In In the Studio

It’s Fall!  My absolute favorite time of year!  Even though its still hovering in the high 70’s, in the studio as I write this, we’re enjoying the lingering scent of mulled hot apple cider left over from our Fall Open House this past Saturday, and dreaming of turtlenecks and boots, and the cool, crisp weather and good hair days that we know are right around the corner!

We feel extremely fortunate to have so many imaginative children in our classes, all of whom have such supportive and encouraging parents who are striving to nurture their child’s creative, emotional and physical development.  As we look forward we can’t help but reflect on the valuable lessons these children have taught us thus far:

1. If a little glitter is good, a lot of glitter must be better.  After giving a child a jar of glitter and asking them to repeat after us five times “a little glitter goes a long way,” they give it a little shake and then instinct kicks in and they unscrew the cap.

2.  Children have little use for reference materials. We feel a little silly that in preparation for our Fall Open House Pumpkin Painting Extravaganza, we posted several examples of painted pumpkins on the wall for reference. Sometimes I regress and momentarily forget we’re not giving a Powerpoint presentation to the Risk Committee.  We are reminded daily that every child is born with a colorful little pumpkin patch in their imagination, and our job is simply to squirt more paint onto their tray and periodically refresh their dirty water.  Check out our photo gallery to feast your eyes on the dazzling jack-o-lanterns they created!

3.  More is more. Not to be confused with #1, this applies specifically to glue and other sticky stuff, sparkly gems, feathers, soap from the touch-free dispenser, and (grrrr) paper towels.

4.  Kids love buttons.  We love it when they walk in and gleefully exclaim, “Look!  But-tons!”  They love to line them up by color, shape and size; string them, stack them, glue them.   Who needs googly eyes when we have buttons?!

Some of my most prized possessions are several huge glass jars of buttons that belonged to my great grandmother, Gram.  Having admired them from outside of the jar all these years, I only recently learned of the treasures within; like an archeological dig, the deeper we go, the older the buttons.  Kids often fish out a string of slightly discolored buttons and ask “oooh, what’s that?!”  I explain that they are from a time when people were less fortunate and after a shirt wore out, they would cut off all the buttons and string them together so they could re-use them for something else.   They quietly reply, “oh, okay” and, perhaps subconsciously sensing it is their job to fulfill the mission of the person who so diligently preserved them, they proceed to squeeze out a little more glue so they can stick the entire glob of buttons, still strung together, onto their work of art.

As I watch them, sometimes I catch a glimpse of a button that reminds me of one of Gram’s dresses, and I think how amused she would be to see them being put to such good use.

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Showing 3 comments
  • Shelly

    Sounds like you are in your element, Jen… love your posts; you never cease to amuse me. When are you going to write a book?!?

  • Barbara

    Your post today touched my heart. How lucky these children are to be able to participate in your classes. Besides your creative side you obviously have many talents, writing and educating being just two of them. How special you are to be able to share these.

  • Jane M. Bell

    I loved the observations about the glue & glitter. Plus your Gram would no doubt be pleased that her collection of buttons is being used so well & will travel many miles.

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