Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Word Mandala

Mandalas are repeated patterns using radial balance. They are used in some Indian religions and ancient architecture to symbolize the universe.

After my 12 year-old daughter came home with the painting above, I had my own students create mandalas. First I  folded a square of 12" X 12" paper in fourths to make 4- 4"X4" pieces and then diagonally to make 8 identical triangles. I cut them out and gave one to each student. They wrote a name or word that was meaningful to them. (My daughter's says "APPLES.") This can be done with the bottom of the word against the longest side of the triangle or one of the shorter sides, but the letters should fill the space. The word needs to be traced with marker so that it can be seen well enough to trace. We used a light table to trace the word into one section of paper and then flip upside down on the next section and trace it again.The flipping and tracing continued the entire way around the paper. Some people might want to do every other space with the word reading correctly, and then flip the word upside down and fill in the mirror images in the missing spaces. Either way, the results are the same: 4 mirrored pairs of the word.

For my students who are completely blind, and read Braille, instead of print, I wrote the word for them and traced it in hot glue. Their job was to color them using the tactile lines.

These two say "Kind" and "Faith." 

I wish I had taken pictures of the finished pieces because they looked fantastic. This project really helped students who felt like they couldn't come up with a pattern or design themselves, realize that they could. It also helped some of my students think about negative space, and find ways to repeat color for sense of wholeness.

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