With winter session starting next week, I found myself looking for some images of our classes from previous years, and it got me thinking about how long we've been doing this and how things have changed over the years.
Some of you might know that I've been teaching art to kids since I was in my teens. I ran the arts and crafts cabin as a camp counsellor in Ontario, and sometimes I think that building the shop was just me trying to get back to that beloved little cabin. It was small and filled with bits and bobs, had a table with benches, and it was my domain. Sound familiar?
Classes here at the shop come from a spark born in that cabin. I got to connect with kids, especially the ones who weren't so sure about art. We got to work together, try out materials, and once in a while I was able to share a skill that they could grow into. It's still a tiny delight around here when we see a child understand the power in their mark-making, and see themselves as makers. Story time came from that - a moment to connect, draw focus and get inspired. Anyone remember that old rocking chair from the original shop?
My team of amazing artists and illustrators over the years have only enriched this process. Kids love to see that their teacher is ALSO a maker, and when they share their craft through their lesson plans it is MAGIC. One of my favorite collaborations was when we used Bruno Munari's paper mobiles as inspiration for the shop's 10th Anniversary, inviting EVERYONE to the craft table - where you there?
As we approach the first session of our 14th (!!!) Winter Session, I am deeply excited about the 2 small classes we have on offer. Erin G will be teaching another Sewing Class, where 9-12 year olds will learn how to hand sew and create projects like mini-stuffies, embroidery, and a few more surprises. She'll also be teaching a new round of Mixed Media for 5-8yr olds - our "little bit of everything" class. It's our longest running one, and I look forward to writing the lesson plans with EG. We often draw from our collection of books instore (did you see the mushroom houses we made last term?) and make paintings, collages, and assemblage sculptures.
Most of all, I love these classes as we get to activate the shop again with kid's creative energy. We get to put all our beautiful materials into action and hear what they think of them. If you've ever wanted to give us a try, and feel that your kid isn't getting enough creative time at school - this is the message! Let us let them spread out and make art here at the big table. We can't wait to host you.