“When I was four years old, my mother set up a child-sized table in the corner of the kitchen. On the table she put some plastic forks and knives, a few aluminum dishes, and a box of Plasticine, a brand of modeling clay commonly sold in toy stores. She explained that while she was cooking dinner I could make believe I was preparing a meal, too.
I was the oldest of three children, with two noisy, rambunctious little brothers. My mother hoped the clay would keep me occupied while she juggled between cooking and caring for the younger children. As far as keeping me busy, the plan exceeded her expectations.
I didn’t care about pretending to cook, but I loved playing with clay. I rolled long coils between my hands and twisted them into snakes. I learned to make a ball by rolling the clay between my palms. If I pressed a smaller ball onto a big one, I had the basis for a variety of animals. I could add long ears and a tiny tail to make a rabbit, or I could stick on short ears and a snake of a tail to create a cat.
Plasticine came in sticks, each one a different color. I was totally blind, and at first I didn’t care whether I made a green dog or a red banana. My mother used my interest in clay to help me understand the role of color in the world. When I unwrapped a new package of Plasticine, she showed me which stick was blue, which was red, which was green, and which was brown. “Brown is a good color for a dog,” she told me. “You can use green and blue and red for birds.” Soon I was interrupting her dinner preparations to ask, “What color is a rhinoceros?” and “What color is a sea monster?”
The CSI: MART project is Co-founded by the European Commission. Our aim is to create 15 creative activities/workshops for blind and partially sighted people by using materials such as clay, wool, watercolors and threads.
Stay tuned for more information