Everybody knows how to draw.
What is art education? Well, it’s not something that’s offered in the small country schools around Costa Rica (and maybe not so much in the school in your hometown). But I think it’s something that’s important to growth as a human being.
Today, Gecko Glass hosted 6 primary students from Escuela Santo Domingo, just 4 kilometers up the road in the hills overlooking Playa Samara. We made “light catchers” that I’ll fire in the kiln tonight. A little discussion about what is glass fusion interested the teacher but went over most of the kids’ heads.
We started by drawing some ideas on typing paper with colored pencils. The maestra was amazed at how calm and focused the students immediately became.
“Huh? Give them a colored pencil and paper and they quiet right down. Who knew?” She was as excited as they were to be here. She says these kids, who live in the hills, never get to go anywhere or do anything interesting. She thinks it’s so important for them to explore and express themselves.
I didn’t give the kids much instruction about drawing. I think everyone knows how to draw if given a chance, especially children. They may not see exactly what you see but they can express an idea. I like to see what they’ll come up without rules.
They seemed content to just work the paper but, eventually, I got out the bowls of pre-fired glass chips. They loved the colors and shapes.
They moved them around trying to match their drawings which were of course too big and impossible to reproduce. Quick adjustments were made without complaints.
The glass pieces were fixed to the clear base sheets with white glue. Who doesn’t love glue?
It took a little prodding to encourage them to explore more ideas. Dayron was “FINISHED” several times. But Sunlly kept adding to her perfect puppy until the composition was richer and more complex but still perfect.
The maestra was thrilled about how the activity touched on so many topics and she was already working the different topics into future lesson plans. Science – melting glass. Geometry – shapes. Mathematics – celcius versus farenheit. Sociology – comportment in someone’s home and studio. English – goes without saying. Even Geography – we have a compass on the bottom of our pool which fascinated them.
I think she and the parents thought I was going to teach the kids how to draw. But, of course, they already know that. I don’t think I taught them a thing but they learned a great deal.