Week 6, day 1 – July 31st!

Welcome back! We’re looking forward to another great week at Create Camps! Don’t forget to pick up your FREE t-shirt today before or after camp!



MINI MAKERS (Kindergarten)

This morning Minis learned about SCULPTURE, SCALE and PORTRAITURE looking at Carl Milles’ Bronze Cast Running Horse on the steps of the Art Museum. Then the group constructed their own horse marionettes with paper towel, tissue paper bodies, and beaded string legs.


MOLD: Ceramics & Clay (1st-2nd)

Today 1st/2nd grade was all about glazing and painting. With all of last week’s ceramic projects fired, today the class added color and texture to surfaces. This afternoon, Mold created 3D relief paintings using plasticine clay, and shaped beads to create necklaces inspired by Egyptian ceramics.


DESIGN: Spaces & Places (3rd-4th)

Design started their morning with Girard-inspired bag collages to hold the weeks projects before moving on to a classroom mural – designing a collaborative dream house blueprint. This afternoon they visited Saarinen house and learned about Eero Saarinen’s role as exterior architect and interior designer.


EXPLORE: Art & Nature (5th-6th)

This morning Explore drew and printed on paper bags which will hold treasures found on nature walks throughout the week. Then the group began construction on paper mache cacti inspired by folk art cacti in Alexander Girard’s extensive collection. This afternoon, Explorers created nature body sculptures outdoors after Ana Mendieta’s Siluetas.


MOLD: Ceramics & Clay (7th-9th, teen workshop)


This morning, Mold visited the Cranbrook Institute of Science looking at jewelry in an anthropological context; as a signifier of  personal style and status. Then students started making their own ceramic beads for jewelry and key chains.


Meet the Staff – Margaret!

Today we’d like to introduce Margaret! This, on one of her two weeks off from camps! Margaret teaches an amazing 6 weeks at Create Camps – all our 2-week teen workshops, and this is her third year teaching for us. Needless to say, we think she’s all right.

Teen Workshop Teaching Artist: Margaret


Name: Margaret

Summer Position: Teaching Artist, grades 7-9, Weave: Textures & Textiles, Sculpt: Figures & Found Objects, and Design: Spaces & Places

Hometown: Richmond, Virginia

Cranbrook Academy of Art graduation year + Department: 2016 Fiber

Tell us about your artistic practice, former or current: I work in textiles and video. I’m a member of Cave gallery in Detroit where I have a studio and participate in exhibition programming.

How many years have you been with Cranbrook? Two years as a Graduate Student, and three years teaching in the Museum Education Department.

What is your favorite place on Cranbrook’s campus and why? Shoe Lake. I spent a lot of time wandering around Cranbrook’s fountains, location-scouting for a video project while I was a student. I ended up using Shoe Lake (so named because of its shape) because it is just secluded enough, and the overall setting reminds me of a 19th century landscape painting.

Tell us your favorite summer activity: Swimming.

What’s your favorite food? Ice cream.

Week 5, day 5 – July 28th!

We had a great wrap-up day at camps. Campers put the finishing touches on their week-long projects, visited artworks in the museum, and our two-week ceramics campers saw their clay pieces come out of the kiln!

MINI MAKERS (Kindergarten)

Minis visited the vault today to talk about PATTERN and REPETITION in the textile work of Lucienne Day. Back in the classroom they drew their own geometric patterns on Styrofoam plates and use brayers and ink to transfer their drawings to a communal collage. Each camper’s circle pattern repeated on paper to create a larger patterned print! Campers also printed individual copies for each person to take home.


MOLD: Ceramics & Clay (1st-2nd)

Mold campers got to glaze their fired ceramics – pinch pots, coil pots, treasure boxes, animal sculptures, and pattern plates! They removed their sand-casted plaster embedded with beads and baubles, and started building components for their ceramic face portraits. This afternoon they experimented with brightly colored sculpy, molding their favorite sea creatures for an underwater class collage.


DESIGN: Spaces & Places (3rd-4th)

Designers learned about pattern and printmaking. They looked at Alexander Girard’s printed textiles and talked about shape and color selection in the design-process. After planning their designs on paper, campers made their own stamps and printed patterns on canvas cloth; sewing and stuffing pillows to take home.


EXPLORE: Art & Nature (5th-6th)

This morning, Explorers completed their nature weavings using yarn and materials foraged on campus, using looms constructed from sticks gathered earlier this week. They did sun printing with cyanotype on totebags – using found objects from nature as their stencil outlines. And this afternoon, used the remaining leaves and sticks to create nature face portraits with leaves and flowers in place of eyes and mouths.


MOLD: Ceramics & Clay (7th-9th, teen workshop)

Our Teen ceramics workshop added glazes to fired pieces, assembled their portrait mobiles, and worked on a collaborative group mobile project, molding animals found in Michigan!

Week 5, days 3 & 4 – July 26/27th!

Mini Makers (Kindergarten)

Today Mini Makers looked at wooden figures by designer Alexander Girard. They talked about emotion and facial expressions and guessed what each figure was feeling. Then students created their own wooden spoon dolls complete with capes and feather hair! Yesterday Mini’s looked at Kenneth Noland in the vault and created their own geometric 3D collages!


MOLD: Ceramics & Clay (1st-2nd)

Mold campers have moved on to glazing – adding colorful layers to their pinch and coil pots. Yesterday, campers looked at iridescent Pewabic pottery in the vault and created their own colorful vases and vessels. Today, the group built bricks and constructed castles before learning to sand cast.


DESIGN: Spaces & Places (3rd-4th)

Yesterday, the Designers learned from mid-century masters like Eero Saarinen, Charles & Ray Eames, and Ralph Rapson, studying their chair designs in the vault. Then they spent the afternoon drafting, sketching, prototyping, and building their own mini-chairs. Today, the class visited Frank Lloyd Wright’s Smith House and created blue prints of their dream homes using the cyanotype process.


EXPLORE: Art & Nature (5th-6th)

Yesterday our Explorers traveled to the Cranbrook Institute of Science to look at fossils, discussing imprint and relief and art as a record. On their walk back they collected materials to create their own imprinted tiles and nature paint brushes. Today, they added color to their paper mache cacti and learned all about plein air painting, spending the afternoon outside painting their own watercolor landscapes.


MOLD: Ceramics & Clay (7th-9th, teen workshop)

Mold II spent the day sculpting lots of little pieces for their figure mobiles and letter banners which will all be fired and pieced together to create moving kinetic sculptures. They’ve spent the last two days working with, and mixing, glazes and under-glaze, practicing with wax resistance and other surface techniques. Yesterday, they looked at samples of Pewabic pottery and created a set of dishes that relate to a specific meal that their family likes to eat.

Week 5, day 2 – July 25th!

Today all of our camps looked at and learned from art in our current exhibitions – Alexander Girard, Finland 100, and New Domestic Landscape. There were lots of nature walks (on this beautiful sunny day!) and some amazing projects started.

Mini Makers (Kindergarten)

Minis learned about EMBROIDERY and TEXTURE, created process sewing art inspired by woven and embroidered designed in Alexander Girard’s pillows. The class learned how to weave on a screen adding colorful beads, yarn, pipe cleaners and straws for extra dimension!


MOLD: Ceramics & Clay (1st-2nd)

Today MOLD was all about pattern! They talked shape and repetition in Girard’s printed textiles before learning to make stencils and create their own patterns. They designed templates and cut out multiple shapes on colorful tissue. Then they assembled pattern paper collages. This afternoon, using the same stencils they cut out clay shapes and layered them together to build ceramic plates.


DESIGN: Spaces & Places (3rd-4th)

Designers are learning about architects like Eilel Saarinen who design “total works of art” – homes where they conceptualize all components – architectural, interior and furniture design, even windows! This morning, campers talked shape and color designing their own leaded stained glass windows (just like Eilel Saarinen!) Then, they looked at (and experienced!) Alexander Girard’s conversation pit, designed for the Miller House in Columbus, Indiana before creating their own conversation pit mood boards – thinking about comfort, color, texture, and space design.


EXPLORE: Art & Nature (5th-6th)

Today campers explored nature through the art of fibers. EXPLORERS learned to felt using wool roving, hot water, and needles to create felted balls. Each camper constructed their own felted animal model – we saw caterpillars, pigs, dogs, and butterflies! This afternoon they looked at the weaving of Marianne Strengell and nature embroideries of May Morris before moving on watercolor fabrics with nature embroidery.


MOLD: Ceramics & Clay (7th-9th, teen workshop)

This morning, Molders learned the art of sgraffito, decorating their ceramics with scratched surface patterns. They continued their conversation on pattern in our Alexander Girard exhibit and in the Cranbrook gardens where they looked for pattern inspiration in nature. They sketched to create detailed stencils for a set of patterned tiles.


Week 5, day 1 – July 24th!

Happy Monday. We’re so excited to start our second summer session of CREATE CAMPS, which means new camps, new teachers, and new projects abound.

Mini Makers (Kindergarten)

This morning Minis took a walk around campus gathering leaves and sticks to use in their spray flag projects. They talked about mixing colors and fabric dying, using liquid watercolor to create nature stencils with spray bottle painting.


MOLD: Ceramics & Clay (1st-2nd)

Mini molders started the morning prepping and shaping their clay mounds. They learned two ceramic construction techniques – coil pots and pinch pots – forming small dishes for firing. The coiling conversation continued with their coiled yarn squiggle drawings. They also talked about texture and stamping, creating tiles with patterns and impression from found objects.


DESIGN: Spaces & Places (3rd-4th)

Looking to Alexander Girard’s printed paper bags, Design collaged their own bags using Girard fonts, geometric shapes and symbols to design storage bags for the week. This morning they illustrated a half deck of “good things” cards, with images of things that make campers happy. (Each unique deck will encourage campers to design for and around things that inspire them!) We ended the day with a special tour of  Saarinen House with Collections Fellow, Kevin Adkisson. Campers learned about Art Deco style in the architecture, furnishings, and textiles designed by Eliel and Loja Saarinen, and their children Eero and Pipsan.


EXPLORE: Art & Nature (5th-6th)

Explore learned basic print-making techniques; embellishing bags with their favorite natural elements (animals, plans, places!). These will be used to collect found materials on campus walks. This afternoon, the class started constructing their faux plants – building a cardboard base and coating in papier-mâché to dry overnight. Tomorrow the group will visit plant models and molds in the folk art collection of Alexander Girard, before painting their plants. They ended the day outdoors creating body outlines after Ana Mendieta’s Siluetas in mexico.


MOLD: Ceramics & Clay (7th-9th, teen workshop)

Mold went right to work with pinch pots and coil bowls. They spent the morning forming, shaping, and smoothing pieces to fire overnight. This afternoon Mold learned a slab construction technique to create their 3 inch treasure boxes to hold and object, wish, or feeling with a special meaning.

Week 4, day 5 – July 14th!

Friday! Our last day of Week 4 and our last day of Session 1. We will not be running any camps next week so we can reorganize, recharge, and get ready for Session 2! We still have a few opening in most camps July 24 – Aug 18. If you’re interested, please let us know!

MAKE: Books & Paper (1st-2nd)

Make spent a sunny morning making suminagashi marbled paper. Campers looked at ancient text which used the same technique, then made their own feathered, swirled, and splattered patterns. This afternoon they created puppet silhouettes based on the work of Kara Walker, and performed a puppet show for the class.


BUILD: Huts & Hideaways (3rd-4th)

Builders constructed cardboard castles, modeled after folk art building models  in the Alexander Girard exhibit. They learned about trivets and towers, spires and keeps. This afternoon, they executed a bigger cardboard building project, and paraded their hut flags around campus.


WEAVE: Textures & Textiles (5th-6th)

Weavers learned 3D weaving on woven basket walls, worked on incorporating landscapes and pictures into their 2D weavings, and washed away glue to reveal white lines in their batik patterns. The afternoon wrapped with a silkscreen project – designing and printing their own geometric patterns on canvas tote bags.


SCULPT: Figures & Found Objects (7th-9th, teen workshop)

Sculptors finished up two weeks of projects with their body extensions, wire sculptures, masks, and soft sculptures – they’re all leaving with a great mix of final pieces!

Thanks for another great week!