Musings about the importance and impact of art and art education in the 21st century.

Musings about the importance of art and art education

Melted wax-Trial and Error

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in at 8:26 PM

Weeks after finding a mouse in the crayons, I've finally gotten around to having the students actually do something with all the miscellaneous crayon piecesI had them pick out. After given them each a small plastic baggie (similar to the ones found in the fruits and vegetables section of the grocery store. I had them pick about 10 crayon pieces, reminding them to try and pick a color scheme. Twenty students, one mallet, and 30 minutes of crayon hammering later. They all had a handfull of crayon bits to melt.

I used a warm iron and spread the bits out around the page. Then covering it with a sheet of wax paper, I ironed over the bits until they melted. However, I will say that if you don't melt the crayons enough (until they're a liquid consistency) when they dry, they're too thick and they crack and flake off the paper. Of course, I found all this out the hard way! But, alas, the kids were great sports, even liking the idea of pealing off the wax to reveal a light multi-color stain underneath.

So now that that part was done I had them hand tear a square shape. I thought the jagged edge would make it more interesting. In keeping with the idea of papermaking/prinmtmaking I played around with ways they could print things over the melted wax backgrounds. I'd like to say it was a success, but it kind of wasn't. I don't have printmaking supplies so I had to make due with the styrofoam scratch boards that can be drawn on with ballpoint pens and sponge brushes instead of brayers. The kids picked light colors for dark backgrounds and dark colors for light backgrounds and using the foam squares I cut, drew variuos bug images and then 'printed' them onto the backgrounds by pressing with their hans (I forgot to bring in a spoon or two to burnish with). The pressed images didn't come out as well as I'd hoped, althhough the silver lining was that, at least the few students I had try this seemed to like the printing process. But I'm definately going to try a different method of printing...I'd like the image to be a positive stamp instead of a negative, so I've got to figure out a way to make a cheap and easy to cut lino blocks. Ug art on a budgeT!