This past Thanksgiving weekend, fellow staffer Mariel and I headed over to Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre to participate in HarbourKIDS: Folk – a three day festival filled with free entertainment and activities celebrating the positivity of community, family, and friends through folk music, folk tales, and folk art.
For the weeks leading up to the festival, I was faced with the task of developing a collaborative art project that children of all ages could engage in and contribute to, resulting in a piece that would grow over the course of the weekend. I was really excited about the opportunity to introduce so many young people to the world of folk art and craft, and decided to focus on the idea of traditional craft practices, but using not so traditional materials.
Inspired by the vibrant, fabric-like qualities of the Chiyogami paper in the shop, I thought it would be fun to have the kids cut, paste, and weave strips of the paper to create what looked like patchwork quilt blocks. Each block would then be attached together, creating a large, colourful paper quilt. This gave the kids a chance to work with some beautiful paper, and see their piece become part of a greater, collaborative artwork.
Armed with buckets of Chiyogami paper strips (and lots of our other papers, the sparkly Candyflake was particularly popular), we worked with hundreds of enthusiastic, crafty kids to create a Patchwork Paper Quilt that grew to fill the entire tent by the end of the weekend. Here’s how it looked after just one day!