Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fabric Dyeing

We had the opportunity to work with my good friend Amy Mann (not the singer), whom I met at the wonderful Sangre de Cristo Youth Ranch summer camp in New Mexico. Amy graduated from Maryland Institute College of Art where she studied Experimental Fashion, Fiber, and Video. She taught the 9th Street students a cool fabric dyeing technique - actually a variation on a marbling method using shaving cream that Kami Wilt had introduced to us last year. It was really neat to see the kids try it again with a slightly different medium and build on the work they'd done in paper last time. Amy also helped the kids create a screen for printing our collaboratively designed schoolhouse logo. We'll be silkscreening on Friday at our End of the Year Celebration! (Don't look too closely parents, we want to surprise you!)

Also in the album below you'll see another dyeing technique Kami taught us using photosensitive dye. The kids created designs out of many different materials. They laid out their designs on a piece of plexiglass, then painted the fabric with the dye and quickly set the fabric outside with the plastic over it. The exposure to the sun revealed the color of the dye and voila, amazing tinted fabric!

Fabric Dyeing

Visit to Moni's Farm

We visited Moni's farm last week and had an amazing time!
Farmer Moni and Assistant Farmer Joe are two of my friends from Minor Mishap Marching Band. Moni and her family introduced us to the joys of animal husbandry. We learned so much about sustainably, ethically raised meat, eggs, and milk. We met horses, ducks, chickens, goats, geese, and babies too! It was inspiring to hear about all the ways they sustain themselves and their neighbors through producing their own food. Moni sent us home with milk and feta from the goats, which we enjoyed all week long. Thank you Moni, Noah, and David for inviting us to your place!

Visit to Moni's Farm

Mud Cliffs on Shoal Creek with Progress School

We had an awesome time exploring the Mud Cliffs on Shoal Creek.
Rio's grandpa David was such a great guide. We joined up with the good people of Progress School for a lively expedition. We spent time wading, squelching through mud, making plaster casts of tracks, catching tadpoles, working in our nature notebooks, hearing stories, and getting to know the other kids. It was SO rewarding. Enjoy the photos!

Mud Cliffs on Shoal Creek 2012-05-19

Ceramics Work

We have spent a lot of time working with clay during our Art classes with Kami. After our mosaic unit, the students were still really into ceramics, so we continued to make tiles with Armadillo clay. This work shifted to sculptural projects as well as creating vessels such as pots and pitchers. Below you will find photos the students took of their work, after choosing the pieces they were most proud of.
One of the artists we visited, Elena of Four Corners Tiles, has graciously rented us space in her kiln to fire our work. We will be glazing soon! 
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Monday, May 14, 2012

Austin Mini Maker Faire

On Saturday I had a great time representing the Austin Alt Ed Partnership at the Mini Maker Faire. The Alt Ed Partnership is a brand new collaboration of small funky schools in Austin, of which the 9th Street Schoolhouse is one! We are working to pool our resources, provide professional development for educators, as well as make educational options available to more Austin families. We are very lucky to have Teri Sperry working with us - her incredible website is a great resource to parents looking for a school situation that fits their child.

Deborah Hale (of the Inside Outside School) and I had the chance to meet lots of great folks interested in education alternatives. Plus we helped people of all sizes make really cool crafts from recycled bicycle inner tubes. We started with flowers and the imaginations went wild from there.

Congrats to all those who put such hard work into this successful event - there were tons of folks there having a great time meeting makers and getting inspired to make things themselves!

Sky Candy

We visited Andy and Celeste at Sky Candy last Tuesday.
We did warm ups and stretches to start out our class. Then we had lessons on two different silks, the ring, and the cloud swing. Celeste and Andy gave us a beautiful demonstration of aerial artistry. Then the kids got to experiment and play.
It was a lot of fun, but challenging too. Celeste and Andy made those tricks look so easy and graceful, but we discovered it takes a lot of muscle control!
Find our pictures by clicking on the photo below:

Sky Candy Trip 2012-05-08

Friday, May 4, 2012

OH NO OH DEAR I've become my own pet peeve: an inactive blogger!
Sorry for the info drought, y'all.

This Spring we've had some great classes going on.
In addition to our regular Tuesday field trips, we have:
Woodworking with Kami and Matt at the Austin Tinkering School
Film Class with Emily, Renee's 16 year old sister - on our second production
Art Class with Kami of the Austin Tinkering School
Writing Workshop on Friday mornings
and we just wrapped up Greek Myths class with an awesome Greek Feast

We've been engaged in a study of Water, focusing on Boggy Creek, right down the street from us.

...so we've been busy!

Keep scrollin' for photos from this week ... hope to have more soon.

Puppet Production Filming, Hoop Club with Laura, Quiet Time, Friday Swimming