“Beautiful Junk is the most beautiful things in the world!”

This week in the Studio, friends began working with recycled materials, also known as Beautiful Junk!  Many people in the CCPCS community have been donating materials to the Studio over the past few weeks and we were very excited to sort, build and create with these open ended objects.  Thanks to everyone that has donated to us… and please continue to drop off materials in the bins in front of the Studio!  Within the next couple weeks, the bins will be clearly labeled so families will know where specific materials go 🙂

What is Beautiful Junk?

Daniel: Instead of throwing it in the trash, you keep it and think it’s beautiful so you turn it into something new.

Jose: Junk means like a junk yard.  Like trash.  Beautiful means like it looks nice.  It’s beautiful trash.

Noah: It’s for you to get stuff to build like a human, or a mouse, or a house.

Mae: Junk is something that’s empty that you can use.  You can make things with it but don’t break it.

Florentina: Beautiful Junk is the most beautiful things in the world.

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Mouhammadou: I like this Beautiful Junk.  It’s not stinky.

Roman: This is stuff for you to do your projects with.

Kofi: Beautiful Junk is things that people didn’t want to use that we can use for materials.  They put them in the box.

Abdoul: It’s recycled.  Then we can use it again.  They’re good.

Rayyan: Junk is like ew.

Once we talked about exactly what Beautiful Junk was, it was time to get to work!  Friends collaged and sculpted with the materials, while others were interested in sorting similar materials together.

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Luke: I found more bottle caps.  I’ll put them with the ones Daniel found.

Garumma: I’m making something.  It’s a tractor that’s driving a tiger.  The tiger needs a blanket.  Cardboard is a paper from paper towels.  It’s hard to cut.  It’s not hard to cut fabric.  I’m going back to my project now.

Marley: These are so soft.  Soft like a soft part.

Jose: If you snore so loud, you can put those (corks) in your ears.

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Adrian: This is for closing things like bread.

Zuri: This is like a collection.

Abdoulaye: One time I used Beautiful Junk to make a skateboard.  I used tops for wheels.  I used an egg carton for the board.

Alberto: If you see things that are the same you can put them together.  It’s like if you need some spare parts for your project, you can find them together.

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Josie: Perfect, I found just what I was looking for.

Maia: That (yarn) looks like rope for a cowboy!

Maceo: I know I used Beautiful Junk to make a plane, and then I broke it and made it into a barn.

Andres: Did the eggs hatch?  Where the eggs?

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“The Helicopters” by Angel

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“The Great Wall of China” by Alberto

Finally, we had a very special guest join us in the Studio today!  My dad came by and spent the morning making sculptures with us!  Friends were so excited to meet him and to learn that he was also an art teacher, just like me 🙂

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“You don’t go to the Art Studio to get a haircut, you go there to make your art!”

Over the last week and a half, friends have been practicing with scissors and different types of adhesives.  We began by talking about materials that were appropriate to cut with scissors, as well as materials that aren’t ok to cut with scissors.  Children were very excited to finally have scissors available in the Studio and practiced how to use them correctly and safely.

Luke: We don’t cut houses because we need them to live in.  Scissors do “open and close” like this.

Daniel: If you cut the table, the legs will break off and you’ll need a new table.

Sylvie: Ms.Cookie cut my hair but we do not cut our own hair or our friends hair.

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Sasha: You don’t cut your hair with scissors.  You go to my mom’s salon for a haircut.

Garumma: When I was a baby, I cut my finger.  I didn’t know how to use scissors.

Zavier: I open them.  Then I close them.  Clip, clap, clip, clap, scissors!

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Zuri:  Cutting is like magic.  If you snip around the paper, it’s like a hula skirt.

Yonathan: You don’t go to the Art Studio to get a haircut, you go there to make your art.

Logan: We should call squeeze scissors squeezers!

Once friends had lots of shapes of paper, they began assembling a collage.  Children worked with wet glue, glue sticks, tape and staplers as they experimented with adhering tissue paper, foil and card stock to construction paper.

Mouhammadou: It’s easy to make a rectangle.  Scissors are good at that.

Justin: I’m gluing it so I can put it all back together.

Vivian: This is going to be a bowtie.

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Ronan: Glue sticks look like lipstick.

Miles: I cut this shape and it looks like a shoe.

Alberto: The foil sounds like metal.  I can squish the metal.

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Jariel: Tissue paper like “achoo, achoo!”

Kofi: The wet glue looks like vanilla frosting.

Andres: Put it there, see it perfect.  Sure, it perfect.

This week, we also introduced the light table!  Children had the opportunity to work at the light table if there was time after they were finished collaging.  Videos to come of some of the work done at this area over the course of the week 🙂

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Finally, aside from a day of rain, it was a very sunny week in the Studio!  Friends continued to discover new prisms and crystals that were casting rainbows all over the classroom.

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“This is Abdoul, he’s getting fancy.”

Today, Mouhammadou made puppets of himself and his brothers at their parents wedding.  This was too sweet… how could I not share it?

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 Mouhammadou: He Mouhammadou.  He put his clothes on to go to the wedding.  I am Mouhammadou and I’m ready for the wedding.  My mommy is in the wedding dress… it’s big and white.  This is Abdoul, he’s getting fancy.  Dad is fancy and he in a suit.  Abdoulaye is in the red because he’s the tallest brother.  We didn’t go to the wedding because we were babies.  Everyone was fancy.

“I need years to do this big painting!”

Today, the Tuesday art groups continued to work on their large resist paintings!  Friends were so excited to paint standing up and were thrilled with the new liquid watercolors available today for their resist paintings.  Children enjoyed making drips with the liquid watercolors and discovered that when different colored drips intersected, new colors were created!  Below are some photos from today, as well as children’s words… enjoy!

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Braeden: The drip looks like a river… or a tunnel.  It’s an orange tunnel to the Star Wars city, wheeee!

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Phoenix: I’m gonna make a drip spot, a green drip.  It’s part of the roller coaster… the down part.  Hey, it dripped on my hands, too!

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 Haley: The tape is a shield.  It means the paint wont go through.

Jasper: This painting is outer space caught on fire and now the whole world is on fire.  The orange grass is eating everything.  When the sun turns red, it means it’s really, really hot.

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 Mouhammadou: This is my beautiful house… here’s my doggy, Nemo.  He lost his collar.  I need an “M” for my name.  Here’s two bugs… a family of bugs.  See my pets?  An elephant, see I need a house for it.  Nemo needs a house, too.  The bugs are my other pets.  And there’s my family, right there!

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Minna: It’s dripping!  The new colors can drip!  Lots of drips right here.  What happens when you put the wetness on the dryness?  I’m being a scientist, this is my experiment.  What’s gonna happen?  Huh?  Oh, you can still see it!  Ms.Cushner, this is the shark.  And those are the two mouths.  That’s his eyeball, it’s big… and there’s the big wave!  It’s dark blue.  The red on the bottom is blood.  The daddy shark was fighting the biting fish all the way at the bottom, but he’s okay now.

“Why’s the wall blank?”

Today, we started some BIG work in the Studio!  To make space for the paper, I cleared everything off of the bulletin boards and moved the tables around.  Many friends noticed the change right away and had many questions about what exactly we were going to be doing with all the space.  We began by reading Sky Color by Peter Reynolds and like Marisol in the story, children began by brainstorming what they wanted to illustrate for their large resist painting.

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Once friends decided if they wanted their paper horizontal or vertical, they selected materials from the table and began to draw!  Children used oil pastels, twist crayons, crayons, rainbow tape and blue painters tape to make their ideas come to life.  While some friends were inspired by the sky in the story, other children chose to focus on sea monsters, a skateboard with a nose and legs, and poisonous space plants!  

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Jude: A mural is a big, big drawing. Remember we did one last year and now it’s on the playground?

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Haley: One sea monster and then another sea monster.  Mine’s a lady one.  The seaweeds popping out… it’s green tape!”

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Mouhammadou: I’m making rainbow water like rainbow sky in the story.  It can be any color we want!

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 Jasmine: You have to be pretty tall to reach the top of the big paper!

Braeden illustrates “Snoopy and the Pilot!”

Friends have really enjoyed using liquid watercolors with oil pastels and colored tape this week!  It has given me many ideas for upcoming projects and I am so excited to get some of them underway.  Below is a conversation between myself and Braeden about his future career goals and his painting titled “Snoopy and the Pilot!”

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Braeden: Now I need another color to draw in the little triangle.  It’s part of the airplane wing.  Look Ms.Cushner, you just swipe the brush so we don’t waste the paint.  You’re the best artist in the whole world.  You know everything in the whole world.

Ms.Cushner: Wow, Braeden… thank you!  I think you’re a fabulous artist too, and you always take such good care of our materials.

Braeden: It’s because I went to the store, the art store, with my family.  I actually think I’m gonna be the best artist when I grow up.  I got some paints and papers from the art store with my dad so I can practice.

Ms.Cushner: Do you want to be an art teacher or an artist?

Braeden: Not a teacher, just an artist.  I’m practicing to be one now!  See, this is still an airplane… a Snoopy airplane!  Snoopy the Pilot… it’s kind of funny!

“My painting looks like tie-dye!”

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 Today, children used liquid watercolors, oil pastels and tape to create more resist paintings. This is the first time we have worked with liquid watercolors this year and friends loved the bright colors and found it hilarious that they were being stored in baby food jars!  While Neche was working on her painting, she flipped the page over and discovered that the watercolors had bled through to the other side.  By the end, she decided she liked the back of her drawing more then her original flower drawing because “it looks like tie-dye!”