Kite practice

Kite practice

Originally uploaded by SOFennell

I’m back to preparing for spring workshops, as I have several elementary schools I’ll be visiting. I find I must begin several months out – gathering the materials, finishing some edges (ie. hachi maki or wall hangings), or putting them in “kit” form. I also often need to make samples or just need to “play” and practice with some of the forms, as with kite making.

In the past, students have had several days to make them, so my approach has been slower and much more complicated. I’ve recently found that it really wasn’t necessary. In this upcoming series, in April, students will have roughly 45 minutes to put them together and perhaps add an image to the sail. So, the approach has changed and I like it so much more. I’m looking forward to further experimentation, working with other materials and I might even fly a few.

On the whole, this school year was an experiment to see how things would sort out in terms of numbers and what I could handle. It was my first year away from the classroom and really had no idea what it would feel like working as a teaching artist on a more “full time” or at least working with a full calendar – that is, responding to every school that called. In this case, on the average I had at least one/month and some were whole school (300-600 students).

I’m finding already, that I overbooked and that it’s physically challenging. If I was younger it would be a different story perhaps. However all of that is, I’m reassessing approaches to the activities I offer (including my current springtime workshops) and the number I take on (as well as the numbers of students involved) in the next school year. It’s a learning process for sure.

Another thing that I also think about is my personal studio time – prepping takes away from it and it affects my own work, my attitude and ability to approach it at all sometimes. When I’ve had the time for it, things flowed, I felt creative and it basically affirmed that’s where I really want to spend my time. This year though, things were a bit out of balance, so finding that is going to take some fine tuning.


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2 Responses to “Kite practice”

  1. neki rivera Says:

    balance. the golden ratio word!!

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