Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mola Inspired Drawings by BMS grade 3

Third Graders at Birch Meadow are working on a piece of art inspired by Molas. 
A mola is part of the traditional costume of the Kuna women of Panama.   "Mola" means "shirt" or "clothing". The mola originated with the tradition of Kuna women painting their bodies with geometrical designs, using available natural colors; in later years these same designs were woven in cotton, and later still, sewn using cloth bought from the European settlers of Panama. 

Kuna Woman selling Molas (from wikipedia)
Molas are made by using the technique of appliqué.  Appliqué means that pieces of fabric are sewn on to other pieces of fabric. 
For our project, we studied where the Kuna Yala or Guna Yala people lived, which is in Panama on a small group of Islands that were formerly called the San Blas region.  It is near the Darien Rainforest and Columbia.  Since it is so close to the rainforest, we decided that the subject of our mola inspired drawings should be rainforest animals. 
We started by drawing different types of rainforest animals.  We drew them on black paper and outlined them with white Elmer's glue.
Jessie outlining in glue

Once the glue dried, we added color using oil or chalk pastel.  I gave the choice of either material, because many children have some tactile issues with chalk, meaning that they can't stand the feeling of it.  So instead of making them use it, I gave them the option of using oil pastel.  It was split between oil and chalk pastel.  Each has a different outcome.  Here are some of the results:

Chalk Pastel Mola by Kiara

Chalk Pastel Mola by Erin (unfinished)

Chalk Pastel Mola by Braden
Oil Pastel Mola by Haley (unfinished)

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