Sunday, May 5, 2013

Wooden Blocks

Last year the children painted wooden blocks referencing Hundertwasser. Those blocks had windows and doors.

This year, they painted blocks inspired by Kokeshi dolls -- not in terms of shape, but in terms of message. This doll holds a message or a story. The main reason for this is because I only had rectangular blocks available and Kokeshi dolls are made on a wood lathe (all curves). So to get to the story part, we hid the doll layer beneath shadow lines of black tempera. Now you can only see hints of the story the blocks held. This may not make sense, in fact, I thought the children would lose the original thread of the discussion, "This is a..." but many of them didn't.

They wanted the blue painters' tape placed just so in order to either hide or reveal key pieces of their blocks, a face here, or color blending there. Each block holds a story. The stories are recorded and the blocks will stay at school for future building projects. The "Kokeshi" block stories will have new chapters written each year.


  1. The colours are delicious, are these some of your Community Playthings blocks? I think if I did this the children would insist on taking them home!

    1. I have a batch of blocks that I bought from the thrift shop and they were mixed bags. I was able to take the arches and columns, etc. and put them right on the shelves, but the rectangle blocks wouldn't fit. I replaced all the chipped ones with the good ones. There was a moment when some of the children questioned the staying at school thing, but they are good with it now.