Saturday, March 27, 2010

"Do You Want to Help Me Hammer?"

I spent most of today volunteering at the annual Youth Arts Festival. The festival is put together by the arts and community class every spring and different local artists and guilds come together and run arts activities for kids.

I was asked to volunteer kind of last minute, and had to come up with an idea for an activity on the fly, based on what materials I could get my hands on. Then there was some miscommunication between the metals grads and undergrads and some confusion on what activity we were actually going to do.

In the end though, we did bottle cap necklaces with the kids, using a huge donation of old bottle caps given to the studio a while back. We let the kids pick a bottle cap, choose if they wanted it flattened or domed, drilled a hole, put a jump ring on it and let them pick out their favorite color of string.

I don't know how many bottle caps I hammered or helped hammer today. Or how many times I heard "Don't hit her fingers." or, "You must be really brave!" The little kids were great, so excited to hammer. Some of the older kids were a little bit shy about it. It was great to see them get excited, and even better to see the parents get excited. And no one hit my fingers with the hammer. Only one came close.

The weather was beautiful, if a little cooler than we would have liked. There were all kinds of great activities: letter press and linocut printing, cyanotypes, marble dying on fabric, needle and wet felting, painting, a bouncy castle, live music, a giant parachute to play with and even a drum circle. The sculpture guild build a huge bamboo dinosaur with the kids and there was even a blacksmith there who dressed the kids up in safety gear and let them forge.

It was maybe a little hippy (there was a drum circle), but very wonderful. I got a beautiful henna tattoo and made a kick ass bird with a crown. Our bottle cap necklaces were a huge hit with the kids and even some of the adults. We hardly put a dent in our supply of caps, despite all the necklaces we made, so they'll probably be back again next year, but maybe I'll let the undergrads run that, and come up with my own cool metals activity.

Have a great weekend. Thanks for reading.

No comments: