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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Kids Art: Potato Stamping

kids art potato stamps

A while back, I had introduced Ana to using vegetables (and other found objects) for stamping and creating some form of art.

Potato Stamps are fun if we can manage to carve out the required design. That part has always been challenging for me. I can manage simple designs, common shapes, but nothing intricate so far.

One soggy afternoon, both Ana and Og were playing with their respective penguin soft toys and wanted to create some art with penguins. Stamping seemed like something both the 5 year old and the 2 year old can do easily. So, I dipped into my bag of potatoes and decided to make simple penguin potato stamps.

kids art potato stamps penguins ladybugs

The first potato stamp I managed was technically the back of a penguin - convinced Ana that it is a penguin walking away. But of course, she wanted penguins jumping, sliding, looking goofy and walking towards us. So, we used ends of baby carrots dipped in white paint to add the white parts for the penguin. Then, orange crayon to add the feet and beak.

This one goes in the Save-For-Memory Box as I liked the explanation Ana had when she showed it to me after she was done: Penguins sliding down a snow hill, with one of them falling on top of the other at the bottom. It stuck in my head as she had deliberately stamped one penguin on top of another for this story. The background is done with chalk pastels over white paint.

kids art potato stamps penguins ladybugs

For Og, I decided to make the penguin with the white part carved out so he doesn't have to deal with carrot stamping for the white parts. After he was done with it on easel paper, Ana had a go at it making cards for her friends. Adding eyes, beak, and feet, giving each one a unique look, seemed like the best part of this activity.

kids art potato stamps penguins ladybugs

From there on, we tried ladybugs, chicks, ducks etc. - very simple shapes. I still can't carve well: Oggie most certainly wanted a T-rex, a Backhoe, a Dragon Potato Stamp and I couldn't quite do it, naturally - got the general outline that looked like a huge blob of some animal-ish figure... and Ana wanted a fairy, which is a bit beyond my current skills with X-acto knife and potatoes :)

But, considering the 50-odd little and not-so-little rubber stamps we have to meet all our stamping needs, I don't feel too terrible about not coming up with intricate potato stamps.

Also, I like home-made ink pads, especially for the little one's use: Drops of food color on a damp sponge... it stains the fingers a bit, but is washable and edible, especially since the little one puts everything in his mouth anyway. Plus, this allows for interesting effects when we put drops of different colors near each other on the same sponge - a multi-colored ink pad - and, a dab or so of water adds a nice effect - almost like inky paint.

And, with food color 'inks', I can rinse out and use the potatoes for cooking after a day as cut potatoes turn brown and start shriveling anyway :)

As always, inspiration comes from many places, but, for the most part, I love just about everything in Usborne Complete Book of Art Ideas book, including these penguins.

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At 10:19 PM, Blogger MindfulMeanderer said...

lovelyyyyyyyyy idea :)

At 12:11 PM, Blogger Sheela said...

::MindfulMeanderer:: Thanks! With food color 'ink pads', this makes a rather eco-friendly activity, as afterwards I rinse, peel and cook the potatoes :)

At 10:14 PM, Blogger Kristine said...

We too have been potato stamping as I'm exploring ways of including our littly in our art. We've been using poster paint and I'm not very pleased with the clarity of the image - partly the stamp tends to slide on the paper and partly not being able to get a clean coverage. I'll have to give the food dye pads a try and see if they work better for us. Another way of making stamps is to press a cookie cutter into the potato and while it's still in place cut around the edge about 5mm below the cut surface. These edge pieces will fall off leaving a cookie cutter shaped stamp. No where near as detailed as your lovely penguins but easy.

We don't eat our stamps but kept in the fridge they last for a week or so.

At 7:56 AM, Blogger Sheela said...

Kristine:: I am glad you shared it - I had the same experience with using paints - blobs - unless we paint on a thin layer with a brush or something... which seems more involved for the little one...

Cookie-cutter impressions are great, isn't it? I have mostly just Christmas themed cookie-cutters... maybe time to look for fancier ones :)


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