Monday, March 5, 2012

A Sticks and String Mobile

James is working on his art pin for Cub Scouts.
It's a pretty big deal.
He has 6 different art projects to complete.
One of the choices was a mobile.
We decided to make one of sticks and string.

James wanted to use sticks and as we were pondering ways to make the sticks colorful, (you know me and color!) I thought of colored string.
So we went to the craft store and picked out some embroidery thread.
Next we gathered sticks from the back yard.
Those are all the supplies you need to create this mobile.

James chose his own colors.
We did have a little color palette talk as he chose.
First he chose  a bunch of colors he liked and then we narrowed down the choices by separating them into distinct color palettes.
In the end, he decided he liked the brighter colors better than the pastels.

It took a few minutes for James to get the hang of wrapping the string around the stick.
I started it for him by tying the end around the stick.
Then we tested out different techniques for wrapping until we found the one that suited him best.

He liked holding the stick in his left hand and twirling it slowly, while holding the sting taut in his right hand and wrapping it around the stick as it twirled.
For the first few minutes it was a little frustrating.
He was impatient.
But then he found a rhythm.

And after he'd been doing it for a bit, he told me he liked it because it was so quiet and he could just think while he was wrapping the string.
He's right.
It is a very meditative activity.
And after a short while he'd done his first stick.

Before he started wrapping, he had a design in mind.
He chose his sticks and laid them out on the table.
He chose what color or colors would go on each stick.

I wasn't planning that far ahead.
I would have just randomly wrapped my sticks and then decided how they'd fit together.
But James had a vision.

He found it difficult to make the string lie flat over the bumps and knots on the sticks.
And since he didn't like the bumpy look, he opted to leave the knots uncovered.
That is an aesthetic decision left up to the artist.

James worked on wrapping his sticks at 2 different sittings.
When he was done, he laid them out and I helped him tie them together.
He wanted them tied with white string.
It was a big of a trick to get them to balance just right.
That was part of the design process--figuring out the weight of the sticks and how they would balance each other.
He did a pretty good job of it.

And he was proud of how it turned out.
It's a real mobile!

I like the juxtaposition of the brown sticks and bright colored string.
Aaron likes it because it looks "boy scouty".

But mostly I like it because I like working on art projects with my boy.
Ones that are simple and still beautiful.
And you can bet I'll be wrapping some sticks of my own real soon.

Here's a funny thing about this project.
I really thought it was original.
Not that I was the only person who had thought of wrapping string around twigs,  but I really hadn't seen it anywhere else.
It was a new idea to me.
But then, like the next day, I saw this, on a friend's Pinterest board.
There was this one too.
And I had to laugh.
Guess it wasn't such a new idea after all.
But we're still very happy with our mobile.
Next we're tackling collage.
We'll be studying it and creating it in the form of mosaic.
I can't wait!

I have some amazing garage sale finds to show you from this weekend.
I haven't been garage saling in ages, but decided to try one that sounded good.
It was.
Oh my, how good it was.
Check back sooon to see my treasures.
Love from,


meg + andy said...

this is so great! i love it and look forward to trying it out with my boy soon.

hennymats said...

amazing! lovely! just great! need to try this a-s-a-p!

Just so happens I have a pile of sticks lying around (surprise, with two boys, right?). Oh this is great.

Congratulation, James, that is such a cool piece of art! Lovely, useful, and just so pretty.

I told you before you're one amazing couple. Looks like your kids inherited all that creativity!

Great job!

hennymats said...

Hmmm, that cake carrier would have found a nice home in your house, but I love the globe. And the pencil wrapper. Why don't we have estate sales over here?! Need to go thrifting. Flea market hunting. Oh Spring, where are you?

Hmmm, I have a no-shopping policy for Lent. Does thrifting count?

I did find something cool and vintage a while ago online though, one of these days I'll manage to take photos, finish the project and post it. You're going to love it.


Terrie said...

That's cool.

Unknown said...

i love this project!
and i've never really invented an idea either...ive thought i had...and then seen differently too!
at least it doesn't stop us from creating!