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These are the People in Your Neighborhood

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are SO excited to formally introduce you to the first four prints in our new series that we call “The People in Your Neighborhood”.  These have been a work in progress for quite some time, and you can expect two more to be added to the series sometime in the near future.  We think they are quite charming.

The idea for this series has an interesting origin.  Last school year I was lucky enough to get to host a student teacher for a semester.  It was great.  An extra set of hands in an elementary art room is like striking gold.  My pre-service teacher (that’s the official title) did a fantastic job developing projects for our kids to dive into.  One of the projects that he taught was relief portraits.  Any time we use clay it is always a big hit, but these were just the best.  The kids did a super awesome job and they had so much fun doing it. *

*  Here is where I need to tell you that I did take photos of all of their awesome and hilarious relief portraits, but somehow they all got deleted from my camera before I uploaded them to the computer.  I’m sorry, my fault.  Trust me, they were great.

The best part about having a student teacher is that by the end of the semester, they are fully in charge of the classroom.  What did that mean for me?  Well, it meant that I got to play with clay too, right along with the kids.   Let me tell you, it is really rare in an elementary art classroom to get the chance to actually sit down.  But to sit down AND get to use my own creative juices to make something awesome?  Unheard of.

So here’s what I made.  Well, these are the two that survived the kiln.  I had another, but he fell victim in the great kiln disaster of 2011.  Let’s just say, I probably fired one batch a little early, before the clay had fully dried out.  Most of those came out cracked and broken into lots of pieces.  That was fun news to break to the kids.  ”Boys and girls, today we are going to have a lesson on dealing with disappointment…”  They actually took it REALLY well, I was worried.  I guess we both learned something through that experience.

When I showed them to Beth she immediately said, “You have to draw those so we can print them!”

So I did.  And I came up with a few other characters while I was at it.

Here we have Beehive Betty the Librarian.  She has a very high-maintenance hairdo.

This handsome man is The Professor,  a kind and scholarly gentleman.

 The Sailor  sports a righteous mustache…as all self-respecting seamen must.

And finally, please say hello to The Mermaid…the siren of the sea.

Each of these prints is 8×10 and was printed in our studio on our Chandler & Price letterpress.  They are all available in our shop, so get them while they’re hot!

:: Carrie ::

A Big Step Forward

We’re approaching mid August, which for the past several years has meant that it is time to start prepping my classroom for the upcoming school year.  Usually at this time my head is filled with thoughts of classroom decorations, art supply orders, and getting back into routine.  But, this year things have changed a little bit.  Earlier this summer I decided that I’m not going back into the classroom this fall, and I am going to focus full time on letterpress.  Yep, you heard me right, I quit my job!  Yikes.

It has definitely been a dream for us, to be able to do what we love full time, but I didn’t think it would happen this fast.  Being a part of the National Stationery Show this year was really eye-opening for us.  We came home feeling very encouraged about the work that we have done so far, and with a real sense of direction as to where we want to go with our business.   Initially I thought I would teach part time this school year,  but after a lot of deliberation I finally decided to just take the leap and devote all my time to 1canoe2.  Why not, right?  Now that Karen has become a partner, and Beth’s schedule is a little more flexible, we are all really excited about putting more energy into working toward reaching our goals.

In the past week many of my friends have been getting their classrooms ready and attending faculty meetings, which has made the reality of my decision start to sink in.  It is pretty great!

I do love teaching, and there are a lot of things that I am really going to miss.  Mostly I’m going to miss seeing all of my awesome co-workers/friends every day.  Hopefully I’ll still be invited to their after school gatherings!  Of course, I’m going to miss the kids, and all the funny stories that come with working in an elementary school.  I’m going to miss getting notes like this:

And, I’m going to miss spending time in this colorful room:

I’m not going to mention the things that I won’t miss, but there are a few.

It is one of those times when I can look back on all the wonderful things that happened over the past few years, and be thankful, and then look ahead and be excited about what is to come.  I might still have to go out and buy some shiny new shoes and stock up on crayons.  That’s just what you do at this time of year, isn’t it?

:: Carrie ::

This Week in the Art Room

At our school we have a big multicultural celebration coming up.  Each grade is studying a different continent or country, and we’re doing a bunch of art projects to go along with what the kids are studying.

My first graders are super lucky.  They’re learning about Australia.  Australian Aborigines are those people who are native to Australia, and they make some pretty cool paintings.  They like dots…lots and lots of dots.  So, we made dots too…lots and lots of dots.

Lots and lots of dots, in lots and lots of colors.

 

We’re thrilled with how these turned out, the kids did such a great job!  They’re going to look incredible when they are all hanging up together.  Makes me happy just to look at them!

 

:: Carrie ::

 

During the Day I…

Teach art to about 600 elementary school students.  It’s an adventure, to say the least.

[(6 classes per day) + (art supplies)] ²  · 600 kids =

600 future Picassos —  (1 tired teacher + 1 messy room) ³

 

I do feel like my school days are a complicated math problem that I have to figure out as we go. And sometimes, I’m amazed to find at the end of the day that we actually did accomplish everything that was planned.  Sometimes even in one piece!

We move at breakneck speed most of the time.  50 minutes to…

Welcome to art!…keep your hands to yourself!…listen to directions!…put on your aprons!…pass out the paint and brushes and water!…write your name on the back!…don’t spill the water!…Oops, you spilled the water!…share with your neighbor!…NOT TOO MUCH GLUE!…aww, you got paint on your face!…GOOD JOB! now, go wash your hands!…help clean up!…hurry! there’s another class waiting in the hall!…

But, the good thing is that I’m inspired and entertained all day long by some great kids, who create some awesome work.  And, we have a pretty amazing room to do it all in.  Here’s a look into our world.

No, this is not a party!  Serious work goes on in here!

Carrie