Currently Browsing: Arts and crafts

Pirot Carpet

 The age of Pirot as a settlement is measured by centuries. The ancient city on the Nisava, on the important road Europe – the Middle East, was constantly the target of well-meaning and other caravans, even conquerors, always burned and plundered, destroyed. In addition to other sights from this city, the Pirot carpet is on the list of world cultural heritage. 

Carpet weaving as a cultural heritage came from the East, although there are opinions that carpet weaving in Pirot was developed even before the arrival of the Turks. Some authors claim that it is autochthonous, that it originated in the Middle Ages and that it was later, under Byzantine and even later under Turkish influence, perfected.

The Pirot carpet maker is an artist without pretensions to such a status. She will say for herself that she is a carpet weaver, a worker and a martyr, and the artistic thing in her work is her life secret. She decorates herself, beautifies, creates a pattern and a relationship of colors, creates a composition in her head and transfers it to the threads, miraculously and out of nothing.

The archetypal layers of geometric symbols reflect the original harmony in which the contradictions of human nature coexist – good and evil, male and female, “yin” and “yang”, consciously and unconsciously. Lately, there have been opinions about the beneficial effect of such symbolism on the human spirit. These opinions are based on the understanding that archetypal images exist in each individual as inherited possibilities of human symbolic representation and experience of the deepest truths about life.

There are different opinions about the origin of the pattern on the Pirot carpet. Some authors believe that they are autochthonous, but the possibility is not ruled out (although rarely) that a pattern is borrowed from Asian carpets “because there are Serbian, Greek and Turkish elements in the names of patterns on the Pirot carpet. However, the patterns on the Pirot carpet are of Serbian origin, which is confirmed by their names (mirror, lizard, tulips, turtles, doves) and Turkish (duls. cendjels, mirab, Smyrna pattern and, later, other environments (German boxes, French candy, Russian bombs, Russian monument).

Some patterns are traces of the mythological past, and later also the influence from the East. That is why their names are Turkish (bardak, cookbook, reshme), Greek (octopus, chandeliers) and Serbian (coke, flames, owl). It is believed that ornamentation also went through various stages of development and that it preserved elements of all epochs. The hook ornament is associated with the Aryan cult of the sun; the wheel is reminiscent of the oldest mythological forms; all eastern peoples have a tree of life. From the pre-Turkish period, the names are mirror, wreath, cookbook. The Turks bring the names Persian crown, Smyrna pattern, etc.

The most common ornament on these carpets are (next to the bone) cookbook. which also points to the Caucasian influence, and the „mirab“ on the prayer rugs. However, regardless of the obvious Caucasian influence, the women of Pirot weaved a lot of their skills and inspiration into these ornaments, added and subtracted, and combined colors and shapes in their own way. On one and the same surface, for example, one and the same pattern is repeated according to the logic and arrangement that the carpet has imagined, and the color is always different. Namely, the same pattern is repeated, but always in a different color.

Arts and Crafts museum of Croatia

At the heart of the European Union is the youngest member of the Union, Croatia. In its capital there is a specialized Museum of Arts and Crafts. A special collection of the museum consists of a collection of clothes, a collection of women’s interwar clothes: an example of the musealization of art déco fashion.

The Museum of Arts and Crafts in Zagreb owns a relatively rich collection of women’s clothing and fashion accessories from the time between the two world wars. Although most of the items are of foreign provenance (Austria, Italy, France), a significant number of items are represented, mostly made in Zagreb’s tailoring and shoemaking trades.

Within the textile collection of the Museum of Arts and Crafts a significant place is the art déco fashion collection, which with a little more than 400 copies of women’s clothing fashion accessories documents all the fashion turmoil that occurred from the early twenties until the late thirties of the XX century. Items – day and evening dresses, underwear, swimwear, coats, furs, scarves, shawls, hats, caps, shoes, boots, handbags, travel accessories, perfume bottles and powders were purchased mostly during the 1960s. The largest number of objects is of Austrian, Viennese provenance (Croatia was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire for a whole millennium); followed by items made in Croatia, mostly in Zagreb; and items from France, most often Paris, and Italy. The items within that closed collection date from

1900 to 1935 and on them one can explore and see the social status and fashion changes. For the period of art déco, a handbag made of beads that form multicolored geometric motifs is also typical. Her dresses can be traced to changes in skirt length, cut and material – from dresses to mid-leaf from the early twenties, through knee-length dresses from the mid-twenties, and dresses with longer inserts from the late decade, to oblique dresses characteristic of the first mid-thirties and long dresses from the mid-thirties. It is interesting that there is only one evening, dance dress in the collection, unique precisely because it shows the alterations that turned it from a dress with a flat tubular cut, typical around 1925, by adding asymmetrical inserts to the dress they wore. Interestingly, there is only one evening, dance dress in the collection, unique precisely because it shows the alterations that transformed it from a dress with a flat tubular cut, typical of the time around 1925, by adding asymmetrical inserts to the dress around 1927. A significant segment of the collection is underwear, which is mainly made of cotton and linen fabrics with appliqued lace and decorated with white embroidery.

Textiles, i.e. clothing, accompany people from birth to death and precisely because it is an ubiquitous part of their lives, they create a distinctly emotional relationship with it and it determines their belonging to a particular community. Clothing items in the collections are both carriers of private and public significance – they live two lives simultaneously. In the “first life”, clothing was part of the former owners, it broadcast their messages, it was an active participant in a time, society and culture.

BEAD-MAKING FOR KIDS

Sometimes, a colorful matching bracelet and necklace made with beads is all you need to brighten a gloomy day. From bracelets to necklaces and bags, you can help your kids explore the boundless potentials of bead-making in the world of art and craft.

Beading is beneficial to children in a lot of ways. It’s indeed an excellent leisure activity that can promote the development of your kids. Notice how the art of beading enhances fine motor skills, visual perception skills, visual motor skills (Eye-Hand coordination), cognitive skills, Maths skills, and even social skills in your kids! In summary, beading is fun and gives excellent developmental benefits!

Not children of all ages can string beads. But who cares? Even your 9-month old who’s trying to devise a scheme to grasp some beads and put them in its mouth is beading too – just in a different kind of way – duh! Just some free advice – put the beads in sensory bags so your kid can explore all it wants without swallowing the beads. 

A certain level of fine motor skills is usually required for kids to string beads successfully. Manufacturers often include recommended ages on art kits, and that’s a good thing. Follow the recommendations because if a child is unable to string 2-5 beads together successfully, frustration could set in. In all, let an adult supervise the beading processes to guide the kids better.

Without further ado, let’s delve into the art of bead making. There are several types of beads and a myriad of things to make with these beads. For kids, we may have to keep it simple – don’t even entertain the idea of making a 3D human-sized elephant with beads. That becomes a punishment of sorts to your kids, not fun! Bigger kids can independently choose to take on such a project if they fall in love with the beading.

So much talk! Want to learn how to make a bracelet with beads? Let’s start with bracelets!

Making bracelets and necklaces with beads

Fashion comes and goes, but an elastic bracelet will always remain trendy! Here’s how to successfully clasp one of those beauties around the wrists of your kids.

1. Don’t choose an elastic that is too thin – except you want the bracelet to last only a few minutes around their wrists.

2. Don’t use crimp beads as they will cut the elastic stretch cords.

3. Measure the size of the wrist. You don’t want to end up making a necklace instead of a bracelet.

4. Cut the cord – allow for a little extra as you’ll have to tie the cords.

5. String the beads through the holes in them until the cord is almost entirely occupied, leaving ends that you can knot.

6. Tie the loose ends.

7. Put them on!

Repeat the same steps for a necklace after measuring the neck size and leaving a lot of space. These beaded bands are also wearable on the ankles. In all, don’t forget to capture the moment! Best of luck with your kids!

THE WOODEN PIANO WITH AN OCTAVE

Fun activities are not limited to visiting the zoo or museums flying a kite on a windy day. Sometimes, focusing on a particular project till it’s complete promises more fun while building tenacity. One of such art which draws inspiration from the creative center of the mind is making and painting a wooden piano.

Children are attracted to things that can produce sounds. Most times, they are not particular about harmony – or at least, what seems like harmonious chords to them may be noise to a trained ear. One of such wonderful musical instrument which kids are attracted to is the piano. Apart from the musical sounds which a piano produces, it can also serve as an attractive destination for the home. It is on the latter purpose that I bring you this good news – with a few materials, your kids can have their own wooden piano which serves decorative purposes!

You don’t have to be an expert to paint a piano. With a few white and black strokes at the right places, you can give something with the semblance of a keyboard. However, a little knowledge about musical octaves will serve as a needed guide in rightly positioning the white and black keys of the keyboard. Alternatively, you can just decide to paint a keyboard by replicating any before you. To make a wooden keyboard, you need the following: A flat smooth plank from a furniture store, white and black paint, paintbrushes, a calibrated ruler and a sharp marker to demarcate your measurement. Here are the steps to follow – Enjoy!!!

Step 1: Understanding Octaves

Different pianos are constructed with different number of octaves in mind. The number of octaves on pianos vary according to the manufacturer models. The construction a piano with just an octave would be described here, but you can construct more octaves on your plank. An octave consists of 8 white keys with seven black keys in between.

Step 2: Making Measurements

To get a very attractive piano, uniformity in the size of the keys is important. Use a measuring ruler to divide the plank into eight equal rectangular sections of 2 – 4 cm in width depending on how large your plank is and mark these points with the marker.

Step 3: Painting the Whites

Each rectangular section should first be painted with white paint. Ensure that all the sections are well demarcated by the marker such that even when all they are painted, each section is still distinguishable.

Step 4: Carve out the Blacks

Now it’s time to carve out the blacks. The black keys between the white keys are not evenly distributed. They are absent between the third and fourth keys and the seventh and eighth keys. So with your ruler, measure out the spaces for the black keys in between the rest of the keys. Ensure your measurement are all equal and do not reach the end of the plank.

Step 4: Painting the Blacks

Paint the black keys and allow it to dry. You now have your wooden piano with an octave!

Toys Reassembling

In order to hone the creativity of your kids, it is a great idea to give them the opportunity to disassemble and reassemble their toys. Sometimes, kids derive pleasure from dismantling things. They tear at everything with such untold strength and determination that you cannot help but marvel. However, after destroying their toys, they cry to get it back! Therefore, giving kids toys which they can dismantle and assemble adds not only to their fun, but also to their confidence!

While your younger kids dismantle toys just for the pleasure of it, some older kids do so due to their inquisitiveness — they always want to know how their toys are made. So they intentionally dismantle their toys in order to reassemble them. Either way, getting toys that can be dismantled and reassembled by kids not only helps your kids, but it also saves you a lot of money which would otherwise have been spent in getting a new toy.

How adept your kids are at assembling toys could be an important marker to what they can really do best. While some kids are grand masters at disassembling, others are professionals in reassembling. This can even go a long way to helping you discover your kids passion. Apart from the aforementioned reasons, toy reassembling really does boost your kids thinking ability. It becomes a puzzle and challenge which they are willing to face with fun!

If you’re already convinced by how much this art and craft can do for your kids, let’s dive in and checkout some toy-assembling kits.

1. Wooden alphabet building blocks toys.

These are superb learning educational kits and are usually for preschoolers and kids below two years. They usually come in different color blocks and is always a nice way to introduce letters and numbers to kids. This could really save you a lot of stress about their spellings. Watch as they thank you later after acing their SATs!

2. Geometry shape sorter blocks wooden toys

A geometry shape wooden toy helps to give your kids a strong foundation in basic mathematics. They help your kids become familiar with various shapes and colors.

3. Car constructing kits for kids

Do you know just how much kids are made by cars? How much more by being able to assemble their very own car? Even though they may not be able to  hop in, they can diligently power their cars with their hands and drive them either gently or rashly. You can’t help but chuckle when you hear sounds of “voom!” as your kids warm their car engines and hit the road!

There are many other kits available. Just choose the ones that you would like your kids to learn about. Despite how amazing this idea sounds, your kids may need some assembling aids. With time, however, they will be able to find their way around it. Below are some assembling aids to assist your kids.

Assembling aids

  • Pictures of the toy your kid wishes to construct.
  • A manual showing the steps of how to assemble the toy.
  • Your presence during their first and some subsequent assembling.

Don’t lose a night sleep if your kids have difficulty in making their first assemble. With time, they get to learn how to do so amazingly fast! Sometimes, giving your kids something to assemble child be all you need to help them train their focus!

« Previous Entries