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Curious by NatureWe often hear it 
said “We need young people in NWSSA.” I was asked by the Greater Gig Harbor Arts Foundation to create an art piece with 18 four-year-olds to be auctioned as a fundraiser for the Curious by Nature pre-school in Gig Harbor.

For this project, I cut a 1 inch to 2 inch fish shape of soapstone for each child to sand, polish and buff. Each picked the fish shape they wanted to work. We used foam sanding blocks flat on the tables so they could take the stone to the sanding pad. When ready, we gave each child a tiny dab of Tenax Creama Wax and a little terry rag for buffing. Each child also chose a colored glass bead for their fish eye. We requested two things of the children: No blowing the dust and the use of a wet wipe to clean their hands and space. In a couple of sessions and with the help of two teachers, the shapes were done.IMG 0352

As a “frame” for their work, I cut a cedar fish approximately 2 feet long and made a divot for each little fish to rest. The children also painted the tail and fin grooves. To avoid any child contacting epoxy I took the work back to my studio where I epoxied each little fish into the large fish frame. Next, I printed a chart showing which little fish was created by which child so parents could identify their child’s work. Three other media artists also made group art with the children. The auction of the art was a success!

- Sharon Feeney