This week’s “Collaborations” pieces: Family Clay Sculptures

During the early winter months, our family joined several other neighborhood families on Saturday mornings for clay workshops at our local community center.   My daughter chose an ocean theme for our family.  We used our imaginations and looked through a book on sea life, sculpted various creations and then glazed them.  A local clay studio fired the pieces and returned them to the community center each week.  

We gave away most of our clay works as holiday gifts to relatives, but these sea horses (photographed by my daughter on my iPhone using Instagram) and a few others—like “Alien on a Surf Board,” “Erupting Volcano” and “Seal Balancing a Ball” (sadly, with a broken tail)—are proudly on display in our home. 

This week’s "Collaborations" pieces: Mix-ups by Tom, Louis & Jack Shannon

Mix-ups: Parent-child Art Collaboration
Mix-ups by Tom, Louis & Jack Shannon
When his sons Louis and Jack were young, renowned artist Tom Shannon used to draw “mix-ups” with them, the game where participants fold a sheet of paper in thirds, take turns drawing and concealing the head, body or feet of a person (or creature) and passing it on to the next person.  The Surrealists called this art form “Exquisite Corpse.”  

One year, the Shannons bound all of their creations into a book and gave it to the boys’ mother.  These are two of my favorite drawings from the book.  Mix-ups are a fun way to enjoy art with kids.  And you never know what you’ll create. 

This week’s “Collaborations” piece: The Fishman Ultimatum iMovie

After watching my friend’s hilarious parents-children-babysitter-and-dog iMovie collaboration (which pays homage to The Bourne Ultimatum and with which she surprised her husband with last Father’s Day and after further reading about iMovies on The Mac Switch, I am considering switching to a Mac laptop.  I could take our home videos to a whole new level.  Watch, and you may be inspired, too.

Girl Scouts of Japan Relief Efforts

There are many charitable organizations providing relief aid to Japan.  I am pleased to learn Girl Scouts USA is now among them.  The policy that prohibits Girl Scouts from raising money for other organizations has been temporarily suspended, and Girl Scouts USA is raising relief funds for its sister troops in Japan.  To contribute to earthquake and tsunami relief efforts, you can make an online donation to the newly established Girl Scouts of Japan Relief Efforts.

According to Girl Scouts USA, girls are also encouraged to send expressions of friendship to their sister Girl Scouts in Japan by making origami cranes (Sadako). For instructions, see YouTube videos. The Girl Scouts of Japan made and mailed thousands of these cranes to the United States as an expression of peace and friendship after the September 11th tragedy.

For more details, see the following announcement from the Girl Scouts of the USA issued on March 16, 2011 by Kathy Cloninger, National CEO, Girl Scouts of the USA:

We are devastated by the catastrophe in Japan and, on a personal level, are deeply concerned about our sisters there, the Girl Scouts of Japan. USA Girl Scouts Overseas has served American military and civilian families in Japan for many years, and has extremely close ties with Girl Scouts of Japan. In fact, many of our overseas troops and Girl Scouts of Japan are sister troops. We have received many calls from Girl Scouts around the country asking how to help and are happy to report that the policy that prohibits Girl Scouts from raising money for other organizations has been temporarily suspended. To contribute to earthquake and tsunami relief efforts, you can make an online donation to the newly established Girl Scouts of Japan Relief Efforts. At times like these, Girl Scouts throughout the world come together in sisterhood to help those in need. We have seen our Movement rally in support of the victims of Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters over the years, and will continue to do everything we can to help our sister Girls Scouts of Japan in the weeks and months ahead.

Make checks payable to Girl Scouts of the USA:
Girl Scouts of the USA-Fund Development
P.O. Box 5046
New York, NY 10087-5046
Memo: Girl Scouts of Japan relief efforts

Girls are also encouraged to send expressions of friendship to their sister Girl Scouts in Japan by making origami cranes (Sadako). For instructions, see YouTube videos. The Girl Scouts of Japan made and mailed thousands of these cranes to the United States as an expression of peace and friendship after the September 11th tragedy.

Mail cranes to:
USAGSO – West Pacific
HQ USARJ/9th TSC
Unit 45005
APO, AP 96343-5005

This week’s “Collaborations” piece is by Chris Brogan

 

I learned that Chris Brogan, social marketing expert and co-author of the bookTrust Agents, also writes a parenting blog called Dad-O-Matic.  This blog shares parenting news, views, experiences and advice from the dad’s perspective.  Given his background, he also writes a lot about media literacy.

While in this Family Media Projects YouTube piece, Chris offers collaborative ideas for commemorating the holidays, these are great ideas to document any family celebration.

Chris suggests bringing a camcorder or digital recorder to family gatherings and interviewing older family members about things they remember from their childhoods and things they remember their parents telling them about their parents’ childhoods.  It’s great to capture these memories on film to show the grandchildren and future generations.

He also suggests passing the video camera around the room having each person say what they are going to remember most about the past year and to store their responses in a video file.  He brings up a good point: “You never know what’s going to happen in the next year, and it would be great to have video of the people that you love and care for talking about the things that matter to them.”

Have fun documenting your own family memories.

This week’s "Collaborations" pieces were created by Mark Cole and his sons

CultureChild: Parent-child Art Collaborations

In these collaborations, each of Mark’s sons painted a picture then he worked on top of their paintings with ink.

Here is what he said about his process: 
“When I work on collaborative drawings with the children, I first let them make a watercolor painting on paper and I later react to it by drawing on top of it with ink. Sometimes this means finding a way to enhance their part of the work and sometimes it just means staying out of the way of the wonderful thing they have already created.  It always means doing something that fits with the spirit of what they have started with.  It is very tempting to tell them what I want when they are working but it is always better to let them do whatever they feel like which in turn opens new doors for the finished drawing by making it fresh and unexpected. ”

This week’s "Collaborations" piece was created by Armand Rusillon and his daughter

CultureChild: Parent-child art collaboration entitled, “Kitchen Door.”

Passing time on a white, wintry morning.