Author: Kiko Denzer
Publisher: Hand Print Press, 2005
Soft Cover, 5.5"x8.5", 127 pages
Kiko Denzer is an imaginative teacher with a great sense of design who clearly inspires children to create beauty from the humblest of all art materials -- mud! Hi exercises make you want to get right down into the dirt.
Message from the author:
Mud is a perfect material for art and building: easy, durable, beautiful. Unlike standardized industrial stuff, it varies a lot. Different earths do different things -- or the same thing in different ways -- but just about anything works, and if it doesn't, it lets you know so you can try something else.
I re-discovered mud about ten years ago, from a bunch of folks working with various natural materials: cob, adobe, strawbale, light clay, round wood, etc. They are teachers, activists, gardeners, writers, artists, or just folks wanting a better life. They taught me how to build a beautiful, practical, and cheap home out of mud. More importantly, they created a context in which art is a practical activity whose value is independent of galleries, interpretation, markets, money, and speculation.
Art is many things, but here what I mean by "art" is that kind of experience by which humans learn.
Working with mud, sand, and straw is a way to teach geology, engineering, physics, history, drawings, composition, and design. It is also a way to teach social skills, like cooperation. But more important than just what it teaches is how it teaches.