Thursday, January 5, 2012

CREATIVITY and WIRE SCULPTURES

Improvisation, Critical Thinking and Creativity
Sculpture with Wire
(all of the following wire sculptures were
 created by preschool children)

In my first post I mentioned "Engaging, Helping, Guiding, Recognizing, and Empowering" as ways to take adult learners to a higher level of connecting with children.  It goes without saying that we all strive to use all those words as we interact with children directly.  In our society there is a lot of linear thinking.  We need more abstract thinking to balance our approach to problem solving and living in a world which is full of exciting and often unplanned situations.  As we know, children love to play and playing with wire and creating sculptures with wire is one fantastic way of building many skills with our future leaders... our children.  The following images are from the preschool classroom of Natalia Canales, a gifted teacher who has found some wonderful ways to empower children.  In this case, children are representing their ideas and knowledge through the use of materials, specifically wire.  


One approach involving Fathers, Wire and their children

Natalia has over an extended period of time been intentional in her introduction of wire to children and over time has acted as a guide as the children in her classroom have built the skills necessary to lead to the following sculptures.  Bravo Nataila!!!



A "Snow Angel" and "Keys" are two examples of children using their knowledge of things they have seen or have become.  Creating these images with wire allows for more learning to take place "in depth."  The idea of building on prior knowledge is critical to fostering life long learners.

Below is a superb example of allowing and encouraging abstract thought to take place.  So many of amazing inventions come have started with abstract thought.


The next example is "A Ghost" and while simple, demonstrates basic body parts and shapes.  Perhaps most important is how their classroom teacher took the time to document the sculpture with care and in doing so, honoring both the Art work and the Artist.



The following wire sculpture "A Snake" shows an amazing amount of detail including the different thickness of the end of the tail as compared to the main body of the snake.  Living in Arizona, this work of Art was probably inspired by an encounter with a real version of the animal.

Below enjoy "A Rocket" and "A Mouse".  A critical aspect to guiding children is introducing the idea of creativity from the perspective that there are many answer, not just one.  The idea of creating young children who are inventive in their approach to living and learning is one to remember.



One powerful aspect of wire sculptures is how we allow children to create their own images.  When we think of history's greatest leaders they certainly learned the rules of their craft, but once they did, they abandoned those rules.  In doing so they gave themselves permission to create new perspectives (Einstein, Galileo, Michelangelo, Beethoven, Picasso, da Vinci, Mahler, etc.).  We must give our children the same opportunity to discover their passion and to play in creative and organic ways.  The research my F.A.M.E. Foundation has engaged in shows that this approach has the result of improved learning in multiple academic domains. This doesn't mean that all wire sculptures need to be abstract.  Take a good look at the next three wire sculptures by preschool children.  You will see each has a different balance of abstract versus linear.  With so many wire sculptures being made in this particular Head Start, children learn from each other as well as from their teachers. 

 Abstract and Linear


Some Linear with more Abstract


Mostly Abstract

The kind of learning involved with this type of on-going project relates to fine motor skills and problem solving, but it also relates to other key areas of learning including:

  • Visualization
  • Improvisation (which is a gateway to creativity)
  • Shape Recognition
  • Acquisition of Vocabulary
  • Improved Comprehension

This type of project can address any academic domain.  The most powerful kind of learning for children and adults is the kind that happens in context.  Wire sculptures allow children to create that which they are learning.  Enjoy this lovely wire sculpture of a balloon!




In my Redleaf Press book, Living Like a Child, I refer to many techniques, but one of the most important things I refer to is for adults to re-connect with what it means to live like a child.  This can mean many things, but for me it certainly includes:

  • Following your passion
  • Living with a sense of daily wonder
  • An attitude of "What can I discover today?"

Ask yourself, "Do I live like a child?"  "Could I live more like a child?"  Below are two precious examples of preschool children discovering a "Happy Heart" and a "Baby Swing".  The titles all come from the question posed to children, "What are you making?"






If you enjoy this idea as much as I do, dive in and offer your children the opportunity to create with wire.  I'm not going to give you "one way" of playing this game, because that would be misleading.  There are a plethora of ways to use this idea.  Here are some things to consider:

  1. Ask children what they want to make.
  2. Some children will want to just dive in.... let them.
  3. Show children things in nature  they could make.
  4. Show children things in the classroom they could make.
  5. Talk about emotions they could represent with wire.

Another critical aspect of this or any game, project or technique is allowing for reflective dialogue to take place at the end and throughout the process.  Once the wire sculptures are done, allow time for children to share what they made with each other in a group setting.  

Recognize the Artist within them and celebrate!  Wire sculptures can be linked to anything the children are learning. Below is a wire sculpture of a "Crown", which could easily be used as a moment to expand a child's vocabulary.




Claiming our daily learning environment is something else I refer to in my book Living Like a Child.  Recognizing beauty in all areas of our life is an important concept related to understanding what peace is and that it begins with inner peace.  Below is a truly beautiful wire sculpture of a broom.  What would be interesting is to ask the young artist:

  • "Why did you make a broom?"
  • "Have you used a broom?"
  • "How do you use a broom?"
  • "Does this broom make you think of someone?"

Asking these kinds of questions leads to critical thinking and is an example of teaching "in depth."  Going beyond the surface information and digging for more meaning.






ENDEAVOR... ENRICH... EVOLVE...

25 comments:

  1. I love this idea. Where would I find wire?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can get wire through this company:http://twisteezwire.com
      Click on Distributors for places you can order from!

      Delete
    2. Hello there! Sorry I didn't respond sooner... I had hit the wrong button! You can purchase wire anywhere... the key is guiding children through how to be safe using it. For a lot more info from the teacher who started all of this, check out my next blog on Feb. 5....there are interviews on video and images which will give a lot more info.
      Thanks!
      Enrique

      Delete
  2. Hi,
    I've awarded your blog the Versatile Blogger Award!
    Stop by my blog to receive it!

    http://la-lashomedaycare.blogspot.com/2012/01/versatile-blogger-award.html

    Lori

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lori,
      Sorry I haven't responded to your award. I've been traveling and presenting a lot. I'll be looking at it soon. Meanwhile, for a lot more info on the magic behind HOW this PROCESS works, check out my video interviews of the teacher who started all of this on my Feb. 5 blog.
      Cheers!
      Enrique

      Delete
  3. Hi Lori and Klamb! Thanks for your lovely comments! Different kinds of wire can be found at some Arts and Crafts store. You have to look around to find the kind that is smooth and non-abrasive.

    Lori... I'll stop by your blog today....
    Happy New Year!
    Enrique

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have a list of projects and creating with wire is one of them! What great kid examples you have.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For a lot more info from the teacher who started all of this, check out my next blog on Feb. 5....there are interviews on video and images which will give a lot more info.
      Thanks!
      Enrique

      Delete
  5. Not only are the creations a wonderful example of the capabilities of all children, but I love how you demonstrated your appreciation of their efforts by displaying them so respectfully.

    Well done Enrique,
    Greg :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Greg....really enjoying your insights on your blog...cheers!
      Enrique

      Delete
  6. I love these creations and how the children are able to interpret them in so many ways...

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love this. It's amazing what bright little minds can create! Follow you now :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks!!! Sorry for the late reply... I've been traveling...woohoo! Anyway, for more info on how the wire creations came to be, check out the video interviews of the teacher who started it all, along with new creations with cork and wire on my Feb. 5 blog...cheers!
      Enrique

      Delete
  8. *following. Sorry, typing on my phone!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Love all the comments, especially the insight you all bring regarding how much we can learn by observing what children create and how they bring so much to the table for us as adult learners. Cheers!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love the wire sculpture examples and the way they're displayed, Enrique! Your suggestions are great, too! I pinned your post to my Kids' Art Projects Pinterest board at http://pinterest.com/debchitwood/kids-art-projects/

    ReplyDelete
  11. That's an amazing material to manipulate. This is so clever. I love it and now I have to drive to Home Depot to buy some wires! ;)

    http://de-tout-et-de-rien-caroline.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks!!! Sorry for the late reply... I've been going a mile a minute! Anyway, for more info on how the wire creations came to be, check out the video interviews of the teacher who started it all, along with new creations with cork and wire on my Feb. 5 blog...cheers!
      Enrique

      Delete
  12. Thanks Deb and Caroline! This particular center is so creative. I'll be sharing a lot from this particular site in the near future. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow! What a wonderful post! Glad to have discovered you here! Pinning and posting on Fb!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Melissa! I'll visit your blog soon...cheers!
      Enrique

      Delete
  14. i love the examples you show, but even more than that I love the way you write - this is a wonderful happy inspiring post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks!! Stay in touch....more to come!
      Enrique

      Delete
    2. Thanks!! Stay in touch....more to come!
      Enrique

      Delete
  15. Hey Jen and Julian.... thanks for the lovely thoughts....check out my book "Living Like a Child" on Redleaf Press.
    Cheers!
    Enrique

    ReplyDelete

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