

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Monkey Sculpture Collaboration

We have been working for the last few weeks to create a collaborative sculpture in our Clay Date classes and Monday sculpting time.  The kids had a wonderful time helping to construct the basic form of our collaboration, and assisting or directing adults to create the fine details.  Check it out in our art room soon, before it heads off to the kiln!

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We started with a brick of clay and an armature of cardboard and newspaper.

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It takes a lot of layers of clay to build up the basic form! This step was easy for even the littlest hands to help with.

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Each layer had to be smoothed into the last

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Eventually it started to resemble a monkey!

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The clay had to be kept moist to that it would shape well.

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The soon to be hidden heart of the work. You can see the reference in the background.

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At last our sweet sculpture is finished and ready to fire.

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The original love monkies were cute, but they’ve got nothing on what the kids made!

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Paper Making Workshop Arts & Fun

Our mid-winter break paper making workshop was a heck of a good time! It was great to have current and former students together, making all kinds of amazing paper and Minecraft themed art.

We used our handmade paper to make maps, books, and even blocks and letters.

We used our handmade paper to make maps, books, and even blocks and letters.

From Minecraft themed books and maps, to handmade cards and art the kids gave the paper making their all!
Making paper is all about creating the right pulp and proper drainage. Both steps are a whole lot of fun
image One of our older students took the Minecraft theme to the max, creating a whole array of paper craft Minecraft blocks.
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Hawkeye and Sign Language

The first thursday of the month is always a treat, with both our Wilderness Lore class with Hawkeye in the morning and our American Sign Language class with Nikki in the afternoon.

Hawkeye’s lesson for February was about the tracks animals leave. We talked about racoon, coyote, car, black bear, deer, elk and grizzly tracks. We also discussed how to make a plaster cast like the examples Hawkeye brought.
image We studied colors and shapes in sign language. It was a great opportunity for the older children to take the lead in naming the shapes for the littlest ones.
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Hawkeye taught us about Animals in Winter

Animals in Winter Our first lesson in wilderness lore of the year dealt with what creatures do when it gets cold without clothes to put on, or heat to turn on. Hawkeye taught us about animals that hibernate, some that migrate and others that store food, grow fat, or hunt through the lean months.
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