I look forward to the weekends. After working all week, I enjoy every second of time with my family. One of our favorite things to do on the weekends is to go to the library. We have discovered some of our favorite books from trips to the library. One of our favorites was a children’s book about Wassily Kandinsky.
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The Noisy Paint Box is a beautiful book about the young Kandinsky and how he could hear the colors that inspired his art. It is also a great tale of how he overcame those that did not understand and support his abstract form of art.
I showed my daughter some of his artwork on the computer and we discussed what abstract art was. His noisy paint box may have inspired him, but he inspired us. We were going to make our own Kandinsky like project with clay and paint.
We started with a simple clay recipe.
1 cup of flour
1 cup of warm water
1/2 cup of salt
We mixed all the ingredients together, first with a spoon and then kneaded it with our hands until it was smooth and ready to mold. My daughter has become a pro at making clay and play dough.
We rolled it into a ball and then used a rolling pin to roll out our dough. I used a bowl to make a circle.
We used a variety of different sized circle cookie cutters and glasses, anything that we could press softly into our dough to make different sized circles. Do not press all the way through. Press just hard enough to make an indent. If your child does press all the way through, you can gently press around the sides of the shape to keep it embedded in your circle.
My daughter wanted to hang them with ribbon, so we poked a hole at the top with a straw.
We both prepared our clay and then baked them on a cookie sheet at 250, flipping them a few times to harden both sides. (Adults should operate the oven and handle the hot clay.) How long you bake them for will depend on the thickness. Mine baked in about an hour while my daughter’s took about 3 before hardening. We let them harden and cool overnight.
It took us a couple days to get back to them, but when we did it was wonderful. As we painted, we spoke more about the book. My daughter excitedly mixed different colors on her palette to form new colors. “Silly Wassily”, she quoted the book as she painted her circles in different colors. We had a lovely talk about art and colors. When she was done painting, she was so excited to hang her project up that she asked if we could dry it with a hair dryer. Luckily, the acrylic dried in just a few short minutes and we were able to string up our creations with the ribbon of her choosing.
She was so very proud of her finished project and could not wait to show it off to her daddy.
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