Lydgate J & I School

Project: 3D Textiles – A Sense of Place
Participants: 26 Year 3 and 4 children
Partnering with: Hyrstmount Junior School and Mill Lane Primary School
Artist: Fiona Goodwin

Linking to our current “Explorers” topic in school, we’ll be exploring personal and cultural changes and looking at pattern and language.  We will start by exploring our cultural diversity as individuals, developing a story collectively and planning our journey together.  We’ll be referencing pattern throughout – pattern is everywhere, in the way that we think, process, formulate ideas, in structure and in language.  Pattern makes us link things together, it makes us make connections.  We hope to develop our textile language and skills throughout the project as we explore a range of textile processes such as fusing, layering, punctuating, manipulating, creating and building structures from paper stitches.  We hope that the result will be an amazing, three-dimensional artwork or installation for the exhibition.

Our partner schools for the project are Hyrstmount Junior School and Mill Lane Primary School – have a look at their project pages here and here too.

Session 1: 6th February 2014

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We began our journey as explorers looking for information and detail within patterns, some familiar, some unfamiliar, later to be inspired by text and language.  We’re generating a range of surfaces that we can use later on as our background.  We’ve particularly enjoyed the experimentation and are proud of the amount of work we’ve created in just one morning!  Our ideas explore cultural diversity and we hope to tell a story about our journey together. We reflected a little at the end about the processes we used and how we might take them forward and explore them further.  It was fantastic to have parents working alongside, there was a wonderful atmosphere, it made it for a much more meaningful experience for all of us. Fiona (artist)

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Comments from parents:

“Had great time this morning, it brought the child out of me”

“An interesting morning and I now know what to do with all the bits of art stuff at home this half term. Noisy! But all the kids enjoyed it – looking forward to seeing the exhibition”

“Great art session, children loving their activities as much as I did. A warm welcome too. Thankyou.”

“Very interesting morning, learnt a lot of new things!”

“A fun arty morning. My daughter was in her element and fully participated in each activity. Fiona was really good with the children and encouraged them to try new techniques. Class teachers and TA’s excellent as usual!”

Session 2: 6th March 2014

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Our exploration of culture and diversity continues, it’s all getting very exciting!  We began by summarising the previous session and discussed the elements we’ve selected to move forward with, all previous work having been organised and grouped together so that we all had our personal palettes to work with.  We’re feeling much more familiar and confident now with the processes we’re using and quickly split into three main working groups to begin creating the individual components for the piece.  The embossing and punching group are responsible for creating the border of intricate letterforms which need to be carefully traced and laid onto the border; the laminating letters group are all tracing letters that will be arranged to form a kind of lace; and the pattern group are working on the central design that is to be layered and built.  There was a real buzz of activity, everyone on task, and a great team spirit emerging.  It was fun to overhear snippets of conversation along the way, and great to hear the children making links between the creative work we are doing and numeracy/literacy:  it’s a circular shape….it’s 2D at the moment…….it’s made up of geometric shapes…’s symmetrical…..we’ve hammered the word ‘change’ in lots of different languages…it makes you want to learn more.” We were very proud and pleased as we finished all the tasks we’d set ourselves within the session time and had time to reflect at the end. ”Do you do paper engineering?  I was asked.  What a fab session!  Fiona (artist)

“We’ve made a masterpiece out of laminates” 

“We’re thinking out of the box!”

“I want you to come back in 1 day not 21 days”

Session 3: 27th March 2014

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Our final session began with discussions about finishing, methods of presentation and finalising the layout so that we were all able to visualise the finished piece and see how it is going to look.  We were all really excited by the scale of the piece, at how lovely our individual units looked, and noticing and commenting on the change and dynamic that takes place when you see them collectively.  The problem areas and gaps we needed to work on were easily identified and we set to work quickly and confidently in our three groups – one team running like a well-oiled machine.  The atmosphere was fabulous, there was a busy buzz of concentrated noise and activity, and in what seemed like no time at all we completed our pieces together in the nick of time just as the lunch bell sounded.  It’s been a brilliant few weeks, we’re all quite sad I think that it’s had to end.  We were just starting to gather momentum and could have generated many more pieces I’m sure. Thank you, it’s been a wonderful journey! Fiona (artist)

A final word from staff…

The children were very enthusiastic throughout the project and many of their art skills developed well throughout the sessions. They were able to learn many new art techniques such as laminating, frottage and hammering through the investigation of different materials and were then able to apply this learning to their final piece. The children all worked well in teams and they worked cooperatively together. They were involved in making decisions about the way in which they would like their final piece to develop and throughout discussions their artistic vocabulary increased.

The project has benefitted both pupils and staff. The work that was carried out in the planned sessions with the artist has continued and expanded into other curriculum areas such as Literacy, R.E and Citizenship, as the children were able to write recounts, letters and discuss the use of pattern throughout different faiths. These lessons had not originally been planned but because of the children’s enthusiasm they became very motivated to link their artwork into different subject areas. It was very useful for the class teacher involved in the project as she is able to work across KS2 to implement many of the art skills that were explored. The skills that were introduced and throughout the project have already been introduced into some other classes.

Children and staff thoroughly enjoyed the project work and a great deal of pride and motivation was evident. It has been a pleasure to be involved and it is definitely something our school would like to be involved in in the future. Thanks go to Fiona for all of her hard work. The children are still talking about their art experiences now!!

Sarah Davis