Rolling with the Color Wheel

It started as a study in color, and then questions of curiosity fed our creativity.

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I love reviewing the color wheel with the Pickles.  Seeing colors form and morph while adding more of this and some of that one is something of which we never tire.  For the littlest Pickles, giving them an eye dropper to play with a drop food coloring in each primary color (red, yellow, blue) in an ice cube tray of fresh water is creative learning and play at its finest. Motor skills are developed and understanding for the world of colors is deepened.

After that, our color play involved seeing the colors expand and blend on cotton fabric using permanent markers and rubbing alcohol.

We began with our test towel.  (I bought a bulk bundle of 100% cotton flour sack towels for this project).  Dots of color were drawn, and then rubbing alcohol was dropped onto each color and we watched the colors expand and blend and even reveal the individual colors of which they were made.

I can’t just do one project; of course I want to combine all the ideas in my head and make them into one project!  Inspired by traditional Shibori indigo dyeing techniques, which involves folding, tying, and dyeing fabrics, we took a different turn on that idea.  Each Pickle folded, twisted, or gathered up their towel and wrapped and tied cotton thread around their towel to create patterns on the fabric exposed to the color.   We colored the fabric surface with permanent markers and then used an eye dropper to drip rubbing alcohol onto the colors (a few were nearly soaked).  We were curious to see how the alcohol would carry the color to the deeper layers and curious to see which colors would carry well.

We let our towels dry for a day or two and then unwrapped such fun and colorful patterns!

Was there an exact science to our curiosity?  Nope.  But curiosity is the best place to start in feeding creativity:  building knowledge from what your experience teaches you to apply to the next curiosity you try.  Feeding creativity is never a waste.  Every question that seeks an answer builds thinking skills and experience upon which you  can continually be build.

We eventually washed our colorful towels and the colors dulled a bit and yellowed some more. Was it our water?  The reaction of the alcohol and detergent?  Could there even be a reaction?  What if we...?

(If you decide to try something like what we did, use adult supervision. Use rubbing alcohol in a well ventilated room.  The ice cube tray experiment is great for little Pickles with close adult supervision.  Permanent markers and dying with rubbing alcohol is for older Pickles in a well-ventilated space.)

Always be creative,
Marie Winfield


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