We made a presepio – a Nativity scene – for my front garden.
The girls looked at a lot of Christmas books and talked about what characters to put in, and how to draw them simply so you can see them from a distance. We practised and drew outlines.
The following week, we got some prunings from the fruit trees and wove a shelter – the ‘capanna’.
A couple of weeks later, we drew the definitive version of some characters. We decided we better start with the most important ones, in case we ran out of time. Just as well.
We did Maria, Giuseppe, La Mangiatoia, Gesu Bambino and La Stella. We drew them; then traced around them, making the lines bolder; then filled in the shapes with collage – not forgetting the halo. For the Mangiatoia (manger) we used bark collage on the base, and filled it with straw we cut from the long grass in the indigenous section of my garden.
We sang our presepio song as we worked.
I laminated the pieces, and collected some milk bottles.
In Christmas week, we cut out the laminated figures and tied them to the handles of milk bottles filled with water.
We set up the presepio in my front garden, on the corner near the street. We placed the holy family in front of the little twig shelter. We hung the star from the rose bush above. We festooned our Nativity with a string of solar fairy lights.