Friday, July 10, 2015

Bookmarks and Puppets Come to Life at Public Library's Teen Space

This summer, Creativity Labs members Verily Tan, Naomi Thompson, Tony Phonethibsavads, Anna Keune, and Sophia Bender have offered two sewing-related workshops at the new teen space known as the Ground Floor at Bloomington, IN's public library. As part of the library's Summer Maker Days, we facilitated a Sew Your Own Bookmark Book-Light e-textile workshop on June 1 and an Intro to Sewing puppet-making workshop on July 6.

The Ground Floor is a very open-ended space where teens between the ages of 12 and 19 can come and hang out with their friends, mess around with craft supplies and digital tools, and geek out around their favorite stories, video games, or creative projects. The nature of the space is such that our workshops were open to anyone who wanted to drop in and make something.

At the e-textile workshop, we saw a range of skill levels, from those who had never sewn before to those who had attended our LilyPad workshops before. They were all highly engaged in sewing a LilyPad LED to a battery holder with conductive thread, and then decorating their felt bookmark. Some made light-up bows rather than bookmarks, and some took on the challenge of sewing two LEDs instead of just one!

At the Intro to Sewing workshop, we set up four sewing machines in the space and helped several teens to both hand-sew and machine-sew hand puppets. Most of the teens drew on their favorite media for inspiration on what kind of puppet to make. Everyone ended up using a sewing machine at least a little bit, and even those who had never used one before caught on quickly and ended up with highly successful and creative puppets!
Verily and Tony hard at work helping teen sewers with their puppets.

A teen works on sewing her corgi puppet.

A Swamp Monster-Frankenstein hybrid puppet

A shark puppet inspired by the monster Zamtrios from the Monster Hunter video game series

The Joker from Batman

A Dobby puppet (from Harry Potter) in progress

A puppet of the Pokémon Pikachu, waiting for his ears to be attached
As always, we were blown away by the great hands-on learning and creativity we saw at these workshops!

Thank you to teen librarians Kevin MacDowell and Becky Fyolek at the Ground Floor for inviting us and making this wonderful outpouring of teen creativity possible!

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