highschool workshops

The highschool workshops took place earlier this week. The students are on term break so I really appreciated them taking the time to come out to Rumpueng to spend with me. The original plan was to do a mapping of place through texture and object collections but because of workshop timing, it would be dark out.

We explored our vision of place instead, contrasting how other people like visitors or tourists perceive our city/home and how we would choose to convey it. As a fan of mail and Chiang Mai being a popular holiday destination, the postcard format was used.

What is it that we value and find meaningful in the place we call home?

We looked at typical Chiang Mai and Thailand postcards depicting wats, monks, tuk-tuks, elephants and developed ideas for our own set of cards sharing what we would like other people to see and know. Here are a few of the pieces.

Our second evening was spent exploring different book structures and how the tetra-tetra flexagon could be used. Ideas ranged from depicting changing feelings to a children’s story to the elements earth, wind, fire, water.

IMG_6120 IMG_6118


I haven’t learned much Thai yet and English was limited but these two evenings we were still able to share and learn from each other. I’m continually amazed at how people communicate and especially how art can give us a voice in so many ways.

art workshop at rumpueng

I had my first workshop this week with some young artists who were attending art camp. They came to Rumpueng Community Art Space for the workshop with their teachers. I thought they’d be 8-10 yr olds but the kids ranged from 3-10 which proved for exciting times! Very appreciative of their teachers’ assistance and also help with translation when needed. We started off learning more about each other in smaller groups by creating a collective special friend who would represent them.

special friends


On the far left, you can see the little ones had fun tracing Ajarn Tu’s (Professor Supachai) body, colouring in and creating patterns. Some things I found particularly interesting about these new friends is that they are linguistically apt, love to spend time at the Chiang Mai Zoo, and like to eat cheese.

We talked about ideas for our stories and where we could draw inspiration from in our life and experiences. We thought about possible characters, setting and objects to include. One idea from each category was painted onto story stones. These would help us in writing our stories and we could also exchange stones for new story ideas.

After snack time, we learned how to fold and make the “walking pants” book from an A4 sheet of paper and started on our stories.

It was a fabulous afternoon together with the kids and definitely felt like the first day of school for me : ).  After the red bus came to pick them up, two neighbourhood girls stopped by and we did some bookmaking together. We were able to communicate in limited English + actions + drawings. I found out they are on school break for two weeks and got them to teach me some Thai words. We made two different book structures and even managed to put covers on one before they decided they wanted to play with the cats.

bookmaking at ETC 13

Visual Arts was one of the strands this year at the EARCOS Teachers’ Conference in Shanghai so I had the opportunity to run a bookmaking workshop.

all set up in an art room at Concordia International School

We had a great turnout that morning. It was hard to gauge how many people would be there and the bulk of my luggage did end up being materials and tools for the session but it was well worth it. What I enjoyed seeing most was the wonderment in discovering the potential of a sheet of paper and participants teaching each other and sharing techniques along the way.

Post-it® thoughts and ideas from the bookmakers…

What is a book?
  • a visual representation of ideas
  • it’s a life mirror
  • my lover
  • an exciting TRIP
  • a means of sharing information
  • everything
  • educator
  • entertainment
  • a written form of communication that is purposeful and organized
  • companion
  • ideas, opinions, moments ready to be shown
  • a promise…a journey
  • a paper trail to/thru another world
  • inspiration
  • a learning experience
  • a friend
  • an access to learning
  • something to share
  • creative process
  • a new world and a great resource for all
  • a place for documenting art/thinking process
  • a reference source
  • a collection
  • early form of information
What is your relationship with books?
  • We are friends since I became literate
  • Books–are like finding a friend..check, look and discover ♥
  • the only long term relationship
  • I love my large collection of picture books
  • Love children literature. I started my children book library 25 years ago when I have my first child. Write and or illustrate children book is one of my dreams.
  • the physical interaction–tactile experience and smell of books
  • Good! Useful! Entertaining!
  • read, travel, and experience life with characters
  • the physical feel
  • I get students to love
  • Books take me away from the stress of life! They nourish me!
How can we use bookmaking in our classrooms?
  • Camp Taiwan Journal for kids to record their experiences
  • field sketchbook
  • to have my students write a book for their 1st grade reading buddies
  • In my classroom–PERFECT way for: expressing ideas, showing what was learned, keeping reminders
  • to showcase student ideas
  • student expression & accomplishment
  • Teaching kids about beginning, middle, & end. Also how some story patterns repeat ie. If you Give a Pig a Pancake!

Thanks to the participants who contributed to the workshop with their ideas, creativity and enthusiasm. I learnt a lot from you and appreciated our time together.

Workshop photos can be found here and book structures we worked on here.