Using Recyclable goods.
I save up many items and I ask friends and family to do the same. Old age homes and other community organisations can also be approached as they often buy in bulk and have lots to throw away. Artists have been labelled as hoarders or collectors as they can always find new uses for things; this is part of their creative gifting. I try to balance this “gifting” with organisation so I plan ahead of time and save goods for specific projects in order not to be inundated with “junk”.
Here is a list of goods that I have commonly used for my workshops:
· Toilet rolls
· Milk cartons (with handles)
· Boxes of different shapes
· Cardboard egg boxes
· Brown paper packets
· Bottle caps
· Material scraps
· Wooden pegs
· Tea bags
As soon as I have used something recyclable I clean it, e.g. tins and milk bottles, so that they are ready for use for my workshops.
Glue does not always work so well because if you use it on non-porous objects it will take a long time to dry. Children especially are impatient to move onto the next step. You must also be careful of toxic glues when working with children. Always read the label. Other options, apart from glue, are masking tape, staples and split pins. For younger ages it’s much more gratifying to finish the activity in one session rather than dragging it over the next week which is why I suggest the other options.
As children love to use paint liberally it is best to paint and decorate after constructing 3D models because paint makes cardboard soggy and it falls apart while you are still constructing it. It is also important to be willing and ready to take part in the activities. This is not so much as to take over or do the difficult parts for the children but to encourage and give ideas on problem solving or how to cope as their designs are often quite ambitious. It is lovely to see their creative minds abuzz when they are given recycled materials and a little inspiration.