Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Origami Koi Lanterns

We close the school year out with a lantern launch in Washington DC. Our school is located in a suburb of the Capital and the location chosen sets the stage for to mark the end of the year. We begin our school story with hearth and home and radiate outwardly into the community, first our neighborhood, then our town for a Winter lantern parade, and finally, to our city, Washington, D.C.

Each year, a parent committee of three works together to build 46 lantern bases for the floating lanterns. They also build 46 lantern bases for the Winter lanterns. That is a lot of lanterns! It definitely helps to have access to a table saw.

The floating lanterns consist of a square wooden base and 4 chopsticks or skewers (it always depends on what we have on hand). We use a countersink system with a skewer point to hold the candle (glue will not hold the candle upright). We don't use votives because they are not very bright.

A small length of string is tied to the lantern to prevent it from floating away!
The Leaves class (the 3- and 4-year olds) used rice paper for the lantern screens. This year, the rice paper seemed even more fragile than usual. We went through a lot of paper! Once the tempera was dry, the paper was able to better withstand the glue wash. The children then applied strips of tissue paper and origami fish. Once this layer dried, the screens are simply wrapped around the lantern bases and glued along the seam and the glue instantly sets! Instant happiness.

Tempera layer.
Glue wash and tissue paper pond ripples. 
Origami koi fish.
Adding an extra pond ripple to repair a lantern tear!
Ready to launch!

1 comment:

  1. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! I love these,thanks so much for sharing with us all. :)