A Visit from Ann Wiseman!

I just had the most wonderful experience… Artist/author/teacher Ann Sayre Wiseman came to my house on Monday with her son Kiko Denzer, also an artist. Her phenomenal book, Making Things: The Handbook for Creative Discovery, is one of my all time favorites. You might recall I mentioned her in my interview with Bloesem Kids last year when I talked about wanting to write a craft/art/toy book, too. And, more recently, I used her paper ornament idea to make the standing paper flowers. My sister Lori is a huge fan, too, so she came over as well. We had an amazing time discussing kids’ art and education. Ann is strongly dedicated to nurturing creativity in children, and I learned so much in a very short time! I hope we can visit again next time you’re in the Northwest, Ann! Thanks a million!

If you don’t have a copy of Making Things, you can buy it here if you’d like!

20 Responses
  1. thanks, Joel, this is lovely, as was the visit. I’m excited about your ideas for “ways to build a safe and fun gathering place on the web where kids and even adults could commune together and share art and creativity, learn, and be entertained and inspired.” Can I put you on the spot and/or encourage you to make it public? I’m sure there are many other interested homeschoolers, teachers, parents and all sorts of others — maybe you’ve already heard from them? Maybe it’s just a question of putting it out there… Maybe there’s a retired teacher — or a bored high school kid — looking for a project who could put it together and make it go?

    1. Thanks Kiko. And yes, I will definitely need help from everyone, but right now I’m in the careful, early planning stage. I’m really excited about it though!

  2. I bought that book right away when you mentioned it back on bloesem kids! My daughter was a baby at the time – thank you for reminding me it’s in the hall closet!

  3. Hi Joel

    We have 2 children aged 2 and 3 and love your blog. We’ve ordered you book and I’ve just ordered Anne’s. Thank you for sharing such great ideas for helping us help our kids to develop their creativity.

  4. I adore Ann Wiseman’s book, you are so lucky to get to meet her! I used so many of her ideas when I was raising my children and running a home daycare! Wonderful to see a picture of her!

  5. Things to make and do type books were always my favorite as a kid. I now have 8 grand kids all 7and under who also like to make and do so I went straight way and ordered this. Thanks again for shaing so much!

  6. My mother got that book when I was little, and it was my favorite craft book. I used it through my teenage years (it has how to make clothes without a pattern!), and still have it to this day! Thanks to Ann, and thanks for highlighting such a great book!

  7. I was gifted this book 10 years ago when I began my teaching career. I always refer to it for classroom projects and even projects of my own. It’s an awesome resource tool for teachers and parents. It deserves a spotlight! Lucky you that you got to meet her!

  8. Meredith

    I picked up a copy of Ann’s book at a used book sale in a small town in Maine. The book was old, worn, damp and smelled mildewed, but it was such a treasure I had to buy it. I am so glad I did. It’s been one of my favorite books ever since.

  9. Andriara

    What a nice surprise to see this image, Joel.
    Thank you! I bought this book when you mentioned it and I wondered who was that so inspired and creative person who was providing me, after you, the discovery of a pleasure for creating things with hands with my little son.
    Seeing the picture I`ve gotten even more enchanted, and knowing that her son followed her footsteps makes me more sure that we are on the right way when we spend hours creating, imagining and playing with our children.
    My son is a week playing with a carton box, which has already become a city, a gas station, the sea and its waves, with boats and an island, monsters that become good guys and play with boys and girls, masks of favorite characters and a great blackboard which received colors and designs.
    I Thank you Joel and Ann wiseman! People who I don`t even know, making the difference on my son`s learning and development.
    Andriara – Brazil

  10. Estelle

    I have already pre-ordered your book, but have just ordered Ann’s too. I can’t wait to get my hands on it!
    Estelle (UK)

  11. no WAY!! i just picked up this very book at the library sale shelf for a quarter! i’ve somehow never heard of the title OR author, just immediately fell in love with the theory and substance.

    thanks so much for providing some context. i cannot wait to dig in!

  12. Arthur Young

    Many years ago, back in the mid-60’s I think, a friend gave me one of Anne Wiseman’s books about making hand hooked tapestries. I was smitten by the content and since then have created several, one or two of which have seen some local acclaim at fiber art shows. My tapestries are unique in that they each are accompanied by an original poem. I call the combination “Fabrillycs” (since they combine art and written lyrics). I am a senior citizen now and am seeking a market for my tapestries. I believe them to be outstanding works of original art and I do not want to sell them for giveaway prices. Do you have any suggestions about how I might find a market for my artwork?

    1. Hi Arthur. Your Fabrillycs sound great. I’m not sure what city you live in, but my first thoughts are for you to find somewhere for you to show your work. It doesn’t have to be a gallery either. Many restaurants, fancy cafes, or stylish coffee shops love to have original artwork on their walls, and they usually take a VERY small percentage, if any, of the art sale. They just like the benefit of rotating artists decorating their place for free.

      Another option of course is to venture online. Perhaps start a blog, which is free. Or a Facebook page, which is also free. Both of these are excellent ways to get your work seen, which can lead to more sales.


  13. […] Making Things, A Hand Book of Creative Discovery by Ann Sayre Wiseman is a delightfully illustrated (by the author no less) book of excellent art and craft projects that contain a strong philosophy of learning and personal growth through making. “Ask questions, Experiment in safety, Learn by doing, Believe in yourself” is one of the messages lovingly hand-written within its pages. Tin lanterns, knitted tunics, paper fish, potato prints, creations made using recyclables and nature, painting with pudding…simple and inexpensive ways to express your and your littles (or mediums) inner selves. For locals, it is also available in the Montreal Public Library system. (all images from here) […]