Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Still don't get it - Hallowe'en

Regular readers (or ones with long memories at least) will know that I don't do Hallowe'en, trick or treating, or pumpkins (but I do make a good pumpkin curry...) I do enjoy the pagan aspects that became All Hallow's Eve; I went to Pendle College and know a bit about witches (due to the hill it was named after, not the students!) and this video will give you some more information + a cure for flu. There's a bit more considered history here, with a good dollop of religious, political & familial background for you (aromatherapy if you like as well!). What irks me, is the Americanisation of the night (Hallowe'en); could say exactly the same thing about Christmas, and the way Japan has managed to mess up Valentine's... Alright! A chance for the kids to make masks, dress up and bully older people for sweets!

And as a teacher, sure, it is a great excuse to do something arts & crafts based. We have a spare room full of boxes (and I read a blog about a month ago reminding me that an old cardboard box is going to be a rocket, a tunnel, a doll's house etc - totally right!) which needed using up (we recently received a load of exam promo material from ESOL). We have two arty classes on Thursdays who love making things...

Papier machee. Secrets to success: Google the best recipe, but start saving newspapers early! Use aprons if you can, & make sure you cover up furniture etc. Making stuff on a table makes sense - BUT if you are making masks you want them curved, don't you! I taped ours to the legs of upturned stools AND stupidly laid them flat to dry. Durr! They dried nicely. Flat!

Younger papier machuers will put the paper on in dollops not layers - brilliant for texture & relief - but will dry brittle & be hard to paint! Will also take an age to dry. Think oven or hairdryer.

Painting - aprons again and experiment with consistency first - how quickly do you want the paint to go on - and how thick/thin do you need it to be? Again, drying might be an issue, but if too thin you'll need to apply a second coat (and any second colour will 'run' more easily too).

 Word from the wise - finish A WEEK EARLY! You want to display the students' work before it goes home! Finished, in bag and gone = dreadful missed chance. Unless, of course, you hold an event and photograph the thing to death (like your Christmas party etc).

Pet hate? Hallowe'en Parties with expensive 'bought' junk, begging for sweets (as a parent I object a lot), mums aiming cameras at kids without getting into costume themselves. Whinge over - Happy Hallowe'en!