I was very happy to be asked by Somerset Art Works to start off the delivery of Art Projects to Primary Schools as part of the wonderful Great Crane Project, and to facilitate further workshops for Great Crane Project volunteers to carry out. After completing all the preparations for the Primary School Workshops - gathering materials, resources and imagery, including making various templates for students to use, I did have a few concerns about the timescale of 2 hours being adequate for the fairly ambitious wirework project I was planning to deliver!
The first Workshop was held in a wonderful spacious village hall for a group of 30 year 5 & 6 pupils from Stoke St. Gregory and Burrowbridge Schools. Setting up went smoothly and the Great Crane Project volunteers and students duly arrived after lunch, the morning had been spent learning about the project with the volunteers. Following a brief introduction with some examples of crane art and wire work, students were asked to create a decorative line drawing, based on various imagery supplied. This included cranes (standing, flying, dancing, calling...), their food, (spiders, dragonflies, craneflies, wheat...) and habitat (bulrushes, grasses...) It was great to have such an enthusiastic, responsive group! Within the limited time constraints, each child managed to select and complete a decorative design of their own, keeping to instructions on scale and style. Here are some examples of the lovely drawings they produced:
15 minutes later, the children were shown the next stage - how to create a 2-d wirework piece from their design. Techniques such as twisting, attaching, bending and creating different patterns were demonstrated. With health and safety issues covered, colourful wire and pliers were issued to each student, who then proceeded to trace around their individual drawings with twisted lengths of wire, to create their initial structure. Colours were then added to create more decorative effects, such as black, silver and red for cranes.
With plenty of encouragement and help from Beccy (SAW) and Great Crane volunteers (providing the intergenerational aspect in addition to gaining some wirework training), the children worked extremely hard to complete their pieces in time. New techniques were discovered and adapted by some children and we were all highly impressed by their results! Below is an array of their work.