Participants are invited to create Touchstones as their safe place for their wants and needs. They can carry these with them in their pockets, backpacks, or secret places and hold them when they need them!
- Minimum 3 clear round glass stones (approx.1 1/4″) per participant (Stones of various sizes are available at craft stores, garden stores and online)
- Card stock in various colors cut into circles in the same dimension as the stones (Circle hole punchers in various sizes are available at most craft stores)
- Clear tacky glue bottles with a tip
- Small sheer bags (Can be purchased at craft stores or online at Papermart.com)
- Paper towels and wipes
- Music for reflection and creative time
Options for Artmaking:
- Permanent Markers (fine and/or extra fine)
- Sharpie paint pens with extra fine point
- Colored pencils – white/silver for dark colored paper
- Ballpoint pens in various colors
Introduction: 5 min
Demonstration: 5 min
Relaxation: 5 min
Creation: 35 min
Closing Circle: 10 min
Total: 1 hour
6 years and up
Some of us like to keep our art in our pockets, under our pillows, in our backpacks, we may even hang it on our bedroom walls or on the fridge. During Windows art time you get to choose what you create. Today’s project is called Touchstones. Touchstones are meant to be carried with you or kept in a special way. The reason we keep touchstones is because they are meant to remind us of important things and by keeping them close, they are there for us to touch when we need them.
“You could think of your Touchstones as a compass that helps to guide your way once you know where you want to go. Any questions so far?”
“You can also make Touchstones that will remind you that you are strong, special and loved. If you can remember you are strong, special and loved it can help you when you are feeling sad, mad, or frustrated, and get you back on track to the way you want to live your life.”
Window of Time
“Before you start, remember that this is your Window of Time. It is a safe space just for you. This is your chance to get messy, be silly, imagine, and create whatever is in your heart. I’m going to be demonstrating how you can create your stones, but you can make yours however feels right to you. You get to choose how you want to participate.”
Demonstrate each of the following steps and check for understanding along the way.
- Using a writing utensil of your choice, write words, create images, symbols, or use colors on the circular paper to represent the Touchstone you would like to create as a marker to represent the steps in your journey.
- After you are done creating, add a pea-sized amount of the clear tacky glue on top of your creation.
- Place the flat side of your stone on top of the glue and press down.
- Wipe off any extra glue and let it dry.
“Before we begin I want us to take a moment for us to listen to our thoughts, feeling, dreams, and wishes. We will do this by sitting quietly and looking inside ourselves. If you’d like, I invite you to sit comfortably in your chair with your feet placed on the floor and your hands on your lap.
Now close your eyes or if you prefer, put your head down or you can look at your hands. I am going to guide you as we take three long breaths together, and I’m going to ask for all us to stay quiet so we can hear our breath. Breathe in slowly and breathe out slowly. Take your first breath to the bottom of your lungs and let it out slowly. Take your next breath and try to fill your stomach with air. And take a last breath all the way down to your feet and let it out. Sit quietly and let the sound of the music calm you or notice your breath as it goes in and out of your body.
“As you sit quietly, think about the Touchstones you are about to create. How can these stones help you in your life?
“Remember, this workshop is a chance for you to think about who you are and what you need to feel happy, safe, and loved. In Windows there are no limits; there is no right or wrong way so you are free to explore and dream. What positive message can your stone share? How can this stone help you in taking steps toward your future? Whether it seems too big to be possible or too small to be important, be true to whatever comes to your mind.
“On the paper circles, create artwork that shares your Touchstones. As you create, remember to show your message in any way that feels right to you. You can create an image or symbol, use colors, words, or any combination. You get to choose what your Touchstones look like because you will be the one to use and carry them.”
“Once you are done creating, I encourage you to think about where you can keep this stone to remind you of your journey and all the people, places you have touched – and will continue to touch – throughout your life. How and where can you use these stones in your life?”
“No matter where you go, these Touchstones can help remind you to carry the experience of your art with you.
“Whether or not you have these stones with you in your mind, or in your heart, they are an important celebration of your life!”
If participants feel comfortable enough to do so, they can share:
- Whatever you would like about your Touchstones and how represent your life
- How it felt to create your Touchstones
- How you want to use your Touchstones
Note: Remind participants that they can carry their stones in a special place like their pockets or backpacks. If they choose to do so, they can hold them in their hands when they need them to help them feel safe, happy, strong, and loved
Using small 1/2 inch stones you can make multiples! Ideal for carrying personal messages that support your intentions. The small stones are perfect to add words or symbols.
Colored ball point pens or super fine Sharpies work best on the small stones. You can use a 1/2 inch hole punch to create the circles.
This is recommended for children aged 12 + the small stones could be a choking hazard, plan accordingly
With the the image showing on one side, feel free to add words, symbols or a special date on the “back” side. This can provide a personal reminder, message or affirmation for yourself or others.
Give One, Take One (inspired by give a penny, take a penny)
Just as stores have dishes with pennies for people to “give a penny, take a penny” you can create a “Give a Touchstone, Take a Touchstone” area at your agency and encourage anyone who comes to your agency to select a Touchstone to take home and if they like, create a Touchstone to add to the dish. Simply select an area (at AWBW we put the supplies on top of a bookshelf) and put all of the workshop supplies in bowls or baskets so they are easily accessible.
Whenever someone who does not know about the Touchstones project comes into the agency, share about the project, walk them over to the area and ask them if they’d like to select a Touchstone. Welcome them to either take the first one they touch or look though until they find the Touchstone that most resonates with them. After they have selected their stone, encourage them to use their Touchstone as a tangible connection to others.
If time permits, invite them to create a Touchstone to leave behind for another person to take. Be sure to share briefly about the “window of time” and how there is no right or wrong way to do art to help support their creative process.
You can also facilitate this as a group activity by having each person create two Touchstones, one for themselves and one to leave behind. At the end of the group have everyone share about their stones and then add the Touchstone they created to leave behind to a basket or bowl. You can also welcome the participants to take a Touchstone from the communal bowl.