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Pendent Experiment


Mmmmm….. are these gorgeous, or what?

Now – you’re a mom, and your kindergartener has just presented it to you for mothers day, telling you that it’s a print he/she made from the sole of his/her precious little shoe.  Are you swooning yet?

That’s what I visualized, anyway, but the reality has been somewhat different.

I picked up the trick of using Model Magic to take impressions to use for jewelery from a Crayola rep at NAEA conference a few years back.  They had some pre-made texture stamps to use on them, and were painting them with some tricky pearly watercolor… they looked really nice.

So I dreamed up the “Intro to Texture” idea and thought of taking the shoe prints, knocked the dregs out of an old watercolor set and put into cups to make pre-mixed watercolor, then mixed some Blick Pearl Liquid Watercolor (that I bought special for the purpose) with some clear acrylic glaze for a nice over coat.

So far so good.  Now for the action.  The printing part went okay, the hole-making part was tough – it took lots of help to keep texture from getting wrecked making the string-hole.  We put them on paper towels with names on them to dry.  One bad thing here – they have this really irresistible sort of dried-up-marshmallow texture that kids just really want to bend… just… a… little too far and it breaks.  They’re pretty soft.  We used another session to paint the w/c color.  Again, not bad, but the model stuff tended to stick to the towels when wet.  (wax paper maybe?  Label with a vis-a-vis pen?  Maybe on a cookie tray?)  Next class (we’re up to three, now) I had them up to my table four at a time to paint the pearly glaze… again, not bad, but hard to get both sides w/o sticking… kids tended to over-work and lift the watercolor, which is why I had them do it at my table.  That, and I wanted to monitor the acrylic/brush thing closely.

Lastly I took yet another session to help each kid string the pendents.  Those that had holes too small we tried hot-glueing on to pin backs.

So – the good:

Beautiful.  Nice gift.  Super easy.  Nice “texture” intro.  Looks convincingly ceramic-ish, but needs no kiln.

The bad:

The material is too soft to be good jewelery.  If pulled hard the string will rip out, pin-backs pull off, the pendent will break.  A little bit too time and teacher-labor intensive for an art class (need to have another independent project running concurrently… would be good for a classroom in center time.)

The ugly:

No ugly.  If nothing else, they were pretty.

Anybody have any tweeks to help this go smoother?


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