Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Flower Pounding: celebrate springtime with a bang!

My preschooler was thrilled that today is the first day of spring!  The weather was actually more summer-like, but we’re not complaining!  My guy has been picking me “wild flowers” out of the lawn a lot during the past week.  When I suggested that we make a card to cheer up a friend he thought we should pick flowers and attach them to the card.  I explained that the flowers probably wouldn’t hold up well in the mail, but it reminded me of the perfect spring art project!

Flower pounding is the process of layering colorful petals and leaves on paper and then pounding them to release their pigments onto the paper.  We started by exploring our yard for blooms.  We picked some flowers, clover, and blades of grass (being careful to pick plants that are not poisonous).  Then we found a sturdy surface to work on.  Next, we placed some single blooms or petals onto a sheet of heavy paper like cardstock or watercolor paper and covered them with a sheet of paper towel or waxed paper.  (The paper towel or waxed paper  keeps the petals from sticking to your hammer or mallet.)  Carefully, we pounded the flowers to release their color onto the paper.  Watch those fingers!  If the waxed paper slides around a lot you can secure it with scotch tape (or painters tape which would be easier to peel off).  After filling the paper with pigment I gave him a pen and some butterfly stamps that he used to embellish his picture.  When he wants to stamp with multiple colors we use this trick: quickly color the rubber stamp with washable marker and then stamp immediately before it has a chance to dry.  You can get colorful images without turning all your stamp pads into mud!

Flower Pounding was a huge success at our house.  My son loved the process!  I hope you give it a try with your little creative hearts as a way to celebrate the beginning of this new season! 

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