Friday, December 2, 2011

Beeswax: A Retrospective

I know I have been very lax in school related posting lately, but rest assured, we have been doing school related activities! I think I have mentioned before that a big part of what drew me to the Waldorf teaching style is the art. One thing the girls look forward to very much is our Monday circle time when we do a little beeswax sculpture to go along with the story for that week.

I didn't plan it so each item we've made so far used a different color, but it worked out that way. Maybe because that's just how things happen sometimes, or maybe because that's just how things happen when it's always 9:45 Monday morning and you are standing in the craft room frantically trying to think of a simple clay sculpture to go with that week's story before the girls start fighting over who sits where and you lose the whole peaceful circle time vibe, and you are faced with a box of neat rectangles of clay or a plastic bag full of prior weeks' projects. At any rate, we've cycled through all the colors now, and I thought it would be fun to do a post about the things we've made before I reshape them all so they can be reused.

First were the balls moons, of course. These went along with the story "Harvest Moon Magic" by Suzanne Down.

Then, the week of the autumn equinox, we made pomegranates to go with the story of Demeter and Persephone.  

Then we read "Michaelmas Story of the Star Children" by Corinne Batzell. I printed it out from somewhere, but I can't seem to find it again. It's a great story though, and if you aren't as lazy as me, you could probably spend ten seconds Googling it. We made sprouts to go with the story. They're kind of springish, but the tube shape was a nice change from what we'd been doing.  

Next, we made leaves to go with the story "The Elder Brother" from here.  

I guess we lost a stem from one of our leaves.  I can't find the other picture I took before I threw these in a plastic bag and jumbled them around the craft bin though, so this one will have to do.
For Martinmas, we made flames. They look a lot like the sprouts, actually, except yellow. This was the Monday I forgot to get out the wax, and after the girls sat down, Max kept saying "day, day, day, no day" with a sullen look on her face. I had no idea what she was talking about until Lissie said "Oh, I know, you forgot the clay!" I find it interesting how quickly Maxine adapted to the weekly rhythm.  

Our story that week was "Saint Martin's Light" by Reg Down, who has kindly made a number of his stories available for download on his site. It's a wonderful resource and a great way to sample his work if your local library doesn't carry his books (as ours doesn't) and you are on a budget (like we are). This was actually my first introduction to his stories, but I loved everything I read, so I "liked" Tiptoes Lightly on Facebook and then won a copy of The Cricket and The Shepherd Boy in a giveaway that he did. How cool is that? Reg Down seems like a really nice guy too, which makes me want to buy all of the rest of his books immediately, but alas, that budget! We are building our collection slowly though.  

And for our last project, I thought we'd branch (hah!) out a bit from the tube shape. Lissie and I made trees (Maxine made a tree stump), which went along nicely with the story "Autumn Bear" by Suzanne Down.  

In Feingold related news, I recently learned about a product called Gloves in a Bottle which prevents things from being absorbed into the skin. I can't wait to try it out with Lissie. I am hoping it will allow her to use markers, beeswax crayons and paint again (although she has been doing well with her Artemis watercolors). I haven't decided yet if we'll try the Stockmar modeling beeswax, or stick with Artemis if the "gloves" work. Maybe we'll use a combination of both.  I do like the muted colors and variations in the kind we've been using, but I have a feeling the girls would enjoy the brighter Stockmar colors too.