21.06.17 Hiding behind colours

I haven’t seen P2 for quite a few weeks as I’ve been hiding behind flowers in hedgerows near Boyle!

Under a veil of Cow Parsley flowers things are obscure and unclear.

In the studio wearing a beekeepers veil, behind a sheet of coloured glass I peer through computer screen, the faces peering back at me are difficult to see clearly. They wonder and ask what do I see and what does it look like……

I have sent a packet of coloured cellophane to P2 and they open it to play with this idea further. Orange is like being inside the sun, someone can only see blue now and somebody else checks out the opacity of another type of paper. One of the students suggests we make view finders like we did before and place the cellophane inside the viewer.

Hiding behind veils of colour its hard to recognize everyone.

Transforming them into wearable veils they are attached to boxes and the children move around the classroom exploring their space in a range of new colours. Moving from the classroom and into the playground, P2 notice how things change colour, that “the orange flowers are all gone green”.

I am sad to say goodbye today, its been brilliant year with this P2………. thank you for all the fun you brought to my studio in Boyle!

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10.05.17 Constructing a place we will all fit inside

We’ve been hiding precious objects and fragile things inside different spaces. If we were building a space to hide ourselves inside how big should we make it.

We start with a page each, joining it to the next persons, then the next pair, and another groups, it grows and grows and grows…….

……..like a magic carpet, or a blanket for our school, I am invited to sit on the island with P2. And through another technology I fly into the classroom and I am suddenly part of the room again. I am carried through the classroom to see everyones work, and I really feel like I am flying for these few moments as I explore the work the class have assembled. Proud of the scale of the work they have constructed, the children lie back and test the space to ensure everyone fits (including Ms Cross.)

I can feel the excitement and pride from P2 today, the whole class organised how they would do this themselves brilliantly, without input from myself or the teachers and there was a real sense of achievement in the end.

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22.03.17 I wonder…?

I wonder…….. what’s inside??

Excitement, curiosity and wonder

Opening the classroom door to P2…….whats inside?? Absolute pure excitement!! It takes me a few minutes to gather myself after such a lovely warm welcome…….

We start with an examination of the little cube boxes made the previous week, and open them up to see what is inside. Today I’ve brought a collection of sealed boxes, with small hints written on the outside of what we might find inside them………something to hold fragile things, a home, something warm, something (or someone) who is alive, things to hold things together and more. We listen and shake, we think and wonder, we guess and draw. Today I didn’t bring lava or fire, and I left the lizards, slugs and spiders at home. I wish I had thought of arms or magnets as things to hold things together.

We move outside of the classroom, into the corridors and visit the places we are not allowed to enter. At the treshold of these spaces we stop and wonder, across the doors of forbidden rooms P2 imagine and draw what is hidden inside.

There is a lovely energy, it is this and the curiosity and wonder children bring to projects that excites me, this spreads through the coridors today and everyone is asking what are we up to. We finish our day leaving the drawings where they are “so we can all wonder a little bit longer”.

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08.03.17 hidden inside

Today I began my investigations into where precious things kept at school….. drawers, cupboards, stores and offices, places where things are hidden away, places we are not allowed to enter.

Using the template of a cube everyone placed a drawing of an object they wanted to hide inside the box. Quickly the boxes were sealed up and passed along the table, a clue or hint was shared each time and making drawings on the exterior, friends guessed what was inside.

Next week I am looking forward to finding out what is the red-y/ blue object, that sometimes is just one colour. Or the object with the diamond stick that has a diamond on the top. And the oval shaped object, that has stripes and circles.

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22.02.17 a rare rock

Reflecting on and sharing our work to date with a visitor in the classroom;

What did we do? “we put one drop of cereal in the stuff that we made!”

Why?? “to keep them safe”, “we had to hide them”, “some people ate them”……… “we were thinking about making a box”, “so nobody ate them”, “so they would not get squashed”

The cornflakes are ”easy to break, like hard but easy to break”, “like paper but still easy to break”, “flat”……” you can not put it back together again”.

Delicate means……” its easy to break”, “its crispy”, “its tasty”, “its yummy”!!!

We think about PRECIOUS objects we own, Ms Cross and Vanessa sharing objects they have brought in. Wrapped in tissue paper inside a box, to keep it clean and safe, its almost 49 years old, Ms Cross would give her precious object to someone else. Vanessa’s precious object didn’t cost a lot of money, its small but not shiney. If she lost it she would be upset, she waited a long time to get it.

Everyone thinks about the precious objects they own…….Eamons Daddy found found a rare rock under a pile of rocks, when he was building a house in Dublin, its a golden nugget and Eamon keeps it in his piggy bank. Rosas granny keeps a special book about her wedding. There is a medal for soccer, a robot that can jump up and down, two angels Daisys nanny gave her, a sticker book, a trophy, and a crystal ball wrapped in paper.

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31.01.17 a nest with a roof

Using our treasure maps to retrace our steps everyone set about locating the treasure they had hidden last week; under cupboards, in the playdough, down under there, in with the jigsaws, behind the books, in a drawer under all the other things…….

……..some were in bits and some had disappeared, where did they go??

Back in the cereal box, somebody just ate it, the remote control crushed it, Ms Cross might have cleaned it away, in Liams belly or under the ground???

We need places the keep these items safe, somewhere they won’t fly away, somewhere to stop it falling, somewhere it cannot get eaten, a place it won’t get snatched or squeezed. We set about designing and planning the ideal spaces, there are elaborate ideas to keep people out with an electric shock system, there are warm spaces, and ones like nests but with a roof on to stop the treasure getting blown away.

After break building began and the plans became structures for each little cornflake…..it was amazing to see so many solutions and ideas, each response individual and created independently.

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25.01.17 a golden, fragile and delicate treasure

In the studio, between layers of paper, card and wood, hundreds of fragile and delicate flowers are hidden and safe.

We think about other fragile, delicate and precious things: a leaf, diamonds and gold| purple glass, a fish tank and the cat| ice, paper, tvs and robot toys| a window, a car and trees| football cards, a picture Daisys Mum made her………and Darcys tooth……

Ms Cross hands each student a golden, fragile and delicate material to mind while on lunch break_ a cornflake in every hand goes outside for ten minutes. Only two return, one smaller than before and the other held very safe. The rest blew away, were snatched by an older sister, broke into tiny pieces, were eaten, got squeezed, squashed, and stepped upon.

We think about how we could have minded this tiny piece of treasure, safe places for delicate things……….in a box or a treasure chest, in a castle in a safe, in a pillow case, a t-shirt, bubble wrap or plastic, kitchen roll and cardboard, in a blanket, covered by a tissue, or cotton wool, in a drawer, a pocket, a bag, a basket, a tin box, a cup, a tin, a lid or a jar, buried under the soil, or inside a diary????

Everyone takes another cornflake and takes time to hide it in the classroom until we meet again, a map for every location is made just incase we have forgotten six days later. Like real treasure maps they are rolled up and Ms. Cross stores them away in another safe place. I try to find out where some are hidden, I ask Daisy and she tells me “its there beside side you” (on the tray under the whiteboard), how could I not have seen it……..one of my favourite moments we have had. Daisy doesn’t feel that I am in another place and neither do I today. I feel very connected with the energy in the classroom and excited by the conversations we have had. I leave the classroom and my studio thinking about carefulness and aware of the qualities of materials around me.

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30.11.16 look closely/ a full circle


This was our last meeting before the Christmas break……..

We planned a session of observation building on our previous meeting, I wake up to a crisp foggy morning and it could not be more appropriate to prepare for how we will work today.

Its hard to see, and I have to work hard to get a clear picture. The whiteboard in the P2 classroom is broken today and P2 huddle around the small computer screen to see what is going on. These aspects require us to look closely today, we are drawn closer to get a better picture.

I describe what I find outside my window, we follow the description down different paths, a few more questions clarify and Monica knows its a donkey!

We create devices to help us look closely and focus our vision through view finders. P2 move beyond the classroom windows into the school yard to find and record material outside. They record the objects with words and descriptions.

When P2 return they find me at a new location, finally we are virtually in my studio!! Spotted immediately this is an exciting moment.

The children take their time to describe their findings, we listen and draw, as we imagine…….

………a small, golden object, found high up, only the teachers can touch the string attached to it…………outside beside the garden there was a short line, with small, round, yellow and blue attachments…………a cylinder with 20 long, narrow, curved shapes coming out of it. The shapes are pointed at the top. Out of the cylinder another line emerges, its a skinny line, long and curved, at the end there are short, narrow curved shapes, pointed at the top.

each person draws a line differently and each person understands words differently”…….I am excited by every different mark made and the individual interpretation of each description.

A full circle.

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23.11.16 Observing space


We are still not in my studio, but I want to bring P2 back there again . I share this photo…..


recalling the objects I brought to St James to recreate my studio space we search the space until we find them. The class get busy with tracing, printing blocks, transferring images, rolling, inking and getting the books finished off. These are a busy bunch who immerse themselves happily in activity and process, again the whiteboard is the thing that keeps me connected. There we trace the details of the studio, friends following and watching to help find any important bits we missed.

The whiteboard is becoming really important now and changing my interactions with P2.

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16.11.16 a better connection


We spent lots of time together this week planning. We decided to revisit the book making and share the stories as they were unfolding. To complete the books we decided to try some printing processes and use some of the materials we were becoming familiar with; spots and dots, lines and stripes. Ms Cross really keen to utilize the interactive whiteboard more this year came up with a plan to extend the activity. The children delivered instructions for me to make a drawing. Using the materials in this image the children came to the board and created a new drawing of their own, bringing their own mark to it. The rest of the class busy building printing blocks with an array of spots and dots, lines and stripes, the session flowed along. The activity on the board made this space more interesting, (it wasn’t just my face up there) and I felt more connected with the activity within the room.

The room felt busy but calmer and everyone seemed more focused and interested. I forgot to mention another big tech issue we experienced today as my microphone decided not to work. This time our plans and preparations paid off as the session didn’t fall apart and we got back on track in no time.

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