The Corner Makes
This activity will see children creating beautiful and unique island flowers.
The use of flowers is quite evident in Torres Strait Islander culture, as in many other Pacific cultures. Flowers are incorporated in fabric for island dresses, leis, island shirts and used as a decorative element for traditional celebrations, ceremonies and artefacts.
Design, shape, size, colour and symmetry
Folding, up-cycling, Torres Strait
Plain or recycled paper
Textas, crayons or colouring pencils
Glue or sticky-tape on dispenser
Step 1: Introduction
Show the children images of Torres Strait Islander costume and artwork which depict flowers. You can find links to useful websites in the Tips section at the end of this activity.
- Using the rationale to explain how flowers are a common element in Torres Strait Islander costume and culture.
- Looking at the different flowers ask children to identify the similarities and differences of the Torres Strait Islander flowers - talk about shapes, sizes and colours.
Step 2: Decorating
Ask children to do a drawing on an A5 piece of paper or recycle an old drawing or artwork, cutting this down to an A5 size if required. Talk to children about patterns and colours and ask them to think about what they would like their flower to look like. It is important that children understand they are making aesthetic decisions and not simply following a process.
Step 3: Folding
Fold the piece of paper in half, then fold again into quarters creating a square or rectangular shape.
Step 4: Draw on the cutting pattern and cut
Ask children what shape they want their flower to be. Will their flower have a lot of petals? Will the petals be round or spikey? Show children an example of a pre-folded and cut flower.
Locate the double-folded corner, which will be the centre of the flower, draw on the petals of the flower – then cut around the line to cut out the flower (refer to tips for cutting instructions).
- Explain to children that the folded line is going to hold the flower together and that it is important not to cut through this fold.
Step 5: Unfold and re-fold
Once you have cut out your flowers petals, unfold the paper then refold in the opposite direction.
Fold the flower into a 4-pointed star. Then tease out and bend individual petals. Curl petals by using an index finger and thumbnail pulling through (similar technique to curling a ribbon on a gift).
Depending on strength of paper and fingers, adjust pressure, until the result is a nice curve.
Step 6: Final step – Giving your flower a stamen
Using a sticker, give your flower a stamen. Put the stamen-sticker in the middle! This can be either just flat, or the sticker can be put in the centre of the folded flower, helping to maintain the cupped shape.
Your flower is complete! Now you can try and design your very own flower or try another template using the other examples above!
Why not create a whole garden full of flowers or a lei to wear.
- If you don't have circle stickers, but some planning time, hunt around for coloured stickers and have the children cut them into circle(ish) shapes.
- For children learning how to use scissors, demonstrate the "dog gnawing" cutting technique: Open scissors as wide as possible, and make lots of tiny cuts, with back end of scissor blades, only.
References (images/information of flowers in the Torres Strait)
- http://www.tsi.org.au/ - Look at images of dancers/artefacts on this website.
- http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/straithome/exhibitions/kd - Koskir / Yoepakaz / Ipika section. Ask children to find images of TSI flowers using a simple Google image search. Bougainvillea, hibiscus and frangipani flowers can all be found in the Torres Strait.
Last updated: 17th September 2012
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