Tuesday 22 March 2016

Holiday fun with shoes and pottery making!

It's a closure to the March school holidays. I'm glad that Js had been meaningfully occupied throughout that week.

We set foot in Spurbox to make their very own pair of shoes and pottery! It was most exciting, as it was their first time getting their hands on these activities. It was mine too. I mean, who would be making shoes from bare minimum at this era?!! I was honestly more curious than the kids.

Shoe making
The kids were introduced to the different parts of a shoes and the various designs that had evolved through the decades. Two different sewing techniques (Blanket and Baseball stitch) were demonstrated to put the cut out leather together. It was most wise that the leather had been pre- punched with holes for sewing.

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Getting their feet measured

I was initially worried that sewing might be a little too challenging for Js, as we know dealing with needle and thread at this age is one tricky affair. I was relieved to find everything super child friendly. The needles were toy liked for kids, not pricky at all and gets the job perfectly done.

The blanket stitch was one skill to master. There were 2 needles of different colours and each needle had their role to play in getting the stitch right. I've to say Js had some initial frustration in getting them right. Only after a few practices, they got the hang of it and did it more independently.

One thing I love about Spurbox classes is that they've always got enough teaching assistants to help around. Even though it was parent accompanied, I got switched off when it comes to sewing. Most glad they came in to assist Js.

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Doing the blanket stitch for the vamp

In midst, the kids were treated to a time of story telling session. Most love how thoughtful and creative they came up with props and related story on shoes. You guessed it, The elves and the shoemaker came live with the kids. 

You could tell how each child enjoyed the session with those attentive ears and focused eyes.

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Storytelling time

Break time and light snacks were given. The kids got freshened up and went back to sewing the other side of their pair. After which the baseball stitch was taught to sew the backstay (strip of leather at the back of the shoe).

In no moment, I was one proud Mama witnessing the final product of their stitched shoes! We laced it up on the side to make it a tighter fit. And topped it off with decorations. 

Ta da! Those shoes were ready to be worn. Ain't kidding you, they are wearable and Jazz wore them home that day, in replace with her factory made. How cool is it to be wearing self made shoes?!! It really was one great achievement that got them highly satisfied. I wished I had a self made pair too.

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Js and their self made shoes!

So yeap, shoe making is one interesting activity to get those hands on. And we realized too, handmade shoes are so pricey because of the much effort involved.

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Spot the baseball stitch at the back of the shoe

Can't help but to think these shoes look so like those of the stone age days.

We attended too, Pottery class in the very same week. Js chose their desired classes, with the only condition that they have to attend the same activity. For the convenience of their Mama you know.

The kids were introduced to the different types of pottery - earthenware, porcelain and stoneware. And of course, they had their hands on crafting their pots with the 2 methods taught. First was the pinching method without pottery wheel, and the other was with the pottery wheel. 
Pottery making is one messy affair. It was wise for storytelling to precede the mess. The story of the cracked pot was introduced. Have you heard of it?

A story about how an imperfect cracked pot leaked throughout its journey from being full to almost empty upon its destination. It felt bad that it couldn't carry that full portion of water always. But what it didn't realise was the use of its defect. Its leak had watered the ground of flower seeds along its path and because of this flaw, flowers blossomed.

I hope the kids did realise that imperfection is one beauty too.

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Story of the cracked pot

After storytelling, the kids were dispersed to make their very own clay pots. Tips we learnt for good pottery works were:
1. Clay must be wet, but not too wet
2. Hands and fingers have to be wet to reduce stickiness and friction
3. When using pottery wheel, start slow then gradually up the speed
4. Prepare sponger to sponge up any excess water

Pottery making is one that requires much patience and fine finger skills. It was some good training within.

We weren't training to be master potters, I had left the kids with much liberty to craft their desired pots without much of intervention. It was tough that I kept my hands totally off as the fun factor was highly attractive.

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Little potters at work

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Coated with paint

Those were their final works and I ain't really sure what are they gonna put in there. What mattered most was that they had enjoyed their sessions tremendously!

I can't wait to find out what's coming up for Spurbox's next holiday programme. Do check in too, for any upcoming creative art or culinary classes at Spurbox. I heard Mother's day baking class is up for booking! You will love how their classes are mostly parent accompanied at no additional costs. Definitely a great way to bond! 

Disclaimer: We were invited to review 2 sessions of holiday classes. All photos and opinions are as usual our own. 

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