Another trip to India and Nepal, and another wonderful workshop at "Hamro Ghar" in Kathmandu. This is the home where children live and go to school, children who have been rescued from forced labour in carpet mills.
Knowing how tricky it was to get supplies in Kathmandu, from my experience with last year's workshop, we brought chicken wire, glue and paint from Canada. We showed the kids how the chicken wire could be shaped in to any three dimensional shape that they could imagine. This would serve as the armature of the their sculpture before being covered by newspaper dipped in glue. With little prompting the children were shaping fish, peacocks, soccer balls, bowls, one boy saw the twist in the chicken wire with the cut ends of the metal and made a snake with a forked tongue....a brilliant creative visual leap. Once the paper strips were applied the sculptures were left to dry. Over the weekend we left glue and some wire for the children to work on their own. They moved on to making more personal items...hats and purses!
We returned a few days later for the painting portion of the workshop. With a quick lesson on colour theory (blue + yellow = green) the kids threw themselves into painting the sculptures. Without a lot of guidance or influence they were painting black and white soccer balls, fish with colourful scales, purses and hats with patterns, and one boy did an incredible self-portrait.
The children also had a cooperative nature. They would help each other mix colours. One child began the ambitious project of a peacock and a number of friends joined in to help. Once finished they were happy to share their sculptures, the soccer balls were kicked around, hats were shared, and generally there was delight in each others' work.
Creative and cooperative, what a combination!
We hope that within GoodWeave's future initiatives, this talent and generous spirit can be tapped and encouraged. We would like to see the artistry and craftsmanship that is required in rug making be taught to the children so this craft will become a respected field in which to work.