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

Musings about the importance of art and art education

1st Craft Project Completed! Balloon Vases

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in at 1:02 PM

Tomorrow will mark the second completed week of summer school and my middle school kids have worked diligently on their balloon vases. I initially saw the idea on a website or blog, the art history reference for the idea was Greek amphora's, but since the class I'm teaching is 'creative crafts' I thought it'd be best to let the students choose their own design.

Like all projects, some turned out a bit more successful than others. The key to success is the amount of mache used to cover the balloon. Initially I had used Elmer's glue mixed with water (3:1 ratio) and had the students do 3-4 layers, paying special attention to the joints where the balloon met the bowls. Unfortunately, the heat made many of the balloons fizzle out before they should have and the mache didn't dry quite as quickly as I would have liked giving some of the vases the appearance of wilting or melting.

Though for the most part the results were really great and after taking the advice of a more seasoned art teacher, next time I do a mache project with newspaper I'm going to use art paste, which for those of you who don't know, is a nifty little powder you mix with water to create a sticky gel-like substance that dries as hard as a rock. It's the same idea as wheat paste minus the possible student wheat-allergy risk. Here are some pictures of the finished projects:


I always use the art paste for papier-mache but NEVER balloons after a crazy episode of them popping, sounding like gunshots, late afternoon when I was the only one still in school. What a mess of wet papier-mache!

If I HAD to use a balloon, consider plaster bandage. It's way more expensive, but because it dries faster the balloons aren't as much of a problem. My 6th graders did this a couple of years ago and made giant Faberge eggs. A lot of work, but the results were awesome.

Me again... I meant to say in my prior comment - the vases you posted look FABULOUS!

Thanks soo much Phyl...good idea with the plaster too. On another note, I wanted to ask you about the cave drawing project you did using the shredded paper...What did you mix to the paper to make it dry hard like that? Was is art paste?