SMMART ART: Ruth Asawa
and Salt Dough Christmas Creations
First weekday of Christmas vacation, so we played with Salt Dough!We talked about Ruth Asawa who is an American artist with Japanese ancestry. During WWII her family was interned in a prison camp since The United States feared that Japanese Americans may not be loyal to the U.S. At age 16, Ruth was one of the 40,000 United States citizen children who was interned. Her family lived in tar-paper barracks by a swamp and in two horse stalls at a repurposed race track. After 18 months, a charitable organization arranged for her to study art at a college in Wisconsin.
(photo by Laurence Cuneo)Asawa is known for her wire art sculptures, her fountains, panels and art activism. She sometimes uses bakers clay to create her artwork. Ruth suggests that as you add pieces of baker's clay together that you slightly wet or lick the end that you are adhering to keep the pieces together better. She also suggests putting a paper clip or metal wire in between the pieces in back to hold them together better.
(photo by Allen Nomura)Make yourself up a batch of Ruth Asawa's Baker's Clay (Salt Dough):
4 cups white flour
1 cup salt
1-2 cups water
Have your child help you measure out the ingredients. Work the ingredients with your hands until you form a dough -add water until nice dough consistency. (Not part of the recipe: You may wish to add 2Tb oil and I think this may create a more springy dough). Cut dough into sections to work with. Refrigerate left over pieces. Bake artwork at 250-325 until hard. Time varies on thickness of pieces-you shouldn't see an indentation when you poke it with a spoon or your nail. Ruth seals her artwork with varathane, but mod podge may work for your purposes if you wish to keep your artwork for a long period of time.
So we used this great recipe for creating Christmas sculptures.
We baked them for about an hour and let them cool for a little bit.
Then the girls painted their creations with tempura paints (the girls liked mixing the colors to create new colors).
Fun holiday activity on a wet snow day.