Today was the annual Arts in Careers Day for the third, fourth, & fifth grades at my kids' elementary school. They go to an arts-integrated school (art incorporated into every subject), & this is one of the little touches that I just love about our community. It's the second year that I've participated, & while I do love going in & running a couple of workshops for the older kids, I confess that it also makes me sort of grit my teeth in preparation for next year when I will be living with my very own third grader.
However, even the surliest group of nine year olds cannot resist an opportunity to get their hands on heavy machinery, so my snap press is a huge hit. Last year I also brought along my respirator, which was also very popular until I had to confiscate it due to too many Darth Vader hijinks.
Since I can't actually bring glitter, a screenprinting setup, or resin into the classroom, I sewed up a batch of felt wristbands, made some glitter snaps, & then showed the kids how to put everything together with the snap press. It works well because even the anti-glitteriest boys cannot resist the press.
I also brought in a selection of work for them to check out. One group asked me very detailed questions about resin, the other was very curious about how much money I make when I sell things. They were impressed with some of the prices until I explained retail & wholesale & then made them do math in their heads.
Possibly as revenge for that, they asked me if I use math in my art. While it turns out that I do use math all the time, I am using it particularly much right now because I have finally started working on the quilt I'm donating to the auction this year.
I had just recently finished a series of annoying calculations in order to: reach my desired length; accomodate the different angled edges of the pieced strips; and allow for trimming the blue strips to different widths as I went along.* They may have heard slightly more about this than strictly necessary, but I was excited to be an example of art/math integration in action. (Possibly the only time I have been excited about math, ever.)
I don't really think this justifies having to take high school calculus, but I do sort of feel like I should write my third grade teacher a thank you note.
*Answer: 2 inches.