Finished Recycled Projects

We finally finished our wonderful recycled art projects. This is my second year teaching this unit and it was so wonderful to see what a variety of results we got just this year alone.

To learn more about this project you can take a look back at what some of my artists did last year here: https://emmateachesart.com/2015/03/21/planet-saved/

Enjoy!

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The Best of Glen Echo

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The summer is finally over and I am two weeks deep into work at my new school, which we will call “The Girls School.” I have been busy with my move from Philadelphia to Washington, DC and the transition to my new job, but I feel like it is important to get some documentation from this amazing summer in Maryland up, before I forget. Below are some of my favorite gems from this summer at Glen Echo Park, Decorative Fine Arts Camp.

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Even More Carousel!

Here are the final products of a week of very hard work. These students worked carefully and without much time. I am so proud of them and their finished works of art!

The beginning of the Carousel of Animals

This past week was a break from my 9 weeks of elementary aged campers and instead it was a week of large scale sculpture classes with 12-16 year old artists. This camp was called Carousel of Animals.

I had 17 students ranging in age from eleven and a half to sixteen going on seventeen. They arrived at 9am Monday morning, and right away I had them find a seat at the tables where I had laid out paper and pencils. Once everyone had arrived the camp director, Sinclair Hamilton, and I spoke to them describing the activities and possibilities available to them that week. They would either be creating a large scale sculpture of an animal using chicken wire and papier-mâché or they would be making a miniature carousel using modeling clay, dowels, and cardboard.

After our introduction we took them to the Carousel, Glen Echo Park’s only ride still working, built in 1921. The Carousel was closed for business Monday but we had previously arranged that a park ranger let us in. First, I had all of the artists draw the carousel animals from observation. They drew an entire animal, and then a portrait or close-up of one part of an animal. After they finished those drawings they began to draw an animal that they would like to make. Either for their small carousel or for their large papier-mâché sculpture.

Afterwards we had lunch, and student spent the second half of the day turning their sketches into large scale drawings. We only had three campers interested in creating minature carousels so they spent the second half of the day creating wire armatures for their modeling-clay sculptures.

Papier-Mâché Part 3

After all the campers hard work it is time for the bells and whistles. The pom-poms, and feathers. The customization that will add the final touches to their papier-mâché piece. I explain that there are 5 boxes of decorations for them to choose from. They can pick ribbons from the ribbon box, or marbles and googley eyes from the round objects bucket, or pipe-cleaners from the pipe-cleaner box, or feathers and pom-poms and old fake flowers and assorted beads from the assorted box, or tufts of tissue paper from the tissue paper box. The campers will come up as they complete their other projects, and select for themselves what they would like to add to their papier-mâché. Then they will walk over to the hot glue gun station where a counselor (one of my amazing 13-15 year old volunteers) will use a low heat, hot glue gun to attach their accoutrements.

Here is a great microscope:

Some feathers:

A submarine:

I absolutely love this next photo. It looks like a scene from The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Papier-Mâché Part 2

After we have let our papier-mâché dry it is time to paint it. With a little help from our 15 year-old counselors (pictures not available) we glue on extra cardboard bits to make legs and arms and noses and propellers or whatever is needed.

Then it is time to paint our papier-mâché. I quickly explain that we must all paint before we add ribbons, googley eyes, pipe cleaners and more jazz because we don’t want them getting messy. And off we go…

Papier-Mâché Part 1

I begin every paper-mâché lesson by asking the campers if they have ever had an adult put way too much sunscreen on them. Maybe it was at the pool or the beach? The answer is always a groaning, “Yeessss!” Then I proceed to explain that they should all keep this in mind as they work. I compare the wheat-paste that we are using to lotion and the newspaper to skin. You don’t want to see white streaks and chunks all over. All you need is a smooth shiny layer on both sides of the newspaper strips. After a layer of newspaper they will apply a layer of blank white newsprint (so they can distinguish the layers) and after that a third and final layer of newspaper. After a brief demonstration to explain the technique we discuss what our balloons could possibly become. I emphasize that their decision is never final and if they change their mind about what they want to make it is fine. After that all of my campers line up in two single file lines and we hand out balloons. We have long skinny balloons, weird bumpy balloons and regular large and small round balloons.

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