The next time someone tells me they aren’t creative I’m going to hand them a pie tin.
Today’s project is based on a form of Mexican folk art called Hojalata. I often turn to folk art as proof positive that everyone is creative. You don’t need fancy training or classes to be creative, you just need the belief you can make something and the love for doing it.
That’s why I love folk art. It’s art created by everyday folks who make wonderful, amazing pieces with simple, often discarded items; it’s art that teaches us to see the objects around us differently and not rely on special materials or training to be artistic.
Some of my favorite folk art comes from Mexico, in particular I love Hojalata or Tin Art. We have a few tin art pieces around our house and I love the mixture of color and texture. Typically hojalata is made by stamping and punching tin, today we’re going to kid-idfy the process using recycled aluminum and sharpies
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Art Ideas for Kids: Embossed Tin Art
- Disposable cooking sheet or pie plate– SAVE THESE next time you buy a pie or go to a potluck! They make the perfect base for this project! We used sheets I bought from the store, which all had some type of pattern on the bottom. If you are buying sheets for this project THESEwould be perfect.
- Painter’s tape
- Step One Cut your (recycled) cookie sheet into several sections. If you are using a pie tin, one pie tin bottom will make a good sized “canvas.”
- Step TwoTrim the corners of each mini sheet to prevent sharp edges.
- Step Three Tape the aluminum sheets down to the work surface. The aluminum tends to buckle and deform as it is embossed. Painter’s tape will secure it in place and protect hands from the metal edges.
- Step Four Start “drawing” on the alumnum using the end of a nail. Be sure to press down hard to make an indentation in the metal.
- Step Five Continue making an embossed design until you are satisfied. Remove the painter’s tape.
- Step Six Turn the sheet over, tape it down again, and use Sharpies to color to the design using the embossed relief as borders for the color.
- Step Seven Remove tape and display!
Well wasn’t that easy? Here’s my kids making their art.
Embossing. Embossing is an art technique that involves stamping or punching a material to form a 3D imprint or relief. The two materials typically used for embossing are paper and metal. You’ve probably seen embossing used on the last wedding invitation you received! The art of embossing in metal is also called repousse. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post hojalata is a type of embossed folk art from Mexico; one of the primary things that makes it stand out from other forms of embossed metal art is the color. Typically embossed metal is left in it’s natural state but in hojalata the embossed surface is painted in very colorful hues. Tin is also considered a cheap type of metal and is sometimes referred to as “poor man’s silver,” thus making it a perfect candidate for folk art. If you have a chance to visit a store that sells Mexican art and imports be sure to take a look at the tin art, it is often combined with religious and humorous symbols.
If you are in need of easy art ideas for kids over the long summer tin art is one you can do with materials you probably already have on hand. Embossed tin art is suitable for young kids and the level of detail and finesse will increase with age. My 5 year old didn’t really understand the idea of using the embossed lines as guides for the color but my 7 year old was ready for that concept.And of course my toddler had to get in on the action; the image below was taken before his torso became covered in Sharpie!
- For more easy art projects for kids check out Watercolors and Oil and Styrofoam Patterns.
- Here another easy art idea for kids from Art Bar Blog Watercolors and q-tips, they made theirs into a beautiful garland after!
- And if this wet your appetite for folk and/or multi-cultural art for kids consider getting your hands on this book. It’s on its way to our house now!
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