Today was my last day teaching art to four and five year olds. Our last project was making mobiles based on the work of Alexander Calder, sculptor and painter, AND jewelry designer!!! While I was searching on the internet for images of his mobiles to show the kids, I came across some images of his jewelry. His pieces are timeless, elegant and sophisticated, somewhat comical, extravagant and odd - I love them!
One of my students is the daughter of a kinetic sculptor here in Portland and he wonderfully agreed to speak to the kids about his work and mobile sculptures. The kids sat quietly, listening, totally into it! They drew with pastels on small, irregular pieces of cardboard and matte board, used various yarns to tie these pieces to a re-figured wire hanger, and I, along with my awesome co-teacher and my student's dad, finished the tricky part of assembling their creations. Of course I wanted to learn more about Calder, and so I asked my student's dad about Calder's jewelry. I learned that he made many pieces and basically gave them away to friends! Boy, I wish I had been around!
Calder was a prolific artist of many mediums, an inspiration and intrique, and someone I am glad to know a bit more about now. Thanks kids!