This activity has been popping up all over the blog world lately; I've seen it on several sites within the last few days. It's called Hapa Zome (named and developed by the artist India Flint) and is a Japanese art in which you place leaves and flowers under cloth and then hit them with a hammer until the pigment is transferred from the plant material to the cotton. A perfect way to celebrate the end of summer with a two-year-old, no?
We started with a color scavenger hunt around the backyard. It's late in the season and we don't have many flowers to begin with, so I wasn't too hopeful for much variety. But, leave it up to Silas' keen eyes to pick out all the color that was to be found; blue, yellow, purple, pink, and many shades of green.
Then to our work table. We cut up one of papa's old t-shirts for our cloth. I just cut horizontally under the armpits to get a thick tube and then cut up one of the side seams to get a very long piece of fabric. My idea was to sandwich the plant material between layers of cloth to get a mirror image. So, I laid out the cloth so that half of it was on the table and invited Silas to put the flowers and leaves wherever he wanted to. Then I folded over the second half of the cloth, handed him a hammer and away he went.
We tried both a wooden mallet and a small hammer. Both were effective. A big smooth rock would also work well.
I was really surprised by how much color transferred. One bit of bush that I didn't expect much out of ended up giving us this really rich purple hue.
When papa came home that evening and Silas wanted to show him his work he referred to it as "my banner." Well. A banner it shall be then. He found an appropriate stick, I cut a couple holes and added a bit of mama-decoration and we had a banner.
This is the perfect size to hang on a door, using an over-the-door hook (which is how we have it displayed). It didn't look quite finished at this point, though.
So, I set out an invitation for Silas to add a bit of drawing.
The patterns made by the pounded flowers really do make the best background. I can see this making a pretty fantastic birthday or "welcome spring" banner.
He drew for a bit and then declared it "done."
And up it went.