Sunday, October 27, 2013

Kidstreet Camp 2013 Flashback: Inspired By Nature

Would you believe we are already in the planning stages for our 2014 camps?  There's little downtime for Kidstreet when it comes to our summer camps.

Periodically, we'll spotlight one of our 2013 camps/projects.  Today, its Inspired By Nature.  

The Inspired By Nature campers spent a day learning about Peruvian pottery, particularly the ceramics pre-dating the Incan Empire. 

In the absence of a written language, ceramics was not only functional, it also carried the stories of the people.  Instead of recreating battles and other events, they painted them on pottery.

Their more interesting pottery, however, were their realistic depictions of animals and people.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

Can you imagine using pottery that looks just like you?
Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

After learning and discussing this style of pottery, the campers got to work making their own coiled, Peruvian-inspired pots.  This was an all-day project, and the campers were very diligent and excited about creating their own pieces.  Animals were a popular theme.  Who wouldn't want to take home an adorable bunny, fox or panda?  

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Ghoulish Graveyards...Fired and Ready to Wreak Havoc in Time for Halloween!

The graveyards are worked up.  This rambunctious group wants to be taken home!

Let's take a...more sedate look at these pieces:

That's better.  

We had a variety of ages and skill levels in this workshop, but there wasn't one graveyard that didn't turn out great.  Let's look at some reasons why:

Coming In With An Idea

This is a 3 piece continuous project: the cat goes through the gate, menaces the graveyard and takes a rest in the pumpkin patch.  This was a three generational family project.  

We'd like to think that the time spent in a creative pursuit with family and friends is worthwhile all on its own and will hopefully, be a happy memory for everyone involved.  Even if they're making spooky...creepy...fantastical graveyards!  These are family clay form.

Creating Dynamic Pieces

There's a nice sense of movement in all the graveyards.  These are active scenes.  No one would ask these creatures..."Are you bored, zombie?  Don't you have something productive to do, mummy?" 

 We also like how the pieces look side-by-side.  They work with each other.

One of the fun things for us was putting all the pieces together in a mishmash...that worked too.  Looks like a bunch of trouble to us!  Oh, the stories these graveyards could tell.  We should probably double-check the Kidstreet rooms to make sure no ghoulish surprises await us!  Clearly, these creatures need to be separated before they hatch some sort of devious plan...

Maximizing Their Space

Another mark of successful projects is maximizing the space.  There's no dead space...oops, poor word choice!  There's no empty space, and more importantly, the space is well thought out.  Something fascinating to see from all angles.  Turn the graveyards this way and that and a new angle gives a new perspective.

Oh...Did We Forget to Mention...FUN?!?

We love it when both kids and parents create something whimsically wonderful and interesting. Ideas we wish we would have thought of ourselves.

In fact, we are so inspired by these pieces, we want to make more.  We wonder if we could get away with giving ghoulish graveyards as gifts this holiday season?  Can we bring a graveyard to Thanksgiving dinner rather than pumpkin pie (or with the pie, Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie? No way!)?  How about mixing them with more appropriate gifts?  Would friends and family appreciate the graveyards more if paired with a menorah?  Or a holiday mug?  Overall, we think this is a promising start to our holiday workshops and can't wait to see what the rest of the year brings!

See more pics of the finished pieces on our Facebook page

If you missed Part One of our Ghoulish Graveyards experience, click here:

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Family Menorah Workshop next Sunday, October 27th!

The Family Menorah Workshop will be here before you know it.  We're entering that time of the year when family mementos are brought out of closets and storage and given premium spots on tables and shelves. Why not make a menorah that has made by your family...with your own personal touches and creativity?  A perfect keepsake to use every year or a perfect gift.

Family Menorah Workshop

Monday, October 14, 2013

Spotlight on...Ghoulish Graveyards Family Workshop

In our family workshops, both kids and parents build their own pieces, side-by-side. Its a great opportunity for both the child and parent to be creative and eventually, have their own projects to display...and brag about to friends and family, of course!

Yesterday, October 13th, was the Ghoulish Graveyards Family Workshop. This was quite an industrious and gifted group.

We had a eclectic mixture of ideas and creatures.  The graveyards will be fired and ready before Halloween!


The fun is not just during the workshop.  Its also in awaiting the transformation of these glazed pieces into their shiny and colorful finished states.  What will these projects look like after firing?  We think...pretty spectacular.  Stay tuned...

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Week 5 - Handbuilding & Wheelthrowing...

...the week it all comes together.

The pots, cups and plates thrown on the wheel during the first three classes and glazed during week 4, are out of the kilns and ready to be admired.

During the session, the students had the opportunity to throw with both stoneware and earthenware.



On the final day of class, the students also created their own Halloween scenes!

The next Handbuilding & Wheelthrowing session starts next week, Thursday, October 17th!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


The Fall Session II starts Monday, October 14th!

Handbuilding & Wheelthrowing, Ages 8-12


Sunday, October 27th 2-4 pm

Strengthen your family's Hanukkah traditions by building your own Menorah. Join Shira Leon for this family workshop designed to give you an opportunity to create with your child. In this 2 hour session, you will work together to design a treasured family heirloom. 

(Adult and children, ages 5+)

Sign up here:

Shira is currently showcasing her work at Lillstreet's Student Member Show, October 7-13th.  

4401 N. Ravenswood Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640

Office/Gallery Hours: