Archive for the ‘The classroom’ Category

明けまして、おめでとう。。。

January 1, 2017

Akemashite, omedetou…in other words, Happy New Year.  I like the literal translation, though…”as it opens”…visualizing doors quietly sliding open to reveal the new.

It isn’t an original idea and I certainly have said it before. We never know what lies ahead, but we do anticipate, plan and look forward to, and I certainly do.

Today, though, in browsing through older photos, I found this memory from my days of collaborating with the art teacher at the high school where I was teaching Japanese.

engagement with the process, color and magic of the results

engagement with the process, color and magic of the results

The kids were completely immersed in all of it and later would wrap themselves in their pieces.  We had a grand time with this – all of us!

This past year, I kept a quote nearby where I could see it everyday:

It is so evident that when art is present, things are better—even in the toughest circumstances. — Theaster Gates

My responsibility (because there were no clotheslines at school) was to dry the pieces on my lines at home - delicious experience!

My responsibility (because there were no clotheslines at school) was to dry the pieces on my lines at home – delicious experience!

I will simply leave this with you and wish all of my readers the very best in this coming year.

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pampas grass, rabbit ears & indigo

October 2, 2014

Last weekend I spent a day with art students at Meredith College. They filled an old familiar dye studio and worked with various tools for shibori: needle & thread, string, small clamps and boards and plastic pipes. Then they dipped their pieces in the indigo vats and strung them on a line. It was a most refreshing and satisfying day – had a grand time.

at the vats

flying

flying

It’s also the season of viewing that certain nighttime orb – Clouds have obscured its view lately, but it was a golden-orange last night. It didn’t need to be full to make a statement.

10-1

tsuki

Tsuki mi udon

Tsuki mi udon

Some of the symbols of the season are pampas grass, rabbits, the moon and other things autumnal. Gourds, dragonflies and autumn leaves…whatever makes the statement.

Pampass grasses

Pampas grasses at Meredith

This imagery is one thing being considered in my upcoming class at Pullen Arts Center. Describing this kind of imagery through nui shibori (stitched shibori) is the focus. Details are on my “Workshops” page. There are still a few openings…

月と

月と

In the meantime, I am breathing deep and contemplating the moon glow.

** a little “vocab”:

月・つき・tsuki = moon, tsuki mi = moon viewing, tsuki mi udon – moon viewing noodles (note the egg).

week ending

August 16, 2013

Freeform-1To put a positive spin on this last week, I can at least say that the kids I worked with were ultimately an inspiration. That was the serendipity that happened on the last day. That’s the great thing about teaching – the things learned from them.

I was also impressed with some of their industry and consistency throughout. So, if one reads between the lines here, the reader can surmise that the week had its challenges. I don’t know if that was due me, the weather or was it really as different as I was feeling it was? I think it was a mix of many things.

However all of that was, the results in the end were good and I felt like the appropriate goals were met. I look for engagement, enjoyment and hope the students will be pleased with their pieces. All of that happened. If there’s more, even better.

Another added element to this success story (and it wouldn’t be if not for…) is the assistant who worked very actively with the students. I am sure that things would not have gone nearly as well without her tireless energy and efforts. I am very appreciative of all of her hard work.

Family Picks

June 28, 2013

1fiMD7.AuSt.156

Great to see this article in the N&O first thing this morning.  A wee note:  it should be pointed out that the correct spelling for one of the future Saturday classes is Japanese “dyeing” as opposed to “dying.” Although I suppose we could be “dying to dye” which is how I feel about it.  It’s a common misspelling (unfortunately), but I often have fun with it.

Otherwise, I was very happy to see the post and look forward to the event.  At this point, with the current humidity and the anticipated August heat, I think of it as “cooling” with the blues. At any rate, it’s about indigo dyeing and shibori (pattern making through textile resist – some say “tie-dye” – it’s much more than that!).

出来る・できる・Dekiru

January 21, 2013

出来る・できる・Dekiru det. 3
l

Four years ago I was still in the classroom. I recall that on Jan. 20th it was cold and there was snow on the ground. I remember being at home and watching those auspicious events on the “telly,” not just in English but also in Japanese.

I managed to capture them on video and later show them in the classroom in ‘that appropriate’ language. I still have the disc!

My level 2s were considering two kanji: 出・で ・de (go out or move forward) and 来る・くる・kuru (to come, arrive, to become). Serendipitously, their combination 「出来る」dekiru (can do, to be able to do) coincided with the “We can do it” slogan of Obama’s first campaign. It seemed a sure way to re-enforce those words. It may have been a challenge up until that last test at the year’s end though.

Recollections… today the sun is out, much warmer and there are no lessons. I’m due to meet a friend for a cup of hot tea shortly though – need to move on!

Encountering Indigo

October 22, 2012

I contacted Artspace today and there’s still plenty of room…this is a hands-on experience and has so many implications in the classroom.  It’s unique and a great way to engage students with a memorable experience.

For Educators:

ENCOUNTERING INDIGO

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2012

4-6pm

Artspace – 201 E. Davie St., Raleigh

educators must show ID upon registering

Through the experience of one dye, Indigo, students can connect their everyday lives with the history, geography and culture of the rest of the planet. Teachers will be introduced to approaches and resources in bringing this experience to their classroom as well as a hands-on activity.
Instructor: Susan Fennell
Tuition & Materials: $30

Upcoming: Indigo for Educators

September 11, 2012

Artspace just posted this and thought I should do the same.  I’ve also added it to my “Workshops” page.  I’m looking forward to this one – putting indigo into another context – as a product or topic for education.

ENCOUNTERING INDIGO

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2012

4-6pm

Artspace – 201 E. Davie St., Raleigh

educators must show ID upon registering

Through the experience of one dye, Indigo, students can connect their everyday lives with the history, geography and culture of the rest of the planet.  Teachers will be introduced to approaches and resources in bringing this experience to their classroom as well as a hands-on activity.
Instructor: Susan Fennell
Tuition & Materials: $30

藍染T-シャツ 子供クラス – Indigo Dyeing for Children

August 31, 2012

A recent post from the NC Japan Center and  thought I’d translate (with a little help) & pass it along (I also need the language practice).  It’s true though, I’m teaching a very short “intro to indigo” class to the younger generation in roughly a week.

藍染T-シャツ 子供クラス

Aizome T-Shatsu      Kodomo kurasu

Indigo Dyed T-shirt Children’s Class

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自分だけの藍染のTシャツを作ってみませんか?
Jibun dake no aizome no T shatsu o tsukutte mimsen ka?

Would you like to make you’re own indigo dyed T-shirt?

Susan O.Fennell 先生が丁寧におしえてくださります。
Susan Fennell sensei ga teinei ni oshiete kudasarimasu.

Susan O. Fennell sensei is teaching the class.

日時:9月8日 (土曜日)

Jikan: Kugatsu Youka (Doyoubi)

Date: Sept. 8 (Saturday)

2時30分~4時30分
2:30 – 4:30 p.m.

材料費:10ドル
Zairyohi:  Jyuu doru

Materials fee:  $10.00

*T-シャツは材料費に含まれませんので、当日お持ちください。
T-shatsu wa zairyohi ni fukumaremasen no de, toujitsu omochikudasai.

T-shirt is not included in the materials fee, so please bring your own.

場所:NCジャパンセンター
705 Barbour Dr. Raleigh, NC 27603
ご希望の方は長曾我部まで連絡下さい。
E-mail: reiko.chosokabe@ncsu.edu
Phone(919) 515-3450
定員(10名)になり次第締め切りますので、ご了承ください。

rocks…pebbles…

July 15, 2012

rocks
Originally uploaded by SOFennell

OK, in this case, the small rocks or pebbles is just a means to an end. I suppose. I’ve been trying to bring to a conclusion my plans for tomorrow’s first lesson at Artspace – rising 3rd – 5th grade.

I have a strategy in mind, apart from my students’ activities. It’s the first day on the heels of having arrived home (today) from teaching a workshop in the mountains. I’m trying to keep things simple and the rocks will help.

They will have everything to do with tomorrow’s lesson involving that “blue magic.” Having just collected and rinsed the rocks, it’s now time to re-pack a few things, only for the day.

That workshop in the mountains? More about that later…things to think about, pictures to peruse and words to gather.

for the classroom

March 28, 2012

itajime

Originally uploaded by SOFennell

As I hung these small pieces on the line this morning, I was thinking about the many ways indigo can be used in the elementary classroom. It must appear daunting sometimes, especially when working with the younger set.

I’ve been thinking about this as I pull my list together for Artspace. It’s due soon and, of course, don’t want to submit it last minute. I feel like I need to work through the activities and possibilities, though, and I’m finding that my list is shrinking.

I’m realizing that the main “ingredient” to my week’s activities is indigo.   It’s almost all I need.  Basically, it will come down to using it in different contexts on paper and cloth, and there are so many.  Indigo has also become much more approachable as a medium.

An earlier concern was also filling the time – 5 days and a little less than 3 hours everyday. It’s a lot of time. I think, though, it will easily be filled and my young charges will have a lot to show for their efforts. It will be fun filled week. In the meantime, “sensei” will keep practicing and exploring.


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