This was our last week of the Early Fall Session of classes, so we made sure that all of the favorite activities were available. We worked with clay, painted big on the wall (and added cut paper), explored lenses and film paper in the hidey hole, glued corks (and added boards), cut paper (and mesh), used stickers and tape, and played with balls and tunnels (with new heavy containers added).
It was a pleasure having you all with us the past 6 weeks!
We spent our last day in Kids Workshop for the Early Fall Session putting the finishing touches on our work as well as embarking on a new project. Our studio was filled with color collections of plastic parts and the children were challenged to build a sculpture that utilized just one color. They also were invited to explore the materials and see how they could design and balance their sculptures before they were given glue. Once they had a plan, we made glue available. We also offered smaller decorative items that were added after the main structure was built.
Our completed dog projects hung on the clothes line:
UpCycle worked with Maury's Green Team to bring some creative reuse fun to the annual Fall Festival. We worked on a junk mail collage of the USS Matthew Maury, a WWII destroyer.
And, by special request, we brought back boat building. Children constructed boats from a collection of plastic vessels, cork, straws, chopsticks, and more using tape, string and wire to attach the parts. Then, they tested out the boats to see if they floated. Adjustments were made to help the boats float and balance!
We enjoyed some messy fun working with papier-mâché on Saturday in our Drop-In Studio. Many of us made dog masks, but there are a few alternative animals in the bunch. Can you guess what they are?
This week we gathered around clay and shared some clay techniques that we learned at the Torpedo Factory's Art Safari. We added pieces of plastic mesh bags and retractible pens that allowed us to make some snake skin, realistic eyes, and more.
In the studio, we continued with stickers, the light box in the hide hole, taping, and balls and tunnels. We brought cutting back to the message center and introduced painting on the wall and gluing corks on a board.
Today we gathered around exploring what oil pastels can do. Friends noticed how soft and silky they felt as we used them. Their lines were thicker than the other drawing implements we have used. And, the oil pastels could be used for drawing, shading and blending.
In small groups we continued working on our paper collage dogs and we used oil pastels and water colors to bring our small dog drawings to life.
What a great day for creating art at the Torpedo Factory! There was clay, painting, felting, block printing, papier-mâché, bottle cap necklaces and so much more.
Visitors were captivated by Lisa's sculpture of a large dog and his inviting gesture. He started the day as cardboard tubes and chicken wire. By the end of the day, he was book page and black dot spotted dog!
Lisa welcomed the public's participation in preparing the materials for papier-mâché. A group of students who were visiting from a visual and performing arts school mixed the water and paste, and they helped tear newspaper strips for the initial layers. After many layers from many working hands, the dog had to rest. And so did Lisa! There was much excitement and interest in working on this special dog.
After the initial layers had some time to set, everyone began covering the dog in paper that came from discarded books. (Don't worry, no readable books were used in this project!)
Finally, Lisa and some young friends worked in her studio to punch black paper dots, which became the final details added to our hound.
UpCycle supplied and manned a nearby table offering the opportunity to make bottle cap necklaces. You could punch a variety of papers, dog pictures from our ALWA Photography event, and magazine images to fill the bottle caps. Sequins, glitter glue and smaller pieces of punches of paper were also available to make each bottle cap special. After decorating, the bottle caps were punched, had jump rings added and the creator could select a ribbon for making the necklace.
Here are some examples of the bottle caps that were filled today.
This event was made possible in part by the project grant UpCycle received from the Alexandria Arts Commission. UpCycle sends a special thanks to Lisa Schumaier for her creativity and inviting spirit. Everyone felt welcome to contribute to the dog sculpture (and to even explore her studio!). We would also like to thank the Torpedo Factory artists, staff and volunteers for running such an enjoyable event. Finally, we'd like to thank Port City Brewery for the bottle caps; we always appreciate their cast-offs from the bottling process. We estimate that almost 300 bottle caps were filled today!
This week we opened with clay slabs and making impressions with found objects.
In the studio we painted cardboard box inserts; added the light box, colored film and lenses to the hide hole, stamped with aquatic themed stamps, and used stickers to cover our building boxes.
Today we gathered around painting the silhouettes of the dogs on our large mosaic. We worked carefully to preserve the lines, so we will know where the eyes, noses and mouths will eventually be.
In small groups we filled the spaces on our found object prints with color palettes. We chose either a cool or warm color scheme for our work. Our other group began torn paper dog collages.
During free exploration we had friends using the balls and tunnels. A group was challenged to make a ball go through a tunnel system that went down and then up again. Other friends worked in the message center until pick-up time.
Join Torpedo Factory artist Lisa Schumaier and your friends from UpCycle to create a large papier-mâché dog at the Torpedo Factory's Art Safari on October 11th. We will also be collaging and filling the insides of bottle caps at a nearby table, inspired by Lisa's work (see below).
Our papier-mâché pet will make its debut in the Scottish Walk Parade on Sunday, December 6th. Join us to make dog inspired masks in our Drop-In Studio on October 18th and 25th and walk in the parade with us!
The Torpedo Factory's Art Safari
Date & Time: Saturday, October 11, 10 am - 4 pm
Location: The Torpedo Factory, 105 N. Union St., Alexandria, VA 22314
An Alexandria tradition, Art Safari is a day of hands-on craft activities for kids and families. Throughout the day, visitors can participate in activities such as origami, giant papier-mache animals, and more. The Art League and the Alexandria Archaeological Museum will offer even more engaging programming. Children should wear clothing that can get a little dirty. Most activities are appropriate for children kindergarten age with parental supervision through middle school.
Kelley & Susan update the blog!