Term 1 Week 2

Amber & Turquoise Class

Our reception, year 1 and year 2 artists investigated the abstract textile work of Liz Payne (you can see examples of her work here). We discussed her use of colour and pattern, and the way in which she adds detail using different embroidery techniques. We used ready mixed paint to make our own version of one of her pieces, then embroidered patterns onto our work using wool. It took a lot of concentration, and we got some great results!

Magenta & Violet Class

Our year 3 and 4 artists looked at the work of quilting artist Pamela Allen (see examples of her work here). We sketched a rough idea for a fabric collage composition, using Pamela’s work and the patterns on our fabric as inspiration. Once we were happy with our designs, we started to put it together using shapes cut from different kinds of fabric. Next week we are going to add embroidery details to our images.

Emerald Class

Our year 5 and 6 artists continued with their batik project. Last week we created a pattern onto a piece of fabric using glue pens, which we then left to dry. This week we added colour- we used watered down acrylic paints, as it needed to soak into the fabric but also to be waterproof. Once our work was dry, it was soaked in warm water and rinsed out to remove the glue, leaving some really interesting patterns. 

You can watch a tutorial on the technique we used here.

Cyan Class- Discover Arts Award

This week we had a visit from local artist Samantha Hope! Sam talked to us about her interest in textiles, and showed us some examples of her felting work. She then taught us how to produce a piece of handmade felt. We laid sections of wool roving (unspun wool) onto a piece of bubble wrap, teasing open the fibres as we went. We then laid a piece of netting over the fibres to hold them in place before wetting them down with soapy water. We rubbed the wool through the netting until it was partially felted together, then rolled the piece of felt up in the bubble wrap. We rolled it back and forth 40 times before unwrapping it, turning it 90 degrees and repeating the process. This causes the fibres to mesh together until it becomes one piece. The felt is then submerged in warm water, which opens up the fibres, and then immediately into cold water, causing them to contract which strengthens the bonds between them. 

A huge thank you to Sam for coming to visit! It was a really interesting and fun process, and we got some brilliant results. Next week we are going to add embellishments to our felt.

Indigo Class- Bronze Arts Award

Indigo class are working towards Part C of the Bronze Award- Arts Inspiration. This section involves researching an artist, craftsperson or arts practitioner, for which we will be producing an artist profile on local printmaker John McGowan. This week we visited John’s inspirational studio in Northborough to find out about his work.

You can see examples of John’s work here.

John talked to us about his early life and how his interest in art developed. He told us about his career as an art teacher, and his particular love for screen printing. We were shown lots of examples of different kinds of printing, including drypoint, screen printing and relief printing. John then talked us through the process of creating his most recent print, a composition consisting of several historical buildings in Oundle. He showed us how much development work goes into the process, with numerous test prints produced to try different combinations of colour and texture. He talked to us about the importance of self criticism, and to remember that ‘you’re not trying to please the world, but to please yourself’. 

John gave us a quick demonstration of drypoint intaglio printing, which involves scratching an image onto an acrylic plate before rubbing ink into the scratches. We are going to be producing our own printing plates over the next couple of weeks, and John has kindly invited us back to use his printing press!

Term 1 Week 1

We’re excited to have started our second year of classes! A big welcome back to all of our returning students. It’s also lovely to see some new faces joining us!

Term 1 at Art Stars will be focusing on textiles. We’ll be learning various techniques involving different kinds of fabric, including tie dying, weaving, sewing and fabric sculpture. We’ll be investigating the work of contemporary textile artists such as Michael Brennand-Wood, and creating our own pieces inspired by their work.

Here’s what we got up to in our first week- please click on a photo to enlarge it.

Amber & Turquoise Class

Our reception, year 1 and year 2 artists tried their hands at weaving a web this week! We investigated different kinds of wool, yarn and fabric, and chose contrasting pieces to weave onto a chicken wire framework. We thought about the kinds of patterns we could create by weaving in different directions. We also made spiders to live in our webs!

Magenta & Violet Class

Our year 3 and 4 artists learnt a circle weaving technique. We formed a star shape onto a piece of cardboard, then chose lengths of different kinds of wool and yarn to weave through it. We showed great perseverance as some aspects of this technique were quite fiddly!


Emerald Class

Our year 5 and 6 artists started a two week batik project. We talked about the process of batik in which patterns are drawn onto fabric using molten wax before being dyed- the wax prevents the dye from reaching the patterned areas of the fabric, which therefore remain white. We are going to be recreating the look of batik using glue. This week we designed an image and traced it onto fabric with the glue, which will act in a similar way to the wax.


Cyan Class- Discover Arts Award 

Cyan Class is our new Arts Award Discover class! This week we looked through our lovely new log books to familiarise ourselves with the format of the award. We discussed various art forms that we had experienced before, either as an audience member or through participation, and made notes about them in our logs. We spent some time personalising the front cover.

Photos to follow!

Indigo Class- Bronze Arts Award

Indigo class are now launching into part C of the Bronze Arts Award, which involves researching artists, craftspeople and art practitioners. This week we reviewed the work we did over the summer based on last term’s theme of the journey. We then prepared for next week’s visit to the studio of local printmaker John McGowan, who is going to show us how to produce a drypoint intaglio print! For this we designed an A6 size line drawing which will be the starting point for our print. We also watched some youtube videos of John’s work. We will be asking John questions about his artistic practice and conducting our own research for this part of the award.

Summer Workshops

We had a lovely few days of workshops! It was great to see some of our current term time students, plus some artists who have previously attended workshops. It was also fantastic to meet lots of new creative youngsters!

Here’s what we’ve been up to- please click on a photo to enlarge.

Paper Rolling Sculptures

We made tubes from lots of different kinds of paper, including some that we had decorated ourselves. We then used cool melt glue guns to construct gravity-defying abstract sculptures. We got some brilliant results!

Face and Body Painting with Rose Croft

Professional artist Rose showed us a range of painting techniques, using ourselves as canvases! We learned how to apply the paint using sponges and brushes to recreate some of Rose’s designs (and to make up some of our own!)


Brilliant Buttons

We made a variety of different creations using lots and lots of buttons, including tree collages, picture frames and caterpillars! 


Wigwam Weaving

We used willow withies to create mini wigwams, and then wove different kinds of wool and yarn onto them. We finished them off by adding feathers. We also worked as a group to weave lengths of fabric onto a large scale structure. This workshop was quite fiddly- all of our artists showed great perseverance! 


Collage Creatures

We investigated the fabulous collage work of San Francisco-based artist Denise Fiedler. We learned how to create a dog collage using paper from an old book, and then had a go at assembling our own animal characters based on her work- we had dogs, cats, birds, horses and even unicorns!


Well done to all of our workshop artists- see you again soon!

Term 6 Week 6

This week was our last week of the summer term! Each class had a mini art party to celebrate. We created some wonderful, energetic pieces of art to music by playing ‘Musical Painting’- when the music stopped we had to swap to a different colour or medium. We then drew a plate on the tablecloth in front of us, and drew all the party food we had before we ate it! We finished off by adding more decoration to the tablecloth and signing our names. 

We’ve really enjoyed our first year of classes- a huge well done to all of our talented Art Stars!

Maroon, Amber & Turquoise Class

Magenta & Violet Class

Emerald Class

Term 6 Week 5

This week, each student produced a piece of artwork that combined drawing and sculpture. We made a whole flock of birds, which will be on display at our summer exhibition at the weekend.

Maroon, Amber & Turquoise

Our reception, year 1 and year 2 artists started by producing some mixed media studies of feathers. We experimented with combining different media and techniques to create a page full of different colours and textures. We then used our work as collage material to create our bird sculptures!

Magenta & Violet

Our year 3 and 4 artists produced a study of a peacock feather to add to their collection of feather drawings from last week. We then used our drawings as collage for our birds.

Emerald Class

Our year 5 and 6 students also created beautiful birds!

Term 6 Week 4

This week each class experimented with colour and texture using a range of media! 

Maroon, Amber & Turquoise Class

Our reception, year 1 and year 2 artists experimented with wax resist techniques. We collected different textures by creating rubbings of various surfaces using oil pastels, and then added Brusho paint. We also drew ‘secret pictures’ using candles- it was tricky because we couldn’t see what we were drawing, but once we brushed paint over the paper our drawings appeared!


Magenta & Violet Class

Our year 3 and 4 artists used a wide range of drawing media to depict feathers in different ways. We got some beautiful results! We are going to use this work as collage material for next week’s project, which will be a combination of drawing and sculpture.

Emerald Class

Our year 5 and 6 artists also produced some wonderful feather studies. We’ll be making some very bright and colourful bird sculptures next week!

Term 6 Week 3

This week we were all working on showing a range of tone and texture in our drawings. We used charcoal, chalk, rubbers and watered down paint to draw some landscapes. 

Maroon, Amber & Turquoise Class

Our reception, year 1 and year 2 artists practised showing varying degrees of tone in their sketchbooks. We then went outside to create some large scale group pieces- we drew trees inspired by those in the garden and from our imaginations. We used a variety of marks to show different textures, and added areas of wash. At the end we dripped paint onto the picture to show the rain! 

Magenta & Violet Class

Our year 3 and 4 artists chose scenes to draw- Magenta Class worked in the studio garden on large sheets of sugar paper, and Violet Class visited the churchyard with their sketchbooks. We chose scenes that we thought would work well to show tone and texture- we looked for lots of contrast between light and dark areas. We produced some lovely studies!

Emerald Class

Our year 5 and 6 artists also took their sketchbooks across to the churchyard. It was lovely to sketch on location, and the group made some very successful studies in tone. (We also did some gymnastics!)