The Days of family celebrations and gatherings are upon us. With all the lovely foods and goodies coming our way it is always nice to organize a table decorating party to feature your treats. Here is a most direct avenue to create a rustically festive looking placemats for your family table including only burlap, acrylic paint and sequins! Kids of all ages can all jump in, Have a wonderful time decorating your family table!
Dip a paper cup into two mixed colors of acrylic paint to create this ombre circle motif.
Commence printing all the way around.
Affix sequins to your placemat for added flair!
Halloween! The holiday that allows for super fun creativity to ensue! These days pumpkins come in all shapes, colors and sizes. We decided to do a modernist color shape collage using an off white pumpkin we found at a farmers market. This same technique will work on any pumpkin and you don’t have to contend with sharp tools to make a festive project. Please ENJOY HALLOWEEN! Read on…
Costume play is always a winning choice for the under five set. Dizzy has chosen to become Dizzy Dragon Rider with Dragon Friend (the boogie board). With a few simple ingredients easily gotten or found around the house you too can make a fantastic and artful paper and Tyvek costume in a short amount of time. Pick your materials and discuss a theme or a character you might want to create. Keep it wild and fun, pretty colors and festive ingredients will add pizazz even if the young hands are less steady with the crafting work. It always looks amazing.
Play is The Thing! Read on…
Keeping current with your consonants can lead to lots of fashion fun. This T shirt projects inspired by the Futurists, of the early 20th century and the punk rockers from the later part of the same century. The futurists were inspired by movement and technology which at that time meant machines like cars, trains and steam engines to name just a few. This thinking of newness led to a graphic design with letter forms from different font families arranged on pages in non linear layouts that followed their own sense of movement and energy. The punk rockers brought this same look back many years later with their own version of cut out of magazines and xeroxed stylings. While we are not always fans of everything the futurists stood for, we think they made a huge contribution to the universe of art and design.
Have fun and Make art! Read on…
The time for getting organized and putting a good work station together is upon us. School days and homework nights! Here is a project to make that dreaded desk a lively and fun work zone!
Whatever desk accessories you have, preferably made from wood, will look fantastic with a veneer of pattern work utilizing simple stencils and magic markers.
Geometric patterns are already quite regimented so if things get a little out of control you will still create a great look.
This technique looks really great on denim too!
Happy Stencil striping! Read on…
Its time to crack the books and start up the study habits again after summertime fun. Here is a great project to stylize anyone’s book look for fall. This is a traditional technique with some modern flair and all you will need to create it can be found around the house. Happy Wrapping !
Spice up your next flower arrangement with this project that adds your own unique style to a basic vase! Decoupage art is normally composed of ripped and jumbled pieces of paper, glued together to create an abstract image. Artists like Henri Matisse and Mary Delany have pushed the limits with decoupage through their art. For our piece, we use precisely cut strips of paper to design a more organized decoupage project. Give this modern take on decoupage a try!
With school starting this week, head back in style by transforming a plain t-shirt into a one-of-a-kind creation! From simple stripes to messy geometrics, any design can work on your shirt. Our project was inspired by Joan Jett and other punk rockers from the ’80′s. We used stickers, stencils, and tape to create our design, but you can also cut out any shape from a piece of paper to use as a stencil. Find some more ideas and inspirations for prints in the Kid Made Modern book ALL ABOUT FABRIC PRINTING! Read on…
Bring your art to your Style! Check out this project that transforms a simple drawing into an artfully embellished shirt. Take some of those awesome doodles on the front of your school note books or make something brand new. We were inspired by nature and abstract art. Embroidery stitches can range from the simple to fairly complex. We have used a simple chain stitch and some straight stitches to accomplish this design. These stitches can be found in the Kid Made Modern book ALL ABOUT EMBROIDERY.
Happy Stitching! Read on…
Joseph Albers is famous for his color explorations using simple geometric motifs to find important new color combinations. He is also known as a writer and teacher of a new color theory put forth in his book, Interaction of Color. Annie Albers is known for her fantastic textiles that are also connected in their use of abstract themes solid colors and metallic and unusual fibers.
We have created a painting concept that utilizes the idea of simple color investigation using unusual materials (colored sand and glitter) as well as an abstract composition. It was really satisfying to see this painting emerge from the process and it It made us wonder what a whole series might look like.
Enjoy your process! Read on…
Welcome to summer! We all want to be outside as much as possible but when it’s time to come in at the end of the day the fun can continue.
This craft requires only a few ingredients and the seashells can be substituted with other nature items as well.
These seashells came pre-drilled by seagulls , we think. If you can’t find them in the same condition ask a parent or adult to break out a power drill with a small bit and gently put some holes in your shells.
The opalescent and glittery nail polish adds a subtle and lovely luster to the already gorgeous seashells.
Have fun in the sun and keep making Art! Read on…
We have always been charmed and fascinated by miniature versions of things. Here is a diminutive driftwood bench made with small pieces of reclaimed and sea washed wood found on a local beach. You could also make similar small furniture or objects from twigs and branches. This is a good exercise in creating a useful structure even if it is only suitable for a paper person or a pet mouse. Please have fun making stuff from nature! Read on…
Spring has sprung and there are party’s to attend and festivities to prepare for. This project is both a fetching head piece and a fantastic art project at the same time. Miss M from Brooklyn is rocking these splendid pipe cleaner blooms and plans to wear them to her uncles’ forthcoming wedding where she is sure to sparkle. We were inspired by this super cool dress by Todd Oldham made entirely out of pipe cleaners. This material is very versatile and comes in an amazing variety of colors and textures . Please have fun making rad things with pipe cleaners.!
An awesome art day was had with some Brooklyn Triplets. Z, K and M. We all collaborated to make a cool assortment of drawing encased blocks. We had a great time making the drawings , then tracing out where to cut and glue them to each block. Everyone had their own individual style yet when the blocks were all arranged together there was a nice harmony to everyones work in the context of the shapes they were glued to. This project has an easy charm and is a fun thing to do with family and friends. Our two hour art session flew by and no one was ready to stop making things. Mom even joined into the round table art making and talking afternoon. A good time was had by all! Read on…
KID MADE MODERN hosted a craft-a-thon this weekend at the Wolfsonian Museum in Miami Beach Florida. To make the crafts we used the KMM art supplies along side a bunch of materials we got straight from the recycling bin like water bottles, boxes and paper towel tubes. The results were amazing and so varied, we saw the coolest jet pack made from 2 gatorade bottles complete with paper jet streams, a giraffe made from the top of a water bottle and lots of toilet and paper towel rolls and beautiful bouquets of modern flowers. Next time you make a new craft consider adding in some great left over materials that would otherwise end up in a dump! Read on…
Arts in Parts is a great organization that we got to work with in Rockaway Queens. Arts in Parts reaches out to kids in areas of New York City by bringing imaginative workshops directly into the community. After the effects of Hurricane Sandy, they saw a need in particular areas for children to be stimulated through a creative experience. Their mission,to assist families by offering volunteer based art programming led by different artists, educators, and creatives who are passionate about involving children in diverse forms of art making. Artist and KMM collaborator Hillary Moore led this workshop on handmade Tyvek based costumes. This was a great project because Tyvek is both a clean slate for drawing and affecting with art materials as well as being almost like fabric in that it has drape and doesn’t tear like paper. Blanks were cut out for each kid after they presented their design than they were able to connect the pieces with tape and glue and decorate the surface to fit their theme. Tyvek can be found for free in post offices in the form of mailing envelopes or purchased for crafting purposes or construction as well. Before starting to make the costumes we all did research in costume and paper craft books to find inspiration. Then we all did drawings based on the theme,” if Carnivale came to this neighborhood what character costume would you choose to be?” We also tried to keep original themes in mind or do combination characters with awesome results. Please consider the great work of grass roots community organizers who make art for kids a priority in your neck of the woods. Also if you find yourself in Brooklyn this weekend try and come to the Arts n Parts fundraiser.
In the spirit of modernist Venetian glass design ,we bring you a vase project to bring in the Spring. This delightful collage project uses only a few supplies and containers.
The use of translucent colored tissue paper gives the effect of beautiful art glass.
We love those little glass bottles that fruit juices sometimes come in and rather than sending them to the recycle bin we decided to turn them into festive flower containers.
This is one of those projects that can be expanded into a major party decorating idea.
Have a cool collage day! Read on…
Painting with fabric has never been easier! How great is it to now know what to do with all those colorful swatches and remnants you have been saving for so long. This project is an effortless way to affect clothes or anything made out of fabric. You can add a whole new life cycle to an old garment or add flair to a brand new one! The iron on patches will survive a gentle wash cycle, a cool dryer and you can also machine zig zag stitch around the shapes to create indelible art if you wanted to go to the next level.
Happy Patching! Read on…
water color painting on wood - Hillary Moore
water color painting on wood – Hillary Moore
water color paintings on wood – Hillary Moore
marker on wood – KMM Studio
marker on wood – KMM Studio
dye on wet wood project – KMM studio
Wood is an amazing and versatile material with it’s own natural beauty. While often used as a building material It also has a certain knack for taking color on in surprising and gorgeous ways. there are many materials besides paints and stains that can be applied to raw wood. Markers are great for drawing on wood as are watercolor paints, which is the medium used by Hillary Moore to create her charming horse paintings.When the color is translucent or transparent one is able to see the natural woodgrain through the artwork which adds dimension and movement to the experience. Dye, while usually used for coloring fabrics also works terrific on wood and can create a surface almost like tie-dye. Wood scraps are often found for free from hardware stores or from construction sites and can be permanently sealed with a spray varnish. Read on…
All the world is aflutter with expressions of sweetness and friendship on Valentines Day. With this simple project you can deliver your sentiments with a gorgeous one of a kind water color and ink blot painting. No two are alike yet we have kept the theme of hearts and butterfly’s for our set. This Rorshack test was developed as a vintage personality quiz in the early years of psychotherapy and analysis, the subject would guess what folded inkblot looked like and they would try and work out their personality based on the answers. We think they produce beautiful prints and make us think of spring which is coming right around the corner! Happy Valentines Day!
How great would it be to deliver a nature craft for a Valentines gift? Maya has joined us again to make some super cool valentines gifts from sea shells found on her local beach in Rockaway NY. This project is really intuitive and fun and appeals to many skill levels. If you don’t live near a seashell beach you can substitute other other materials like rocks or bits of fallen wood. Many thanks to Maya and UMA’s amazing restaurant in Rockaway Queens for helping us celebrate Valentines Day with Art!
Story Number 2 involves the shenanigans of Papa playfully skewing the reality of ordinary things while his little girl, Josette contemplates what is real in a delightful way.
This book celebrates the truth of childhood in a non cloying way allowing us as young or a bit older people permission to enter a deeply imagined world tilting toward the surreal and absurd. The finely wrought drawings by mr. Delessert. are all the more encouraging with their range of psychedelic rainbows and excellent renditions of everyday objects from that time.
McSweeney’s has reissued a compilation of all 4 of the stories so it is all wonderfully back in print.
Please enjoy and consider adding to your collection.
We found a truly beautiful vintage book from 1904 for inspiration. Back then beading was taught in a very methodical way to give the children a mathematical sense of pattern and rhythm. By the end of their lessons they were creating these striking designs on their own. If you want to give this a try any wooden or simple beads will do along with beading string or twine.
A special welcome to our guest crafter Maya! She is a young artist and surfer from Rockaway Queens , an area severely impacted by Super Storm Sandy. We sat down for a crafting session at her families amazing new restaurant , UMA’S to make some Valentine art projects. Collage has been a staple of the modern art vocabulary for well over a century and it never gets old. This simple equation of materials combined with creativity always produces interesting results. Colors that overlap create new and unexpected shapes and energy inspiring representational, painterly and abstract directions.
Have fun making art!
You will need: colored tissue paper, blank canvases, scissors, matte medium, Mod Podge, or white glue will due in a pinch, a large and medium pint brush and some thing to cover your workspace with.
Start by painting the area of the canvas you wish to activate first with the glue.
Begin applying the shapes you have cut out or torn from the tissue paper.
Keep adding pieces of tissue paper and don’t be afraid to overlap as it creates new colors, you will be happily surprised!
Some compositions may want to be more centered while others may take on a life of their own.
Maya liked using the torn edge look on her piece that became a kind of abstract landscape.
Don’t be afraid to experiment.
And even get a little wild.
No two will be the same and it will look great on any wall.
Enjoy the process!
Flowers symbolize friendship and as we near Valentines Day here is an unusual and creative approach to celebrate your loved ones.
The world is full of things we throw away , what if we took a minute and made something beautiful out of ” the trash”.
Here is a simple project that requires minimal supplies most of which you have around your house.
New Years Eve is a great kids holiday at KMM ! This modern sculptural disco ball can be accomplished with minimal and improvised materials. We love it when you only need three simple ingredients and a few steps to make an awesome special effects object that will spin you into the New Year with creative energy for the future !
Holidays give us all a reason to make our surroundings festive and fun.
This project is simple and satisfying and can be done with any kind of paper from recycled cereal box’s a la Andy Warhol to pretty photo paper or prints of your favorite people or animals .
Itis also a great way to create three dimensional forms and there are may patterns available in books and on line to try. Read on…
One of the best aspects of the holidays is the joy of entertaining and eating with our loved ones. We were inspired by our friends at the CRAFTING COMMUNITY and came up with a fast and fun project to help you dress up the holiday spread using supplies that are probably have around the house. As this project calls for permanent markers be careful to not get them on anything you don’t want as they will not wash out. After you have finished your napkins and tablecloth you can add pizzazz to the centerpiece by collecting used glass bottles that have been painted with glue and sprinkled with glitter. You can even use the same technique to make glittery flowers for the vases. Happy holidays! Read on…
Holidays are the season for giving, why not give your furry friends a festive zone to play in. This project gives general concepts on how to make a temporary adorable pet cabin that can be built using many recyclable materials. You can put some bedding or towels in the bottom for comfort. Remember to make your pets participation voluntary . Have fun hanging out with your fur friends.
Felting is one of the oldest crafts ever recorded and is basically the entanglement of woolen fibers so that they join together to make a solid surface. The main ingredient in felting is called WOOL ROVING and it is dyed wool fibers that looks like fancy dryer lint. Wool roving is easy to find online or in craft stores and comes in lots of colors. You can layer and combine roving colors to create patterns and new colors. There are many ways to create felted projects with techniques like needle punching, which requires a notched felting needle or hand felting, the techniques we used for our project today. Read on…
Happy Halloween! We love seeing hand made and original costume concepts come to life. Kids are born equipped with the most amazing imaginations. These brothers, Silas and Roman, have had wonderful freedom to express themselves with great art guidance from their super talented mom and dad - Jocelyn Worrall, a fantastic artist and stylist and Jon Hokanson who works in film as a Director of Photography. Silas’ s concept is to be one of the largest denomination of money that has ever been printed; a 10,000 bill. Silas is a self described iconoclast with a penchant for creating costumes with the themes of inanimate objects. He as been many things each Halloween, including a light bulb, a bowl of spaghettii and a haunted castle.
Roman, Silas’s younger brother, is deeply interested in the natural world and is an ardent fan of rats. For his costume this year, he chose to be The Naked Mole Rat. Creating both of these costumes required some real research and good attention to detail and specifics to get it right. Silas studied the way printed money is drawn when he was making his costume. Roman made sure to place the teeth a bit high on the costume to emulate the Naked Mole Rats teeth which are used for, gnawing, digging and burrowing in the sand. Roman says that this rat makes a noise that sounds like ” Mrrrrrrrrrrr” and that last year he was a Norway Rat for Halloween.
What will you be next year!
KMM LOVES THE CRAFTING COMMUNITY!
Artist and designer Karen Kimmel has come up with the most exciting weekend ever for crafters. Held at the fun and funky Ace Hotel in Palm Springs California, the Crafting Community event is a celebration of all things smarty and crafty. Kid Made Modern was so pleased to be included in this Crafting Community event. We hosted a mix of craft and art techniques from duct tape bags and sculptures to magic marker tie-dye. We met the most fantastic artist’s who were hosting and teaching with many joyful results. We were delighted to meet the genius folks behind Confetti Systems who made fringed tissue paper lamps that thrilled everyone who made one. Fine artist Bari Zipperstien reveled yet another of her remarkable abilities by teaching a psychedelic wearable sculpture class with everything made from Femo clay. Artist Cathy Callahan was on hand to help make the most beautiful tassels ever. Gardening visionary Ron Finley made beautiful windowsill gardens in paint cans and inspired us all with his rolling garden made in a discarded shopping cart. The list of amazing people and ideas could go on for days and we encourage you to check out their sites and learn more about their magic.
With Halloween just around the corner we have one of this holiday’s favorite characters on our minds, Spiders! This important creature is scary to some, yet is one of natures most sensible and elegant creatures. Spiders come in many shapes and sizes and hold a unique roll in the earth’s ecosystem. The spider is an architect of of genius traps (spiderwebs) which keep the populations of other insects at healthy levels.
Here is a simple printmaking technique that you can use for spider prints or whatever you are interested in depicting. We were also influenced by the captivating spider’s of artist, Louise Bourgeois.
We are the biggest fans of drawing as an art form, as a practice, as a way of seeing and as a way to develop ideas and designs. We are endeavoring to collect and post myriad approaches and information on the universe of drawing. We believe drawing is one of the best roads to take to get where you want to go on the road of art. Happy drawing!
These spreads come from a vintage children’s drawing lesson book called What to draw and how to draw it by George Edwin Lutz published in 1913. These drawing lessons are a tried and true approach that will give a frustrated young drawer some pretty cool results. The drawing style is charming and simple, achieving it’s desired forms with a minimal amount of line work. Happy Drawing!
It is a joy to hear of the many independent thinkers that teach and inspire kids through the arts. We were most excited to learn about the amazing programs at Blue School in New York City. The school was started by the founding members of The Blue Man Group in 2006 and has grown considerably over the years. Blue School‘s mission is “to develop and share an inquiry-based approach to education that fosters creativity, promotes academic excellence, nurtures human relationships and inspires a growing passion for learning.” They often use fine arts as a springboard for projects inspired by diverse artists like Andy Goldsworthy and others.
At the end of the last school year, the students completed an ambitious two month long project inspired by the extraordinary fine artist Cindy Sherman, whose work considers the mysteries of personal identity. The kids studied her works closely and with guidance of studio teacher, Lauren Monaco, and found ways to express themselves through the Sherman filter. It was important to Ms. Monaco to inspire the students to “think like artists.“
Ms. Monaco said, “The kids were fascinated by Cindy’s art. They seemed to respond to the experimental aspects of her work. We spoke of the cultural use of ‘masks’ in society and how identity and culture shape them. We focused on Sherman’s early ‘Paper Doll’ works as well as the ‘Beverly Hills Ladies’ were perfect examples to explore these ideas. The kids all approached the project differently and some of the kids were subtle with the make up and some went wild.”
We are wild about the finished results and asked Cindy Sherman, herself, for her thoughts on the work. She said, “I love all the penciled in wrinkles! This looks like it was so much fun for the kids, and I’m so proud that my work was an inspiration to them. I applaud Blue School for its mere existence and for encouraging lots more artistic experimentation if not some downright theatrical potential.”
Thanks to Blue School, Lauren Monaco and her students for sharing this inspiring project.
We also thank Cindy Sherman for her comments.
We are huge fans of hot glass and are fascinated by how it’s made. Young people don’t often get a chance to have a first hand experience with this material but some artisans are bringing kids into the studio to collaborate on ideas and inspiration.
This is a video made at the Jam Factory in Adelaide South Australia. Two drawings were selected from many collected at a Family Day held at the Studios and gallery and executed by Maestro glassblower and artist, Tom Moore and his team. The video follows the design process, and the kids were along to watch their glass pieces created.
Glassmaking has been around for over 3500 years and still survives today as an important material utilized in the design of our everyday lives. The basic ingredients that make up common glass are Silica, Soda, Potash and Lime all of which can be found on an ocean beach ( in theory). Although most glass vessels we use now are factory made by machines there is still a thriving culture of artists , artisans and traditional glassworks making glass like it has always been made. Glass blowing or Hot glass making requires a pretty intense skill set as well as access to a “Hot Shop”. Most glass melts between 1400c and 1750c depending on it’s chemical composition.
Because of this it is a material that requires protective gear, good tools and some basic training to use safely. There are some classes for kids around if there is a very keen young person who wants to learn this ancient art form. Obviously these projects should never be attempted at home.
Tucked into a side street in downtown Los Angeles we found this amazingly designed and expertly constructed sculptural mural by the important muralist and designer, Anthony B. Heinsbergen. While working during the golden age of Hollywood he designed movie theaters and interiors many of which included stunning murals. This gem of a mural was competed in 1961 and seems just as relevant today as the day it was installed. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Caitlin Heimerl is one of our favorite artists who loves using watercolor as a medium. Caitlin’s paintings are extremely evocative and we’ve selected some of her work that captures the feelings of summer. We had the great opportunity to sit down with the St. Louis based fine artist, teacher and illustrator for a short interview. You can find more of Caitlin’s work here!
Welcome! In each segment of LOOK AGAIN, we celebrate a terrific project or idea from books we are fans of. We will visit craft and DIY books both new and old to celebrate great ideas that stand the test of time. Enjoy!
This week we are continuing our celebration of summer with some classic camp crafts from one of favorite childrens craft books, Kids Create! by Laurie Carlson. The Paper Bag Pinata is an easy and festive way to liven up any August afternoon, all with simple paper techniques! The Jacob’s Ladder project is more involved, but the reward for constructing it correctly is high and will result in a meditative activity perfect for an evening by the campfire or lake! Read on…
We love that we have the opportunity to share the work of some of the many ARTISTS WE LOVE! in this re-occurring section of the KMM blog. They show us what they are thinking, what moves them to make the work they do and how it’s done!
Yard Dog ,
2011,12’x22’x6’, Powder Coated Steel, Galvanized Sheet Metal
We are huge fans of artist Don Kennell and his recycled material sculptures that have been publicly installed in his hometown of Santa Fe,New Mexico for a number of years. His giant YARD DOG sculpture, which features a fun swing, was on view next to the forward thinking museum
SITE SANTE FE until it was purchased and moved to its new permanent home at COCHELLA MUSIC and ART FESTIVAL in California. We had the pleasure of asking Don a few questions about his art.
This paper sculpture project is satisfyingly fun to do. In fact , when you make one, you keep wanting to add to the pile. These objects are both festive and ephemeral, they can be used as party decorations, hanging lanterns (with led lights only ) or just to add an art installation to your room. Keep the paper party going!
Alphabets are the basis for written communication amongst we humans since time immemorial. The development of writing involves the utilization of graphic marks and systems (alphabets and numbers) for describing language, from the caves paintings of lascoix to the egyptian temples and from Illuminated manuscripts to the invention of the printing press.
Now, in the 21st century we have thousands of ways of representing the alphabet through various type forms, fonts and artists’ experimental alphabets. It’s fascinating when different artists attempt to visually solve the same problem, especially when that problem is the thing that most of us first learn to visually communicate. Take a look at how these contemporary artists have made their own alphabets, all with unexpected and materials used in unusual ways. Read on…
Watercolors are an amazing and versatile art medium. We love that you can make both paintings with extreme layers and details as well as fast whimsical color studies and experiment with unusual tricks and techniques. In this summer watercolor series we are using the KMM Giant Rainbow Crayon as a wax resist and common table salt to create a cool granulated effect with the paint. Read on…
Ticking is a type of striped fabric that has been around for decades. It is often called “mattress ticking” [as it was primarily used to cover mattresses] and comes in several 2-color combinations. It is a woven fabric that feels like denim or twill. The threads that are woven from side to side are called the “weft” and the threads that run the length of the fabric are called the “warp”. The weft threads are always white or natural in ticking with the warp threads alternating colors to create the stripe. Read on…
KMM Markers are a great drawing tools, they come in both washable and permanent ink for multiple uses.In this video we demonstrate collaborative drawing projects with KMM Markers, happy drawing party!
We love that we have the opportunity to share the work of some of the many ARTISTS WE LOVE! in this re-occurring section of the KMM blog. They show us what they are thinking, what moves them to make the work they do and how it’s done!
Toto Feldman, a Brooklyn artist has long been inspired by nature and how it exists in the city and it’s fringes, many of the birds pictured here were met on walks in the Jamaica Bay wetlands or in city parks and other urban environs. These Paper-Mache birds are all portraits of characters who have now stepped off the pages of her earlier art work. Toto, has been making drawings and paintings for as long as she can remember, recently discovering that working in three dimensions has allowed her to expand her canvas into the room. The bird sculptures live next to her drawings of abstracted wings and feathers each a reference to imagination and nature. She is also an ardent fan of the museum of natural history’s transporting dioramas of wild animals in their habitats, as are we. When making art Toto has always used “low tech” materials like Gouache and watercolors for her drawings and paintings and paper-mache and found material for her birds and other sculptures, working the theory that you don’t need much to make something good. In Toto’s own words;
“I am city person who recently discovered that I am totally fascinated with birds., birds are everywhere and have long inspired artists. Now I am beginning to discover why.”
What would you make?
Welcome! In each segment of our new LOOK AGAIN section we celebrate a terrific project or idea from books we are fans of. We will visit craft and DIY books both new and old to celebrate great ideas that stand the test of time. Enjoy! This week we are celebrating summer with some very colorful cellophane creatures! These sculptures are a great way to bring the buzz and atmosphere of midsummer indoors and will look gorgeous hanging in a sunny window! Read on…
Origami is an age old art form that has recently been evolving into a complex and exciting way to create contemporary art and sculpture. Between the Folds is an Incredible 2008 documentary by Director and Producer Vanessa Gould. This film captures both the amazing new levels of technical skill being exponentially acquired in recent years as well as demonstrating how the art of paper folding has an innate connection to the word of nature, science and math. This film features 10 different approaches to folding paper for the study of art, beauty , natural science , and complex math and geometry and basically illuminates how they are all connected. We are totally inspired to make create with paper! What will you make?
One way to stay cool this summer is to dye your sheets with colored ice!
Try using this extra-simple technique for dying multiple colors at once, you can create great pieces for decorating your room, clothes or even as away to add color to a drawing.
Have a great time Ice-Dying!
Have you ever wanted to customize your very own musical instrument? The Kid Made Modern Ukulele Stencil Kit includes a well made wooden instrument with glitter, sticker paper, stencils and paint. What a great way to keep the music going!
Summer is in full swing and its the perfect time to make a hot craft that sparkles like the 4th of July! We love to use things in ways they weren’t intended for in our projects à la crayon into necklace! Using a pack of Kid Made Modern crayon gems, learn how you can turn a classic drawing tool into a piece of summer jewelry or a scintillating object d’art. Read on…
Wind your way to a beautiful bouquet, inspired by the wire sculptures of Alexander Calder. This simple project requires just a few easy to acquire materials and tools. These simple techniques can lead to other cool projects like jewelry making , headbands, and other great crafts to keep or gift to others.
Have you ever stared at colored holiday lights or a changing twilight sky for a really long time and felt transported to a completely different mood or state of feeling? Artist, James Turrell uses light, color and perception as his main materials when creating his site specific and installation work. Sometimes he uses conventional or electrical lighting to create color saturated rooms that can be spatially confusing. The viewer may encounter illusions of walls made only of changing colored light and soundscapes that interfere with how our brains and eyes perceive what the real space is. Other pieces utilize natural light or a mixture of the two. Some of his more recent work involves cut out ceilings or small rooms for viewing the sky. He has even turned a crater in Arizona into a large viewing station of the celestial bodies. Sometimes these spaces can shift our thinking about the space we inhabit, including the idea most of us have about the sun moving from east to west when really it is the earth turning on it’s axis. The work of James Turrell is both spiritual, soulful and of the physical world. If you can get a chance to experience these thrilling and contemplative artworks in real life it is a truly a joy. There are also many films and documentation if you are too far flung. Check it out, James Turrell is having three major museum shows this year, at The Guggenheim Museum in New York, The Los Angeles County Museum in Southern California, and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.. What does this kind of artwork inspire you to make?
Wow, this is a great way to interpret one of our most beloved artists , Charlie Harper. This art class has created an smart and clear way to make art in the same way Charley would have done, with simple geometric shapes that are distilled renditions of natures reality. Sometimes , following another artists path can open up new ways of seeing. Bravo, what a great class!
The “Rock Jetty Deli & Food Corp” art installation is both a document of an event and a love letter to Super Storm Sandy ravaged Rockaway Queens and those that make it their home by resident artist, Lillian Gerson. Although it is is similar in form to Gerson’s previous work this piece strikes a chord with many as it is an homage to a still ongoing event as reconstruction continues. This show is both an emotional trip for those who lived through it as well as it is a time capsule to those who are seeing it for the first time.
The room consists of a facsimile of a Rockaway deli made with wood and found materials, a fire pit with stumps for sitting as well as several fabricated objects of “emergency” including gas cans, a gas powered generator, a solar panel with a power strip that had me fooled for a minute, made well from cardboard and paint. These sculptures are situated amongst harvested Rockaway sand, debris, and flood detritus including an incredibly realistic high water mark painted around the whole room.
The use of ephemeral (throwaway) materials to create a warm space from a harsh reality welcomes the viewer into the “bubble” of a community under duress but also one coming together to take care of each other and the environment after being hammered by one of the biggest storms in history. There is energy in the room beyond being just a set, one feels invited to take part in both the troubles and the great coming together after the storm and not just as a disaster tourist but as a fellow storm traveler. We have always been fans of artists who create their universes from what the world often throws away, especially cardboard!
There is something modern and satisfying about corralling an expressionistic and potentially out of control sculpture painting onto an elegant and easy to hang gallery artists board. Bas-Relief means; low flat sculpture that protrudes only slightly from a flat plane. The traditional bas-relief is made using stone carving, plasterwork and many other artisan’s skills. Many people don’t realize that in ancient times reliefs were often painted with many colors, and today what remains of these ruins is just the natural stone. Relief is also sometimes used by artists to infuse a sense of real dimension and texture into their art works, bridging the gap between sculpture and painting.
The Bas-Relief Beach Painting was made using a few simple ingredients, KMM Artist’s Boards , paper clay from an art store, water, seashells, beach sand, water, Acrylic Paints, Artists Brushes, and a few little rhinestones for eyes and such. We made most of it on the beach then painted it when we got inside. It looks really good even if you decide not to paint it. If you don’t live near the beach, a woodland, pine cone version would be super cool too, or a recycled plastics one! It’s art, you decide! Read on…
This inspired art film was created in 1987 by the Swiss artist Duo Peter Fischli and David Weiss. We love it because it is a seemingly never ending set of experiments using everyday objects to explore movement or the “kinetic” as a kind of “live sculpture”. While this film combines art and physics in a most compelling way, it does utilize some materials that would be unsuitable for young hands. Enjoy this interesting study of the the physical world!
Charles and Ray Eames were an amazing creative team who helped shape modern design and it’s philosophy of minimal yet elegantly utilitarian objects and living spaces. They often made smart short films as a way to explore new ideas they were working on. The Parade is a joyful hand made animation created from a cast of toys and dolls from many different cultures. Although this film was made in the 1950′s it can still inspire us to make our own ” low tech” films and animations with our own cast of toys and objects. With the cameras available today it is easier than ever !
What kind of animation would you make?
Welcome, in each segment of our new LOOK AGAIN section we celebrate a terrific project or idea from books we are fans of. We will visit craft and DIY books both new and old to celebrate great ideas that stand the test of time. Enjoy!
Libraries often have book sales to make way for new books and raise funds. When we first saw this amazing craft book on a table at our local library book sale we were happy to snatch it up for 10 cents. There are many projects in the book from costumes to serving and decorating pieces all involving aluminum foil. Up next- A CAMELOT CENTERPIECE that could double as a super fun play set- all made from materials that are probably already in the house.
THE ART OF ALUMINUM FOIL
Jane Hinton and Hugh Oliver
General Publishing 1974
Color your world or just update a few wardrobe items to start off your summer with this simple and sweet dye technique. We were inspired by Verner Panton, a mid century designer who used a lot of vibrantly hued overlapping Lucite when creating his fantastic super saturated colorscapes! Looking at an artists vision as a jumping off point when thinking of a craft or design project can lead you on a path to many great ideas. Have fun and go make stuff!
Spring is upon us and Tulips are among the first plants of the season to announce it. Blooming between March and May with the bulbs being planted in the previous fall, tulips are some of the most colorful of flowers and come in many varied shapes. Some Tulips come back year after year but in cold climates most are “annual” meaning they grow and bloom only once. [Plants and flowers that return every year are called ‘perennial”] Tulips can grow almost anywhere except tropical climates and can be fooled to grow indoors by placing the bulbs briefly into the freezer and planting them near a sunny window. Tulips make perfect cut flowers and continue to grow in the vase. To maximize a cut flowers life always trim the stems under water and replace the vase water every other day.
For hundreds of years Holland has grown the most tulips in the world. A springtime drive thru the Dutch countryside is a sight to behold. Acres and acres of brightly colored bands of tulips are beautiful to see from a car window but the view from an airplane is truly otherworldly. When seen from above, the fields create beautiful stripes and forms that look like giant paintings or perhaps the worlds largest picnic quilt!
The Red Balloon is a timeless classic that has enchanted both children and adults since it was made in 1958. This Gem of a film came out in to much praise for the filmmaker Albert Lamorisse and stars his son Pascal Lamorisse who plays the main character Pascal there is also a mute and sentient red balloon ( they used 25,000 during the filming) and sometimes his daughter Sabine who plays the little girl. There are also many colorful characters Pascal encounters while traveling through his neighborhood, the now vanished section of old Paris called Belleville. It is very beautiful to see the grey and blue misty city punctuated by the bright modern color of the balloons in almost every scene, the cinematography is perfect in every way. The plot evolves with a touching relationship between the boy and a balloon with its own personality and mind, who follows Pascal around the city as his friend and muse on his daily journeys. This story is both playful and symbolic of life as the balloon helps him through his many childhood negotiations, including a strict school teacher and a group of neighborhood bullies. The Red Balloon is a beautiful analogy for the magic of childhood and speaks to the importance of having inspiring dreams as well as keeping ones imagination alive and well. This film is part of the criterion collection and can be found on many subscription media services too. We found it for free on the amazing internet archive,
When we look at art we often see it inside homes and museums but art can also be seen outdoors. Many museums have sculpture gardens to showcase artworks that are made to be outdoors. The materials used in creating outdoor artworks must be able to withstand the weather elements year after year. Steel, aluminum, concrete and fiberglass are just some of the materials that can be used successfully for outdoor art.
We visited a most unique outdoor sculpture center and gardens in Dallas Texas called NASHER SCULPTURE CENTER which is a free standing entity dedicated to showing modern and contemporary sculpture, many collected by it’s founders, Raymond and Patsy Nasher. The collection features sculptures by world-class artist like Pablo Picasso , Richard Serra, Joan Miro’, and many more.
Pablo Picasso made a gigantic sculpture from concrete and rocks called HEAD OF A WOMEN in 1958. He first made a wooden mold for his sculpture and filled it with rocks. Cement was then poured over the rocks until the form was full. The wooden form was then removed once the concrete had set but not hardened. A high-powered water hose was then used to “draw” the details by spraying the sculpture to remove some of the concrete and reveal the rock shapes.
Artist Tony Smith, Michael Craig-Martin, Mark Di Suvero and Richard Serra work in steel but end up with very different results. Some paint the metals with glossy paints and some allow the natural materials to rust and retain a natural texture and surface.
Henry Moore would first make small models of his giant sculptures. The models, which are called maquettes, would allow him to explore the forms and fine tune his design before it was poured in bronze, one of the heaviest of metals. Barbara Hepworth, who also makes her art works in bronze, uses modern geometric forms and shapes in her sculptures. The painter Joan Miro’ was just as adept at sculpture as he was at painting. His sculpture MOONBIRD was started in the 1940′s and this rendition was cast in 1967 , while made from bronze it still looks as soft and fluid as a painting on canvas
Art is all around us! Read on…
Crocheting is an easy to learn technique for creating many different things from sweaters to doilies and can even be used for making miniature sculptures. By using only a single hook and yarn as ingredients, you can crochet almost anything! This kind of textile is accomplished by combining a series of intertwined looped stitches using different patterns for varied textures and shapes. We found a family of five crocheters from Vietnam, who call themselves Su Ami , with the youngest member being all of 10 years old. The name Su Ami comes from the youngsters’ nickname “who loves all kind of animals and movie characters “, inspiring their many creations. The tiniest forms can be smaller than 1/2″ wide! These astonishingly cute creatures are crocheted using specialized hooks made from sewing needles and threads. These animal friends can be found at the families online Etsy store
Print Parade is a video we made inspired by the iconic fabric design studio Marimekko . Printing on fabric is a multifaceted art form and one that spans the ages. We have been adding surface design to our fabrics, houses, and many other things since the beginning of human society including weaving , painting and printing to name just a few. There are so many “low-tech” ways to print on fabric. Learn three different, super easy printing techniques using things you may already have laying around the house. Try these and invent your own, Happy Printing!
Wax has been used in making art and crafts for centuries. It’s made by bees to create their honeycombs and is also made from plants or chemicals. Wax can be carved and molded to create sculptures and models. When it’s heated it becomes liquid and can be used in many ways. It’s used in candles with fragrances and colored pigments are often added. When heated, bees wax can be mixed with colored pigments and used like paint to create what is called ‘encaustic ‘ paintings. This is one of the very oldest painting techniques dating back to 100 AD! An Indonesian fabric printing technique called “batik” uses melted wax to paint designs on textiles. After the wax is cooled the fabrics are then dyed and painted. Finally, the dried fabrics are ironed between brown paper that absorb the wax leaving the design un-dyed and the fabric soft. Crayons are a perfect way to make drawings and designs on fabric, just check out our Prismatic Owl Friend project for details. For our project today we mixed up a few techniques and came up with a new use for our KID MADE MODERN rainbow colored gem crayon! Read on…
Kid Made Modern presents painting supplies featuring Artists’ Boards, Acrylic Paint Sets, and Brush Set. There is also a demo featuring a simple to follow technique for making a representational painting. There are so many ways to make paintings from Super Realism to Abstract Expressionism to whatever new thing you invent! What kind of masterpiece will you create?
Summer is just around the corner and is the perfect time for lots of wonderful activities! Journaling your thoughts, observations and dreams on paper is a great way to record the way your mind works and serves as a treasure trove of inspiration for a project or idea. The Summer Dreams Journal is a great makeover DIY craft that allows you to turn an ordinary composition notebook into a wild and colorful diary that will help you remember all of the brilliant thoughts and fantastic fun you’ll have this summer!
Artist, Gerone Spruill
Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland, California is a treat to visit. It is a wonderful art gallery with curated art shows of works made by the many artists working at the Creative Growth Studios. The Studio was started in 1974 by Elias Katz, a psychologist, and Florence Ludins-Katz, an educator, in a living room. They had a great idea that disabled adults could benefit from the chance to make art. Next year marks their 40th anniversary of celebrating creativity and joy while serving adult artists with developmental, mental and physical disabilities. It works beautifully as they provide a professional studio environment for artistic development and a social atmosphere among peers. All sales of the art works are divided evenly between the artist and the Creative Growth Studios in order to keep their programs running. If ever you find yourself visiting the Bay Area in California make sure to pass by Creative Growth and catch one of their amazing shows. In the meantime you can visit them on their website.
Beads can be made of many materials like stone, glass, clay but one of the easiest materials is paper. We met a cool crafting grandmother named Evelyn Pender who shared her best techniques for making paper beads. Ms. Pender has been making jewelry using her handmade beads for many years. Her son even remembers making them with his mom when he was a kid! All kinds of paper can be used to make beads. Solid papers make beautiful solid colored beads while prints and photographs make swirling multi-colored beads. Choose your papers based on only 1” of the paper strips end showing on the finished beads. You can string your beads into necklaces and bracelets using string, yarn or elastic cord tied off on the end.You can add additional kinds of beads if you would like to, we added in some KID MADE MODERN wooden beads as well as some duct tape and straw beads we made following the instructions from our 01/24/2013 post called Modern Love Beads. We thank Ms. Pender for sharing her tips and if you Just follow her easy steps you can start making your own custom designed jewelry.
One of the largest and most beautiful mosaic glass tile murals in the U.S. is hiding in an underground tunnel in the basement level of the Los Angeles Airport. Built in 1961 and designed by the artist Charles D. Kratka, the 300-foot mural lines the wall of a long hallway between the arrival gates and the baggage claim. In an unusual tumble of color shades and shapes, travelling down the mural is a master study in color proximity. Notice his sophisticated use of flesh toned neutral colors with a jolt of mustard gold. The passage of blue shades looks like all the colors in a cresting wave. His design inspirations for the mural is unclear as there are multiple stories. He told his daughters that the color sequence represents the changing season but a field trip to the airport revealed another, the color changes represent traveling across America with the blue colors at the beginning and end of the mural representing the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It is clear that no matter what the roots of Mr. Kratka design inspiration was, he made a dazzling and giant piece of art that continues to thrill passengers everyday.
Here is a cardboard and tape fort idea that is a perfect jumping off point for many great adventures in Kid Made Architecture and living room urban planning! Everywhere you look there are many interesting building designs to think about, from big city buildings and modern houses to vintage barns or ancient ruins. People have been creating shelters since the beginning of time, using whatever materials were readily available. Cardboard is an amazing and accessible material, (often found in the recycling bin ) that can be changed into many shapes and can has lot of strength and beauty. This fort project was inspired by the great design duo Charles and Ray Eames who had a knack for making every day objects and utilitarian designs, like a table setting very playful, elegant and cool!
Have a great time designing!
It’s really simple to make a basic bag look the same as a decorated egg!
You can make this bag in just a few easy steps. We made the Easter grass by running some green construction paper through a paper shredder ( if you don’t have one just use scissors) . This is super easy and saves the environment from more plastic debris and saves birds who can be hurt by ingesting plastic grass.
Kid Made Modern presents the KMM Comic Book Kit including everything you’ll need to author and ink your own comic books. Where comic books and graphic novels were once meant only for children this dynamic medium now holds an esteemed place in the art world. There are 2 blank books with preprinted cells, 9 colorful markers, 3 great action stamps, a black and red stamp pad, with lettering, thought and speech bubble templates. What kind of Comic Book, Zine or Graphic Novel will you create?
We love the architect Tadao Ando from Japan because he makes beautiful sculptural buildings and landscapes. He was able to do this without any formal design school education. He creates beautiful yet simple spaces out of hard materials like concrete and uses natural light to showcase his interior spaces. What kind of building would you make if you were an architect? Read on…