CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio

CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio
CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio

Monday, January 17, 2011

More Papermaking

"Family Portrait" by "H," and "Green Suite," by "I," Grade 5 (see video below)

To wrap up the 2nd quarter in Art, CBMS students have been exploring possibilities in papermaking. Starting with hall passes, gum wrappers, old homework and all sorts of scraps of paper, students learn the process of deconstructing reclaimed materials to reconstruct art papers. Can we make paper out of tea bags or green beans from lunch? What happens if you add aluminum foil? What if you use too much stuff and the paper is too thick or there is not enough material and the paper is too thin? How thin can we make it? How thick is too thick?
"Green Suite" - 13 shades of green by "I," Grade 5

Learning the process of papermaking is one thing, finding a purpose for the resulting papers is another. Some students work as alchemists, blending custom pulp and crafting unusual papers. Some are colorists who focus on one shade, building a monochromatic portfolio of papers in subtle tones. Some students are innovators, testing materials and processes never before attempted. Others see possibilities for collaboration.

The Four Seasons by "M'" Grade 7
And what of meaning-making? Can young artists use the papers they make to create meaning? Is the meaning formed with the paper or does it emerge later when the paper is transformed into a book, a collage, a sculpture or a painting.

Click to view video!
One young papermaker custom-made 6 pieces of paper - one to represent each member of his family. Dad was made from pages of a discarded boo, because he is "always working," Mom was made of different shades of blue, her favorite color, brothers were thoughtfully made with colors and scraps that represented their interests and activities - the artist blended his paper from orange (his favorite color) and musical notes, since he loves music. Even the family dog was represented. Once the papers were finished, the artist cut them into five human figure shapes and one dog shape, arranged them in order, and strung them together to create a family portrait. (See photo at top of post)