Today was the third session of a Year 2 (age 6 and 7) textile project that I have been working on.
The children have been looking at Africa, and are doing a production in school with input from professional musicians, dancers and me. I was asked to come in so that the children could experience some new textile techniques and then produce backdrops for the production. I have done silk-painting with them based on their drawings of African plants and today we have done fabric painting.
When I walked into the classroom this morning I was overwhelmed by the fantastic artwork the children had done to use as the basis for their fabric painted backdrops. The teacher had let the whole class do their designs at once and because they were so big the children had been doing them on the floor and in the corridor and they loved working on a large scale. Their designs were pegged up on washing lines all over the classroom and en masse they took my breath away.
The teacher had also displayed the paper that was underneath the silk-painting. It is a fantastic by-product because you get a beautiful print underneath where the paint seeps through the fabric.
The fabric painting is so simple. Here is my first tutorial for those wanting to have a go. Younger children love working on big pieces of fabric and it’s a great vehicle for mark-making – just watch them with the pens or you might end up with some permanent artwork where it’s not really wanted!