Monday, March 9, 2009

High School Recycled Materails workshop

I conducted two days of workshops at Lynnbrook High School in Cupertino last week. These workshops were in the sculpture classes of Charlotte Kruk, an amazing teacher and artist. She and I are kindred spirits as we both use recycled food wrappers in our art and when we met we were both working on matador jackets (she has since completed hers and I am still working on mine). Here is her artist site: Anyway, I had a blast in her seven classes.

Charlotte had asked the students to bring in their own recycled wrappers, but being a seasoned teacher, knew that many would forget so she bought big bags of Dum Dum lollypops. I also brought in some of my manga comics, Asian food wrappers and a big container full of produce netting (the colorful mesh bags onions come in).

It was a dramatic and fun opener to the project when Charlotte passed ou
t the candy while insisting that not a single wrapper could go into the trash cans. Charlotte had also created these wonderful floral centerpieces for each work table. They were made of real and silk flowers. I was so impressed by her enthusiasm and creative set up. I will certainly take a lot of cues from her in my future workshops. She was just great.

I started the workshop with a 15 minute Powerpoint presentation about the inspiration for my work and the step-by-step process I use. Then I demonstrated how I shape and twist the wire to create a flower and attach the paper. My step-by-step board helped some students when I was at other tables assisting. At first I was struck by the students' attentiveness and then realized that they were quietly content because of the tasty lollypops in all their mouths! Some determined boys ate nine or so lollypops for the wrap
pers and weren't feeling so good. I told them that was truly suffering for your art!

Below: Wire orchid covered in chocolate wrapper. The student really looked at the flower form.

Anime flower below.

It was fascinating to see the different creations. Many students made cleverly original flowers that I never would have dreamed up, like this one below. Very inspiring.

Another idea Charlotte had that I thought was great was to deconstruct some of the silk orchid flowers and place them on each work table. This helped the students look with a clearer eye at the different forms and layers of the flowers. I will be going back on Thursday to take pictures of the completed projects. This was a really fun experience and I hope to do more workshops like these in the future.

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