Thursday, September 17, 2009

Settling into Residency

Doris announces another Open Studio

As I settle into my third week as Sunrise Rotary Writer in Residence at Hamilton Girls High School (HGHS), there's a lot of books being made around the school in and out of the classrooms. I've done presentations and mini-workshops with half a dozen English and Art classes so far. Now when I meet a new class, there's usually one or two girls who have already been making books with friends who have learnt from me in the past week or so. I won't be surprised when some kind of critical mass is reached and the school is literally exploding with colourful little handmade books.

Jessica and Isobel making paper cuts

At lunchtimes I often put out 'Doris' the dressmaker's dummy to indicate that its an Open Studio today. The first few times a handful of girls came in to have a look and stayed to play with paper. Yesterday, fifteen students were crammed in! There was painting in one room, and papercutting and folding in the other. It was hectic fun but lunchtimes are short, so quite a number of projects have been left unfinished for the next Open Studio. Some of the girls are coming back again and again, eager to extend their book making repetoire and meet new friends who share their interests.

Painting paper to be made into books

It's particularly thrilling for me when students show me a book they've made in their own time and filled with original writing or drawings. Or when a student has been inventing new book structures and we can talk about how to solve design problems to achieve what they want.

Isobel's castle

1 comment:

Carol said...

What a wonderful experience for you and the girls! You sound like the perfect writer in residence.