January 30, 2010
Communicating through Craft
This week we had two new friends come visit the school from Japan: Sakie-san and Hine-san, two artists from the city of Osaka. They brought all the supplies needed for three days of craft workshops that started on Tuesday and ended on Thursday. On the first day, we made pens from paper mache. Sakie and Hine brought a special material called "kaminendo," which we formed around the core of a pen. We also tried making our own pulp and molding this too. On the second day, we took special plastic sheets and drew designs on them with oil-based markers. These were put in the oven and the children yelled out, "magic" as they watched the sheets melt down to form hard, glass-like lockets that they promptly put strings on to wear around their necks. On the last day, which felt quite magical in its own way now that we had all become such good friends, we made small wind chimes out of recycled bottles. The children were asked to bring in their own bottles and almost everyone remembered to bring one in as they were eager to find out what Sakie and Hine were going to demonstrate next.
I put on some music and at one point, when I looked up from helping a student, I suddenly felt a deep sense of happiness – watching each and every person in the room helping each other or concentrating on their work, trying to speak a bit of Japanese, or smiling and laughing along with a friend. It sure is fun to have friends from other parts of the world!
I would like to extend a big thanks to Sakie and Hine for so carefully organizing these three days of craft and creativity! ARIGATOU GOZAIMASHITA!