Term 1 Finale!

Each class untied their tie-dyed t-shirts this week- it was really exciting to reveal the designs! We took some group photos along with the collaborative group sculpture we’ve been working on. 

We’ve had a lovely first term this year, and we’re looking forward to seeing our artists again in term 2!

Please click on a photo to enlarge.

Term 1 Week 7

Our reception and years 1 to 4 artists produced some fantastic self portraits this week! They each started with a black and white photo of their face, then embellished it using a variety of different textiles. Some artists turned themselves into animals, others became circus performers. We also saw some excellent hairstyles, including moustaches and beards!

Amber & Turquoise Class

Magenta & Violet Class

Emerald Class

Our year 5 and 6 artists looked at the work of Stacey Page, a mixed media artist from Georgia, USA, who embroiders intricate patterns over vintage photographs (you can see examples of her work here). We had a go at producing our own versions, working onto a photo of ourselves printed onto a piece of cotton. We got some great results!

Term 1 Week 6

This week, each class had a go at tie dyeing t-shirts! We’re looking forward to untying them next week to see the results. We also completed our collaborative mixed media project based on textile artist Michael Brennand-Wood’s work. Each group added their painted MDF strips to the sculpture, then wove various wools and yarns between the pieces. 

Amber & Turquoise Class

Magenta & Violet Class

Emerald, Indigo & Cyan Class

Term 1 Week 5

Amber, Turquoise, Magenta & Violet Class

Our reception and year 1, 2, 3 and 4 artists started a collaborative project this week. Each class discussed the textiles work of British artist Michael Brennand-Wood, then worked as a team to generate some pattern ideas for use in our work. We each decorated a strip of MDF which will be used in a group sculpture, to be put together next week.

You can see Michael Brennand-Wood’s work here.

Emerald Class

Our year 5 and 6 artists completed their weaving project this week! We attached them to rustic twigs to create wall hangings. They look really effective! 

Arts Award- Term 1 Week 5

Cyan Class

Our Discover Arts Award group have been reflecting on their work this week. Part C of the award involves the students sharing their work with people, and so we’d like to share our finished felt pieces with you!

IG‘My favourite thing about my felt craft is how it looks like a sunset. I also like the beads at the top. I really enjoyed it and learnt lots of new skills. It was actually really easy to do and I loved looking at Sam’s work. It was really inspiring’.


‘The thing I loved the most about my felt craft is the colours I chose and my choices of beads. If I had more time I would add more decoration. When my friends commented on my felt craft they said that they liked my range of colours, my bead choices and my simple, bold message. I will definitely be making a felt craft again!’


‘My favourite part of my wet felt was the mixture of colours and how they blend together. My friends said they really liked the face and how it was unique. I also liked how well the antennae look; I made the antennae with pipe cleaners! I really enjoyed the lesson and I would love it if Sam came back and showed us a different mixed media skill.’


‘My favourite part of my wet felt is I could turn it into a bow. My friends said they liked how I did the beads round the outside, the colours I used, and how the buttons fit in with the background.’


‘Wet felting was really fun, though I put too much soap on mine! I liked that the soap was rinsed out of the felt before it dried. My friends said they liked the colours and the beads, and that I drew on the buttons to make a face.’


‘I like the buttons on the tree that I did.’


‘My friends said my work was bright and bold, and they liked my bead choices.’


Indigo Class

Our Bronze Arts Award group worked with printmaker John McGowan this week. John showed us how to print from the perspex plates we’d prepared after our visit to his studio. We rubbed ink onto the plates, then wiped the excess off with a piece of scrim. We soaked a piece of heavyweight watercolour paper in water before blotting it off, then laid it on top of the printing plate. We then placed a thick piece of felt over the top and rolled it through the printing press. We made three prints from our plates in total- next week we’ll choose our favourite one to mount! 

Term 1 Week 4

Amber & Turquoise Class

This week our reception, year 1 and year 2 artists have been learning about Mola designs created by Kuna people, who are native to Panama. You can see examples of Molas hereWe discussed the colours and patterns used in the Molas, then made our own animal templates to delevop into Mola patterns. We used coloured felt to produce our designs. We got some really bright and colourful results!


Magenta & Violet Class

Our year 3 and 4 artists had a go at producing some handmade felt this week (see last week’s post for more information on the techniques we used).


Emerald Class

Our year 5 and 6 artists worked on some weaving this week. We used homemade looms- pieces of cardboard with notches cut into the top and bottom. We placed lengths of wool between the notches to create the ‘warp’, and then chose different colours, textures and thicknesses of wool to weave in and out (the ‘weft’). This simple weaving technique creates some lovely results! We’re going to finish them off next week. 

Arts Award- Term 1 Week 3

Cyan Class- Discover Arts Award

Our Discover group spent some time recording last week’s visit from artist Sam Hope in their arts logs. We made a photo collage showing the different stages of the wet felting technique that Sam taught us, and commented on which aspects we enjoyed the most. We then added embellishments to our pieces of felt, using embroidery and beadwork.


Indigo Class- Bronze Arts Award

Our Bronze group worked on their arts logs too, recording our visit to John McGowan’s studio and producing an artist profile. We then had a go at etching onto perspex- we are creating printing plates which we will be printing from with John’s help!

Term 1 Week 3

Amber & Turquoise Class

Our reception, year 1 and year 2 artists had a go at wet felting! We laid pieces of wool down to make a base layer before adding coloured pieces on top to create a pattern. We then dampened the wool down with soapy water and rubbed it to begin the felting process. Once the fibres had started to knit together, we rolled our pieces of felt up in a bamboo mat and rolled them back and forth lots of times in order to continue the process. It took lots of effort but we ended up with some very colourful felt!

Magenta & Violet Class

Our year 3 and 4 artists added some embroidery details to their fabric collage based on artist Pamela Allen’s work. We practised threading our needles, and had a go at running stitch, backstitch and cross stitch. It took a lot of patience!


Emerald Class

Our year 5 and 6 artists also had a go at wet felting this week. We got some great results!


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.



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.