“Just make a mark and see where it takes you” (from “The Dot”, Peter H Reynolds) a story which demonstrates the power of a little encouragement.
When you walk into Omanut, it is an oasis in the middle of camp. The atmosphere is calming and non competitive, music playing, and we invite and encourage the campers to be creative in what ever medium they are working in. We often hear “I can’t do this”, “I’m not a good artist”, “I’m terrible at this…” but we encourage and work to help each child have a positive, creative experience, and feel good about themselves and what they do. Everyone has an imagination and an artist in them, we work to unlock it.
During morning peulot, campers have the opportunity to sign up for omanut and work in depth in a particular medium. This summer, we offered classes in woodworking, ceramics, silver jewelry, weaving, bead weaving, sewing, macrame, punch needling, needle felting, fabric design, watercolors, and sketching. Each teacher works with a small group of children to give individualized attention. They are not just learning how to make a project, but learning skills that can be used again. In all areas, the campers are taught how to design and use the tools needed to complete their design.
As you can see in our online gallery of photos (on Smugmug), campers learned how to use the electric saw, drill, sanders, wood stain and variety of tools, using all safety protocols. In the ceramic studio, children experienced using the pottery wheel and hand building techniques and created amazing large coiled pots, boxes, mugs and sculptures. Campers learned to use fine silver clay and design and make their own pieces of jewelry. A group of children learned how to weave on a loom from start to finish, setting up warp thread, executing their own designs. Another group was working on very intricate bead weaving, while others were learning about using various techniques of punch needle and macrame. A group of our youngest campers worked on designing and sewing their own batik and dyed fabric to be used for pillows, bags and button boards. Needle felting is a new offering, in which fleece from a local sheep farm is used to create sculpted animals and “paintings “ on fabric.
No matter the age, skill level or experience, every camper that comes through Omanut takes with them a product of their own and a new set of “tools” for their creative side.
Wishing everyone an enjoyable and peaceful rest of your summer.
Jayne Miller, Rosh Omanut Eve, Julie, Dave,Shani, Tali