Saturday, January 17, 2015

African Pattern Squares for 1st Graders' "Adopted" Baby Elephants

1st grade has completed their elephant sculptures based on real orphaned animals taken in at The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust! The baby elephants wear blankets in the orphanage as you can see in this video clip. This video will make your day! My 1st graders quickly fell in love with these adorable, big babies and I think you will as well.

We decided that we should make quilts in which each student makes one square based on traditional African textile patterns since they are African elephants. I started a new African Textiles pinboard to gather inspiration for these geometric, dense, vibrant patterns. Parent volunteers will soon be sewing these quilts together.

Much like the 2nd grade Insect on Leaves process, my 1st graders drew their designs on paper, transferred to Scratch-foam, and used block printing ink to print on cotton fabric squares.  I can't wait to see our baby elephant sculptures wearing handmade quilts!

Have you ever printed on fabric? What materials did you use? I love to hear from you so leave a Google+ comment below or send me a message through the contact form on the right.

This student's work is always so impressive--truly, a gifted young artist!

Bold, symmetrical patterns

Printing on fabric requires a bit more ink on the printing plate than if you were to print on paper

Using extra ink to print on fabric, you can see the sticky texture of the ink on the final print

This is one of my favorites because it looks both geometric and like an animal print