Haere mai! Welcome to Mairtown Kindergarten's blog.

Nau Mai Haere mai. Welcome to Mairtown Kindergarten's blog.

21 Princes Street, Kensington, Whangarei, New Zealand

Phone: 09 437 2742

Email: mairtown@nka.org.nz

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Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Woodblock Print Making

Recently we have purchased woodcut-printing blocks to add to the resources available in our arts programme. These beautiful blocks are hand made in Rajasthan (India) by master carvers who create the intricate and precise designs by striking well placed chisels with metal bars. This ancient technique has remained unchanged for hundreds of years; it is laborious and intensive. Back at Kindergarten we are truly thankful for the artists/carvers time and effort, as the results for the print maker are absolutely gorgeous!

Printmaking enables children to explore different techniques and to see cause and effect in action more dramatically than with simply painting or drawing. What excites children into making print after print? Artist and author Ursula Kolbe (2007) believes that it is a seductive mix of physical action, expectation and surprise.


Each of these wooden stamps are a different size, shape and weight, and require the children to work purposefully with their hand actions to make a successful print. At first many of the children made quick stamp movements reenacting the same sequence for printing with a rubber stamp pad, however working with ink and woodcut stamps requires slowing down and precision; the children quickly discovered that by dabbing, pressing and pausing to hold the stamps on the paper for longer, clear and un-broken marks were left behind.

This thinking is demonstrated in Kate’s following explanation;

 “I’m going to hold this here (on the ink) for ten seconds; 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 and then on my paper for 100 seconds! It’s gonna make the lines all black”

When children begin printing, they concentrate on mastering the action involved, and tend to print quite randomly. They delight in repeating actions to investigate cause and effect (Kolbe, 2007).

As their skills develop, children begin to organize, assemble and combine their shapes. Marcus used a stem-patterned stamp to create ‘borders’ around other images whilst Mason used the same stamp to create a series of repeated pattern.

One of the joys of participating in children’s print making (through the roll of an observer) is noticing the anticipation and often surprise as children lift the woodblocks from the paper surface to observe what is underneath. Printing is often unpredictable; you never quite know what is going to happen and the results are often not what you expect. It is a great reminder that for children the pleasure in making art is in the process of discovery and not generally the results.

Nga mihi


Thursday, 23 January 2014

Nau mai haere mai, welcome to Kindergarten in 2014

Welcome to a fresh new year at Kindergarten. It is lovely to be back, to see all our children return relaxed and refreshed, and also to welcome two new tamariki and their whanau - Zayne and Ngaio.

Our blog is a great way for everyone to see the programme and curriculum we offer at Mairtown Kindergarten. With each weekly post we focus on the children's learning, their ideas and inspirations; it is an excellent forum for gaining new knowledge and understanding about your children's learning at Kindergarten, and the value of early childhood education in general. So, remember to check back weekly for our posts and updates, we also love to hear any comments you may have - or even some suggestions - don't be shy, we really do love your thoughts and input!