Bottles, Cardboard, and Tape — Oh my!


[Crystal, one of our 2014 summer Maker Corps members — and now a MAKESHOP Educator! — reflects on facilitating recycled sculpture activities]

Of my time spent in MAKESHOP this summer, one of the most remarkable activities I facilitated was Recycled Sculpture. For those of you who haven’t been to the MAKESHOP, Recycled Sculpture is an activity that is set up for visitors to create their own works of art using recycled materials. On any given day the materials are different. One day there might be an excess of cardboard and egg cartons while the next day could offer bottle caps and miscellaneous plastic bits.



This activity challenges visitors to create 3-D items out of nontraditional items. It brings about questions such as “What parts do you need for your car?”, “Is it important that your wheels move?”, and also encourages children (and adults) to think of items in terms of their qualities rather than what they are. “What shape do you think the wheels should be?”


Children can express needing “round things”, “tube-like things”, or “pointy pieces”. They plan what shapes they need, how they will get the pieces together, and manipulate the materials and tools ( scissors and tape).  The results are some amazing uses of materials.


During the month of August, we have asked visitors to help us build Skyworld. Skyworld consists of a collection of flying/floating objects. We have transportation, animals (including a flying pig and dragons!), sky bridges, buildings, and clouds!  We have found many uses for these odd materials. What ideas can you come up with?


Rebecca has been a MAKESHOP intern, educator, Teaching Artist and Manager. She's also been a graphic designer, costume shop manager, shoe salesperson, and hair stand-in for Fabio.

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