Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tie Dye Projects with Children ages 5-10

What a fun week we've had! This was tie Dye week at KAF. All ages participated, found success and had a great time!

The children in my classes are always so excited about their work that they want to take it home right away! As a result I researched using the Dylon dyes on line and found a reference that they can be heat set in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. Though the colors are not as intense as if they are left on overnight or simmered in a pot which would allow only one color way, the children were more happy to take their proud posessions home, than have to leave them until next week to get a brighter color.

I had spent some time as always doing prototypes before the class to better assess the need for any adjustments to the procedure to
accomodate the childrens ages and limitations if any. I want them to find success and it always surprises me to learn that something that I take for granted is difficult for them to accomplish.

With this project, the 7 yr olds went first. Some of them had difficulty figuring out how to twist the rubber bands to bind them to the cloth. Though they were successful with a little guidance, I immediately knew that the 5 yr olds would never be able to get through it without great frustration to them and chaos for me:-) As a result, I ammended their procedure and used the time tested Shibori binding method with thread which they simply had to wind around the fabric. I took that even further and prepared a BBQ skewer with a large bead attached which the students used to drape their 18" square of cotton over. I told them they were making an umbrella which they all understood. Once they had their umbrella, the stick gave the fabric some stability and something for the children to hold onto as they    wrapped the thread around. The only possible glitch I found with this method is that once they get half way down they sometimes get the thread caught on the end of the stick and tangle it up. To further address this issue, the children can work in teams; one holding the stick horizontally and turning while the other keeps tension on the thread. This made a quick job of it and was an easy task for them to accomplish.
The older children chose to mix it up. Some used rubber bands while others used the thread depending on how complicated they wanted to make their designs. The beauty of doing the same project with all ages is to allow the older children to take their projects further either with design concepts or simply because they have better motor skills and can be more creative especially with the binding of the cloth.

In the end, the 5 yr olds were the most impressed with themselves and the transformation on the fabric from bright white to multicolored dyed designs. Those boys were so proud of their bandanas it was a joy to see!
The 7 yr olds were proud as well and were glad to take home two projects this week since they were able to complete their paintings on silk as well as their tie dye projects.
The older class is all girls and I always like to push them further when I can. I decided that their tie dyed bandanas would be turned into fun summer halter tops that they will embelish with beads, some of which they are dyeing themselves! They completed their tie dyes, worked out their designs and began stitching the straps on during this class. Next week they will complete them so be sure to check next week's post for pictures of their wonderful creations!
Until next time........

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