At the start of the Challenge Art Club at the school, I put together a slide show of a variety of artwork and then asked the group what inspired them and what sort of things they would like to try in the art group.
One boy was entranced by Bridget Riley's paintings and wanted to create some op art.
I've seen the LEGO-Optical Illusion Mosaic and have wanted to try this for a while now. I thought it would be a good way to demonstrate an example of op art using a different media (that kids will be likely to have access too).
Basically, I wanted to play with Lego and show off at the same time.
I had a little rummage through our vast Lego collection, but realised that if I wanted to be able to create the Lego mosaic, I would have to purchase the specific pieces that were needed.
Which then amounted to about £50 worth of Lego.
A full, virtual basket of Lego sat on my desktop for a couple of weeks.
I couldn't spend that much and I knew it.
But I didn't want to let go of the "dream".
I was still itching.
Enter: The Cheaper Version of the LEGO Optical Illusion Mosaic
I thought that I was a genius.
Now please, just give me this okay? I am fully aware, that if I Googled it, someone has done this already.
Like with anything. Ever.
So anyway, I repeat; I thought that I was a genius for coming up with this alternative way to scratch the creative itch and I began to sort through the zillions of teensy beads that we had sitting around from Ikea.
It took ages.
And I also realized that I would need a set of four interlocking boards to create full piece.
While I was looking for these, I saw that you can buy pre-sorted Hama beads.
£5.95 interlocking Hama bead boards
£2.42 black Hama Beads
And another pack of white bringing the total spendature to: £10.79
(Still more than I would have liked, but better than over £50 if you take the Lego boards into account.
I had been thinking that I would get the kids to make this.
But I'm glad that I didn't because it takes precision and grace not to knock the Hama beads all over the place.
And extreme patience.
I am not claiming that I have any of these skills. I'm just saying- these qualities are needed for placing 2,025 Hama beads into place following the guide as you would for the Lego Optical Illusion Mosaic.
And if I spilled the Hama beads, (which I did) I only had myself to blame.
And so, with the kids tucked up in bed, I began.
Our tray fit the boards in perfectly so that they didn't slide around and caught any escapees.
No, I didn't make a bottom on purpose, it just happened.
And then I realized that I went a bit wrong...
But fixed it.
Ready for the iron.
And the boards warp with the heat, causing a lump in my creation, and this means that they won't be great for using again darn it.
1 movie, 1 documentary, 2 Big Bang Theories, an Inbetweener, 1:30 am and 2,025 Hama beads later; I have finished.
A little warped, but overall, it's not bad.
Would I recommend this craft?: Overall Yes. It was enjoyable like a crossword. Trying to figure out the pattern and recreate it without having to refer to the instructions required some exercising of the brain. It helped me to be able to actually stay awake through a whole movie and more, something that I am normally incapable of in the evenings.
But I paid for this in a bad way the next day.
As did everyone else.
I just can't stay up late anymore. (without being grumpy the following day)
Am I satisfied? Yes and no. I wish that I was, but I'm actually thinking about creating one in different contrasting colours and other optical illusion patterns now.
Were the kids impressed? Meh.
What am I going to do with it now? No. Idea. Might use it as a splashback in the bathroom.