Archive for April, 2009

drawing upon children’s drawings

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

We have a lot of theories about how folk art happens.  Working with children’s drawings is one way to investigate the actual way that human beings shape our vision with the work of our hands.  In the day that I spent with the girls at Sewing Camp (earlier post), I discovered that Josephine was already able to formulate stuffed animals that were simple, fat, and easy to make.  She already had a sense of stuffed-animal-ness and how to re-create it.

Holly is younger, and has not quite formulated the key features of a stuffed animal.  Her drawings included the dancing cow, which was quite challenging to transform into a 3D figure, and the charming bat pictured here.  The overlay is tracing paper that I used to flesh out the bat to a shape that was easier to sew.  I also had to recognize that all of the points of the feathers would be tricky to turn, so I chose to top-stitch the front to the back.  As the flannel unravels, it adds to the feathery appearance of the points.  

The key challenge is to keep the child’s vision by matching it to construction techniques that allow asymmetrical shapes, unexpected features, and the opportunity for the child to change or add elements as the project evolves. 

the overlay keeps the style of the drawing

the overlay keeps the style of the drawing

  Holly drew the features only after we had assembled the bat, adding elements that did not appear in the original drawing:

 Holly drew the features after we sewed the bat