Wednesday, 14 November 2012

paper-maché Globen

Globen - now called Ericsson Globe - the world's largest spherical building
The children in the group of 2-3 year olds have taken an interest in one of Stockholm's unique buildings - Globen, and I was lucky enough to have a morning session with them and try and make mini Globens with them. I opted for paper-maché not just to allow for creating a hard spherical shape but also for the sensory experience.
photographs of Globen from various angles
thick white paper
masking tape
cellulose paste ( I made this very thick and gloopy)
white crepe paper cut into strips of varying lengths

We started off by looking at photographs of Globen and its shape, size and whether or not they had been inside or driven past it.

screwing up the white paper into a ball
 Maybe my choice of THICK white paper was not the smartest as it was quite difficult for the small hands to screw up the paper into a ball - it was, though, great fun and all the children laughed with joy once they got over the fact they were ALLOWED to to just screw up the paper! Once we had made a ball shape masking tape was used to maintain the shape.

dipping the crepe paper into the cellulose paste
 At first the children were vary cautious about dipping in the gloopy paste and wrapping it around their ball, but after a while and with encouragement they got more adventurous. I ended up dipping my hands into the paste and lifting up a handful of gloop and just letting it slip back into the bowl. The children tested this too - even the child that had expressed a wish to wash her hands after a few seconds of her finger tips touching the paste - I saw this as a huge break-through, as she worked for 20 minutes on her Globe with messy hands without fretting! 
Some of the crepe paper strips were very long and we ended up talking about how it looked like putting on a bandage - in fact the dialogue never stopped - there were discussions about the shape of the balls, the feel of the paste, the length of the paper strips...

feeling the gloop!
Once they were used to feeling the paste it allowed the children to experiment with different techniques - dipping the crepe paper into the bowl of paste, dipping their hands in the bowl and smothering their ball with paste before attaching a new strip. It is important to give children time to explore a new material so that they then can discover its properties.

Since the balls had a paper frame it does not require many layers to create a hard outer-layer (if it was round a balloon it would require more layers and several sessions for the paper-maché to be thick enough to support the lack of a frame once the balloon popped).

This was my first time to use crepe paper for paper-maché and to be honest I chose it because, here in Sweden, the tissue paper is delivered in multi-packs - but not each pack being a separate colour but each pack being one sheet of each colour. I was simply too lazy to be bothered to open up 4-5 packets and remove the white sheet from each (or maybe my priorities were to be with the children rather than laboriously opening plastic packs of paper!?). On reflection I am VERY happy about this experiment - the crepe paper was a little more sturdy and does not dissolve quite as fast as tissue paper can when wet (which has its advantages when wanting to create paper-maché shapes) and its stretchy capacity was an added bonus for these young hands as they experimented wrapping the strips around their mini globes.

The mini-Globes are now drying nicely. When I got there this morning I turned them over so that they could dry underneath too. And when they are fully dry the children will take another look at the photographs of Globen (as well as using their memory of the visit to Globen they will make next week) to use a back pen to draw the window and other details. Its will be interesting to see what other details are important to them...

And this weekend my camera needs to go in for a service - it no longer wants to focus when it zooms. Poor thing, it does get used a lot!!

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