How We Express Ourselves
A group of Kindergarten students came to me and asked if they could create buildings. Felix had been talking to many of the children about Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest building in the world. He made a clay tile piece from clay representing the Burj Khalifa and this sparked interest in his peer, quickly. (Felix’s Tile Below)
You might ask, “How exactly is the building connected to being ‘inspired by nature?” Glad you asked. According to Wikipedia the Burj Khalifa was inspired by a …
“Regional desert flower, the Hymenocallis, whose harmonious structure is one of the organizing principles of the tower’s design. In addition to its aesthetic and functional advantages, the spiraling “Y” shaped plan was utilized to shape the structural core of Burj Khalifa.
How fascinating that a desert flower could create such inspiration. We took that inspiration and decided to go to the library to see what kind of books we could find about buildings and their designs. When we got back from the library the children sat with a partner and looked through the books. After looking through many books, the children decided to base their ideas on the book below, ‘Dream Something Big’.To read more about the Watts Towers copy and paste this web address: https://theculturetrip.com/north-america/usa/california/articles/why-the-los-angeles-watts-towers-are-so-important/
The Watt Towers are made of natural materials and the tools used to make these structures were non electric tools. Remember, metal and concrete are natural resources as well.
In this book we have metal sculptured towers and mosaic tiled buildings. These images gave the children ideas which divided them into groups according to the type of building project they wanted to create. Some children wanted to begin by working on a group project while others wanted a project of their own.
With all these ideas in mind, children began drawing what they wanted to design and create.
Being inspired by nature does not always mean that you need ‘natural materials’ to create with. It also means that something ‘natural’ inspired us to create.
While one group began to work on a flat architectural design project others decided they wanted to create a wire sculpted building, and some participated in both projects.
“I want to create a city with lots of buildings.” -Yanni “Yeah, and some towers. We could put them altogether when we finish.”-Emma McK.
The children listed all the ‘kinds’ of buildings that were possible and among these buildings were: bakeries, restaurants, homes, hotel, clock tower (“Like the Big Ben” -Sasha), pet store and the list goes on.
The creative process is messy and often times it takes lots of problem solving and perseverance to finish a project.
Below are photos of the children working on their wire sculptures. Materials were laid out and children decided what and how they were going to use them.
“The wire sculpture, there were wooden and we made it out of wire. I did loopy loops and wires are bendable and it’s hard wire.” -Emma
MOSAIC BUILDING DESIGN
In the meantime, a small group of children began working on a flat mosaic artwork of buildings lined up together side by side. The children brainstormed what these buildings could be.
From one of the drafts pictured at the beginning of this blog, the drawing was recreated onto a cork surface. Below children are helping to create part one of the buildings out of clay.
Once the clay was ‘bisque fired’ (put into a kiln and ‘cooked’) the children placed the homemade building tile onto the cork to have a ‘think’ about what colors to glazed the building.
“Let’s paint the building yellow. That would be a good color with the others tiles we will use.” -Emma F.
“Yes, good idea and I will glaze the flowers and people in the window. I think red flowers with a yellow middle is good. Also, the ‘things next to the windows’ (shutters) I will glaze them green like in Greece.” -Yanni
In the photos below you can see that chimneys are being glazed at well.
Now the process of mosaicing begins. One tile at a time.
After the children decided what colors to use on each building, tiles were glued down. A lot of problem solving and perseverance took place as the tiles needed to be rearranged when we found out we didn’t have enough of a certain color or we didn’t like the ‘look’ of it.
In the picture above, children were deciding how to tile the windows. One student joins the group adding her own ideas.
“I liked putting on the clay tiles because it was like a puzzle and I liked it.” -Yanni
“This is the president’s house. On HER house she has a flag. This is her flag! You like it? Her house it SO FANCY!”
Next, the balconies were tiled and wire handrails were made.
Once the all the tiles were glued the mosaic piece was grouted and a sky was painted.
Next, doors were painted and final details were added.
“OH, this looks so good my mom won’t believe I made this!” -Felix
“I liked putting on the clay tiles because it was like a puzzle and I liked it.” -Emma F.
This project inspired our even younger artists to think about building design.
WOODEN STRUCTURE SCULPTURES
At the same time as the mosaic project was going on children worked on or took turns constructing wooden structure sculptures.
A basic structure was created using various sized craft sticks.
Once the foundations of the building was added then colored shapes, sticks, and other wooden elements were added to complete the sculptures.
“I made a clock tower. Do you see the clock?” -Claire
“We made hotels! One is the Jaden Hotel and one is the Sergii Hotel. They are both tall so we named the hotels for them. We made the hotels. You have to jump on the trampoline and jump to your bedroom at the Jaden Hotel. At the Sergii Hotel you have to climb to your bedroom. They have a little playground around here (at the base) and they can jump in the swimming pools.” -Yanni & Felix
“I liked using the hot glue gun to make decorations.” -Zofia
Wooden Sculpture Gallery:
All Open Inquiry Projects and Structures will be on display May 20th during our Kindergarten Expo from 10:00am -11:00am.