Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Homeschool Art: The Kids Carved Rubber Stamps

This has certainly been the summer for handicrafts!

In a summer that has lasted both a billion years and one infinite day, we've had the time, the disposable income (thanks to all those canceled vacations, sigh...), and the boredom to indulge in handicrafts both old and new. Will created a hand-cut applique masterpiece. I've been turning corrugated cardboard, comic books, and SO MUCH GLUE into trays to put on on every surface in hopes that people will contain their crap there (spoiler alert: they won't). Syd has most of the school table taken up with the various supplies she needs to paint an elaborate portrait of Jones on the back of her denim jacket. We've been embroidering, and Will has friendship bracelets aplenty ready for a future when we'll see other non-family humans again.

But here's another handicraft that we've been doing, and you can see it in the background there, at the end of our table covered with crap, past Will in the process of making another friendship bracelet:

It's rubber stamp carving!

We still had some stash supplies for this project leftover from back when Syd was a Girl Scout Brownie earning her Letterboxer badge, but even if you don't hoard craft supplies for multiple years, here's all you really need to get started:

To go less fancy, substitute big pink school erasers for the rubber blocks, and to go fancier, substitute paint and a brayer for the ink pads. That's what we're working our way up to, as this particular project is one of the steps towards the retired Cadette Graphic Arts badge that Syd is trying to earn. 

We're also working our way up to real linoleum carving, screenprinting, and lithography. You can see why my handicrafts budget is so bloated this summer!

That linoleum cutter is wicked sharp, but here's photographic evidence from 2013 that even a seven-year-old CAN carve a simple rubber stamp:

And look at what a fourteen-year-old can carve!

Will had a lot of fun with this, too. Check out her zebra!

Seriously, how cute is that?!?

The kids' interest this summer in activities like wood carving, this stamp carving, and other tactile crafts remind me that even big kids--even teenagers!--can still benefit from sensory exploration, especially when their worlds are otherwise limited in many ways. I should make time this summer to get out the polymer clay, and the Perler beads, and the paracord, perhaps entice the kids into the garden with me, perhaps take them to the local lake if I can find a time when it's not overrun by racists...

But not today, because our brand-new paint-by-number kits arrived last night, and so after school today, we're going to try them out!

No comments: