Thursday, July 10, 2008

Prepping for Palo Alto Libraries Art Workshops

Today I started prepping for the teen art workshops I'll be conducting next week for the Palo Alto Libraries. The theme is Metamorphosis. The project is to make insects of wire and paper pressed of recycled papers. The workshops are broken down into two 1.5 hour sessions. In the first session the teens will be making recycled paper with lots of scraps of Asian food wrappers, kozo paper, manga and other papers. Students will help to create the pulp and will each fill a ziplock bag with the scraps they want to add to their papers. They will be using small paper pulling screens which I made of picture frames and window screen netting. They will pull these screens through the pulp vats and then press the sheets with a sponge to transfer onto wooden boards. Each student will be able to make five or so sheets, perhaps more. Those who finish early will then begin sketching the insect they will create in wire. Each student will draw their insect in at least two different views: cross section and top view.

On the second day, the students will create the insects from their sketches. They will be using floral wire and pliers. I found these great small pliers at JoAnne Fabric. $7.00 for a set of three. Can't beat that!

First they will twist the basic form of their insect out of the floral wire.

Then they will trace the outline of the shape they will cut out of their paper. It is important to remember that the tracing and wrapping is done from the back side.

Next, each student will cut out the shape.

Glue is added and the paper snipped at curves.

The paper is wrapped around the wire and the insect is flipped right side up.

Finally, the students will add final touches of wrappers, manga and other bits of paper. We'll also be glazing the pieces with a UV resistant glaze.

The students will also have the option of filling some of the volume of their insects with produce netting. Below is an example of a bee with no papering and only produce netting filling it.

I was also asked to submit a proposal for a permanent installation that would be partly teen created. It was not selected, but was fun to contemplate and sketch. Below is the concept.
It would be a two layered hanging tapestry created of recycled papers pressed from graphic novels, manga and wrappers. The forward layer would be made of dark blue papers (recycled papers with blue dye added) cut and stitched like a quilt between sheets of clear vinyl. The back layer would be made of scraps colorful manga and graphic novels and kozo papers.

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