A series of online workshops "Krzyżowa invites to creativity". On why we focus on creativity

Liubov Shynder, Agnieszka Duduś, IYMC Krzyżowa

The project of art and environmental education online "Krzyżowa invites to creativity" arose from the need to maintain contact with young people and teachers in times of pandemonium, when we have been cut off from various forms of meeting in Krzyżowa and creating together.

The aim of the project is to present the International Youth Meeting Centre's approach to art education through videos, which can be watched at any time and which present, step by step, four different artistic methods that combine elements of upcycling and thus show how to create art in harmony with care for the environment.

These videos are directed at several audiences. On the one hand, these are young people and their parents who are looking for ideas for creative activities at home, easy to make and inspiring to use handy and available materials for creation, and on the other hand, teachers and educators who are looking for new ideas and approaches to environmental and artistic education.

The series of four videos concerns work with fabric and is a way of presenting the multiplicity of applications of this material, or in other words - the raw material that has accompanied man almost since the beginning of his existence. Each week, over the course of a month, another workshop will appear on our blog and, of course, a little more about the approach and technique mentioned in the workshop. At the end of the series, all the videos will be available on our website, Facebook profile and on youtube.com.

The natural prints on T-shirts, the rug mats, rag dolls and the cotton jewellery are techniques that are also easy to produce for younger children. The realization of these small creations is followed by a deeper message and at the same time skills training. These tasks develop creativity, fine motor skills and of course imagination. They strengthen practical and technical skills and are an exercise in concentration and patience.

Creative use of cotton knitted fabrics which are already worn out, or those which we are bored with, is also an answer to the problem of excessive production of waste. It is a way of reusing unnecessary or used things - which means probably rubbish in a moment... But we see it differently - there is no rubbish, there are raw materials! And we can give these materials a second life, often by increasing their value (upcycling).

The example of the lesson on extracting colour from plants provides additional information. We can use natural dyes to dye fabric or eggs for Easter, getting rid of chemical dyes from the environment. In addition, going for a walk can have a specific purpose - we can enrich our physical activity and enjoy being among nature and going in search of colourful plants.

The example of weaving on a frame is a knowledge of the most basic methods of making fabrics, but also a patent for creativity: a frame from a painting or legs from a chair, or a piece of cardboard give us the basis for creating small works of art in our homes, without the need to leave home and buy more things. Our ecological (carbon) footprint will certainly be smaller thanks to this approach.

Making a doll gives great joy to both younger and older artists. Working on your own and not having to buy another toy is doubly satisfying. The same goes for hand-made "warm" jewellery, ideally matching a winter jumper. Simple, yet effective thanks to the number of strings and colours used. And for every jumper it can be different😊.

PART 1 - Weaving and going back to basics

PART 2 - Rag dolls 

PART 3 - Dyes - where do colours come from and why is it important to know that? 

PART 4 - Cotton jewelry - new life for fabrics. Upcycling as an approach to handicrafts


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