Coventry Makerspace was recently invited to attend the Festival of Imagineering - an event that celebrates the creative use of design, technology and engineering. As well as helping kids to make bristlebots and LED throwies, we helped them to design and create their own mugs to take home with them. People loved this activity! It was a joy to see people who said they "aren't creative" sit down and create great designs ;-)
Step 1: Secret Weapon: Ceramic Pens
We used ceramic paint pens as they were less messy, but also because they are more accessible than painting with a paintbrush. Most children spend a lot more time drawing and writing than they do painting, so their motor skills will be better developed. This is important - a community event such as this is all about making 'making' as easy, accessible and fun as possible, and about helping kids to create something really awesome that they can be proud of and that can bolster their confidence!
Step 2: Let Your Imagination Run Wild!
We found that kids would initially be a little nervous when confronted with a plain white mug, and not know where to start. As soon as they saw someone else creating something, they quickly came up with inspiration of their own - even though it was completely unrelated to what the other person had done! Creating something from nothing is an underrated life skill, and it was interesting to see the thought process.
Step 3: Bake Your Ceramics
Most ceramic paints are cured by baking, though the temperature and time will depend on the brand of pen you use. Follow the manufacturer's instructions!
We use a halogen cooker that is really useful for community builds, though for safety we have to keep it out of the way of the public and especially from children.
Step 4: Inspire the Community...
As you can see, kids came up with some awesome designs! We really value community outreach at our Makerspace - it inspires a future generation of makers, and encourages social inclusion and resourcefulness. We like to give back to our city, we are proud of the work that we do and the work that the kids did in our workshops! I hope you like this instructable and that it might inspire you to go out into your community!