Thursday, May 15, 2014

Japanese Inspired Crafts

Many of our lessons on Japan came in the form of crafts. The Japanese have so many wonderful creative outlets & I wanted the kids to try as many of them as we could.

:: Origami ::
The kids had been wanting to try origami. This was the perfect opportunity to do it. I bought origami paper & rented books from the library.

Capt. N & I even attempted the good luck crane. I'm not gonna lie. It was difficult, but we did it.

We made one. I can't imagine making 1000. I see why that's so special.

:: "Woodblock Printing" ::
Woodblock printing is a beautiful method of Japanese art.

My original plan was to have the kids create a traditional looking woodcut using the speedball carving block as opposed to wood. Instead, I let them carve whatever they wanted & we are using the stamps for our letterboxing adventures.
To read more about our carving technique click here.

I carved three Japanese symbols: fire, mountain & tree.
I chose the fire & mountain symbols thinking we were going to learn about volcanoes while studying Japan. We never made it to volcanoes, but the kids still used the stamps.

:: Cherry Blossom Paintings ::
I saw these beautiful paintings at A Faithful Attempt & recreated them with my kids.
The kids began by mixing blue & white tempera paint with a little water. Then they painted the background on watercolor paper.

 I mixed black & purple tempera paint together, then watered it down with black calligraphy ink. The kids used the blowing-through-a-straw technique to form their tree branch.

We mixed red & white tempera paint to get our pink color. Then, the kids used a flower stamp we have for the cherry blossoms.

Two of the kids opted to use the stamps I made on their paintings.

:: Paper Kimonos ::
Also at A Faithful Attempt, they had these cute women in kimonos. We made those, too.

:: Koinobori & Gyotaku :: 
There were 2 projects we didn't get to that I had hoped to make. One was the flying carp windsock, or koinobori, at That Artist Woman. The other was fish printing, or gyotaku, from For the Love of Art. Hopefully over the summer we can still get to these projects - especially the fish printing.
We saw examples of koinobori at the Portland Japanese Garden.

:: Manga ::
Manga is a style of Japanese cartooning, particularly in comics. My kids aren't that into those kinds of cartoons or characters, but they had a blast learning about it. And, had even more fun drawing their own. I got how to draw books from the library for the kids to refer to.

1 comment:

  1. What wonderful projects. I especially love the Cherry Blossoms pictures. My Katie made 1000 paper cranes!


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