The Design and Crafts Council Ireland’s pioneering CRAFTed Programme has been connecting primary teachers with professional crafts peoples for several years now. The programme gives schools the opportunity to teach many techniques that wouldn’t ordinarily find their way into the classroom. Earlier this year GSoI member Gerlinde Kugler undertook one such project
|Plastic and Wire Necklace|
To introduce the children to the tools, metal and wire we started by making some jewellery using silver plated wire and coloured plastic strips (cut from plastic folders) as they were coloured and transparent; a little bit like glass. Mother’s Day was around the corner so even the boys were motivated to design and make a necklace.
Next we did some wire birds. First the pupils did a line drawing and then bend fencing wire to the correct shape. They tied some pieces of coloured transparent plastic and some beads into the birds with tying wire and a button or jump ring as an eye.
For the next stage in the project I introduced them to glass and showed them some of my work. The teacher had already researched with the class how glass is made and which materials we would be using.
I demonstrated the Tiffany technique, smoothed the edges of a glass bird and explained and showed how the copper foil was wrapped around the edges.
Each pupil could now choose a pre-cut glass bird, the colour and shape they liked and a beak to go with it. As everything thing was pre-cut, and smoothed there were no dangerous sharp edges in the classroom.
We worked in groups and were fortunate to have some mums as helpers. The children also made a tail and/or a headpiece from wire for their bird. When it came to soldering, for safety I took just two pupils at a time in order to be able to supervise closely as they worked. While that process was happening, the other pupils could choose to do more jewellery or wirebirds.
I shaped the trunk of the tree from a wide timber board, 160 cm high, painted it and fixed sculpture rods (RPM Supplies) onto it which then were shaped to become the branches. As I could only use one half of the window for the display the branches of the tree had to be on one side only. I tied and soldered the birds onto the branches and fixed the tree into the window.
There was just one problem: All the pupils were in love with their bird and did not want to part with it. The solution: Everybody made a second bird to take home and all were happy and proud.
For more information you can contact me by email: firstname.lastname@example.org – And have a look at my website www.gerlinde.ie