Thursday, May 9, 2013

Functional Paper Making: Recycled Art in Elementary

Students creating the base of their bowls (2nd grade)
      For Earth Day I wanted to incorporate recycling within art but honestly... recycled art looks like trash glued on a board 90 % of the time when done by kids. Over the semester I have been collecting every tiny scrap paper I could get my hands on.  The kids and teachers know of my "hungry hungry scrap box" and help me with this process.  After separating the colors out it was time for paper making!  All you have to do is blend paper and water in a blender, strain and slightly squeeze out the water.  You will end up with a mushy pill of pulp.  After a couple times you'll get the hang of how much water to paper (more water is better).

It is important to build the base of the bowl first.  Each color should be applied in a small pinch or ball.  Once the entire bowl has been made with the little balls of paper pulp you can press it, linking the fibers. Once dry you can paint with glue, harden, and pop out.  These bowls will stand on their own! They are even strong enough for a set of keys to be placed inside.

This is a great end of the year project to use up all those scraps or even right round Earth Day, focusing on recycling.  I used an AWESOME video talking about paper.  Where it comes from, how it is made, invented, recycled, and even more!  Check it out HERE.

In progress paper bowl (2nd Grade)
The kids had a blast! They almost can't believe that what they made comes from the materials too many of us toss from day to day.

Important vocabulary:
Paper Pulp

****Special Credit to Kim Furstenberg of Ayden Elementary for the wonderful inspiration.  She created paper bowls with holes in the side, making them into tambourines for the music element.

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