Explore and make art at Hove Museum

Did you know that Hove Museum offers art classes for 8-12 year old kids? It’s a creative way to discover the Museum, getting closer to its works of art and get inspiration from them.

Every Saturday morning, from May to July (and more are coming up after the summer holidays), our arts and crafts workshop leader Nadya Derungs uses the Museum as an expanded classroom and takes inspiration from the objects exhibited in the gallery to construct, draw, paint, print and learn other art making methods.

Last week I popped in to follow the Arty Crafty Club classes because I was very curious to discover what Nadya and the children were making. Molly, Joseph, Amelie, Ollie, Ava-Elise and Joscelyn are regulars and don’t miss a day! They were in fact all already in the education room when I arrived the first time, in a circle around Nadya as she introduced the subject of the day: printing.

The children are in the best place for making art. Before starting with the workshop they took a look around the galleries to take inspiration from the artist’s works. The aim was to hunt the best pattern or design to then “use” it for the printing session.

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The children were really curious, all looking for the best subject to sketch on their sheet of paper, something creative and original. Like little explorers they looked around within the Contemporary Craft galleries (where they found an ample variety of works of art made in different materials) and the Wizard’s Attic (a treasure trove of toys through history that attracted and fascinated them).

Armed with inspiration from the wonderful pieces exhibited in the museum they were now ready to go back to the education room.

Printing

IMG_2034The group started to experiment with monoprinting using different materials. They made patterns using natural elements like leaves or wooden sticks, they used bubble wrap, or they engraved pieces of polystyrene to create the pattern they liked. They even just traced lines in ink spread earlier on a piece of PVC and then printed by pressing a sheet of paper to it.

There was also woodblock printing to play with and screenprinting to discover, following Nadya’s instructions.

The following week all that they had learned during this session was transferred to fabric when the group printed colourful images or lettering on t-shirts.

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There are no strict rules to respect. It is important just to be creative and to combine a bit of imagination with a pinch of practical skills, and kids are really good at that! They are curious by nature and like sponges they absorb what surrounds them. That’s why it is essential to stimulate their creativity providing fertile lands where to play and experiment. The best way to expand culture and knowledge is through practical experience of the world.

Papier mâché

Another great session I caught up with was dedicated to papier mâché, a really creative technique that can be used to make sculptures, bowls, puppets and much more. It is easy to do, just bind pieces of paper with wallpaper paste. It can be used to cover various surfaces and the resulting objects are easy to paint or can be left as they are.

What impressed the group most was the preparation of the paste. Nadya set up a big container of water and she sprinkled the paste in whilst they stirred. The paste got thicker and thicker.

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The group then got busy choosing the paper (newspaper, coloured tissue paper, any kind of paper) and tearing it into strips. They all were very focused.

The favourite idea was to make a bowl. After covering a bowl with cling film (so the paper was not going to stick directly on them) children started to stick the stripes in different directions and in many layers, using the paste just made with their hands. It was so amazing to see them involved in the process. The techhnique requires some drying time so the group will decorate them in next week’s session.

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Thank you to everyone who has taken part in the classes so far, we look forward to growing in number and giving everybody the opportunity to look at the museum with different eyes. Our museum is open to all so come along and join our activities that are the result of years of passion for our job. We aim to give children new, inspiring and creative instruments to experience this complex and beautiful world!

Arty Crafty Club classes are every Saturday morning (10:30 am – 12 pm) until 16 July. Restarting after summer holidays break, the first date will be 3 September 2016. For info or booking ring Hove Museum on 01273 290200, or just come along on the day.

Tickets are £ 6.00 per workshop (all material included).

Martina Bellotto, Hove Museum Assistant