Well, we had studied design elements and principles to death so it was finally time to give my high school squirrels some sharp objects and hope that no blood letting (unintentional or otherwise) ensued. I am very happy to report that my first day of stamp carving with the students went well (and bloodless). There were constant reminders of "Don't put your fingers in the carving path!" (she shrieked) and the occasional "Don't use the gouge as a pointer!" but all in all, they did just fine. We are studying Mexican printmaker and social commentator Jose Posada in conjunction with our stamp carving, using Posada's famous calavera (Spanish for "skull")illustrations as inspiration for our own carvings of playful skulls and skeletons. Yesterday, students started out by carving something small and simple so they could get a feel for the tools and material. Over the next three or four class sessions, we will advance to carving a full skeleton and then learn how to ink the carvings and pull prints. The kids have done some deliciously wicked skeleton sketches and I can't wait to see them translated into carvings. There are skeletons dancing and skeletons skating, royal skeletons and warrior skeletons. Drawing even a simplified skeleton with clothes and accessories is no small feat and the squirrels have done a fabulous job. I'm off to carve my own skeleton to use as a demo piece. Hope everyone has a terrific Tuesday!