Wednesday, January 22, 2014

At Settlers' Expo

 Tonight was Maya's fourth grade class Settlers' Expo.  The class was divided into around a dozen small groups, and each group had constructed a workshop out of cardboard, paper, odds and ends of furniture, and props (many made of paper, aluminum foil, duct tape, and cardboard).  Each shop was the workplace of a small group of colonial craftspeople-- candle makers, cobblers, tailors, blacksmiths, tinsmiths, weavers, joiners, etc.  The students assumed stage names and spoke in British accents (this was supposed to be the Jamestown Colony in 1680).  The audience walked around to the various shops and engaged the students in conversations to which the students responded in their appropriate roles.  If they didn't know an answer, they generally referred the questioner to a different workshop where the answer might be known.

One workshop, the cobblers, would measure your foot and make a shoe for you for one aluminum foil penny.  I commissioned a shoe, which is in drawing 1385.  Drawing 1387 shows the cobbler hard at work making my shoe.  He even put a few nails in it, and it took him just a few minutes to make it.  He told me it was made of leather and leather with sticky stuff on the back of it.  I asked him what the sticky stuff was and he said pine sap that he got from the weavers.  I paid him a penny and I got to keep my shoe.

Near the shoe is a sketch of a soldier (there was a soldiers' camp down at the far end of the auditorium, with a cot and a game of chess set up.  The soldier outfits were made of aluminum foil and paper, very effective.  One of my favorite costumes was the teacher's crocheted beard!  It reminded me of a balaklava, which I had been wishing for a few minutes earlier when P and I were walking in the woods in today's 20 degree high temperature.  I asked him about his beard and he responded, in role of course, that his wife complained that he didn't trim it often enough, but it was very warm the way it was.

On this page are two sketches of Maya in her tailor's costume, complete with measuring tape around her neck.  On the left, she's ironing some fabric with one of my old irons.  On the right she's answering a question as Constance, a tailor.

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