Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Craft Time

From the desk of Kim Gough, Program Developer, Royal BC Museum

We hear our “Old Fashioned Christmas” event at Helmcken House has been missed this year, as the house is closed while we make improvements to the fire suppression system and security.

The dining room table at Helmcken House, set for a Christmas feast.

Every year, Helmcken House has been decked with Victorian decorations, and for visitors touring it, there has always been a holiday craft to try. I was thinking that now that you’ve had a chance to play with all your new toys, why not pick up the scissors and try making one of your own?

When people had a hankering for animated fun in the Victorian age, one of their choices was a Thaumatrope or “Wonder Turner”. The Thaumatrope takes two images and blends them together using the principle of persistence of vision. Give it a try by following the simple steps below.

What you need:
A printer*
2 pieces of regular paper
1 piece of card, or other heavy weight paper
A hole punch (or you can use your scissors if you are really careful).

What to do:
Print the house image and the Santa image on a piece of regular paper. *(If you don’t have a printer, try drawing your own – see the suggestions below).
Colour the images (don’t colour the sky) and cut them out
Cut out a blank circle from a piece of card stock or heavy paper
Glue the Santa image on one side and then glue the house image, upside down, on the reverse side
Punch a hole on the left and right side
Tie a string through each hole

To Spin the disc:
Hold one string in each hand, make a few big circles to wind the string
Gently pull on the strings to ensure that the disc continues to wind and unwind
When the card spins around the two pictures look like one image

Design your own:
Try designing your own Thaumatrope. Some ideas include:
A bird in a cage
A man on a horse
A vase with some flowers

If you tried it – let me know how it worked. If you came up with your own neat design, share it here.

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