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Showing posts from April, 2012

Do your bit for the environment with recycled art!

“Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Repurpose.” – One can learn so much about the environment while doing creative art projects from repurposed materials and offerings from Mother Nature! Fabric swatches, newspapers, plastics and other materials can be saved from the dump yard and converted into innovative gifts like fabric swatch notepads and origami picture frames.

Celebrating the National Environment week, Resource Area For Teaching (RAFT) Redwood City is conducting a ‘Great Ideas for Creating Re-purposed Gifts’ workshop this weekend. Instructors Monica Lee and Dorothy Yuki, share their passion of using recycled and repurposed materials to create art from colored paper, plaster, tile, shells, beads, wood and many others!

Monica who teaches craft workshops all over the Bay Area reflects, “On a practical level the materials we use are usually low cost or free to everyone. It opens the students’ mind to seeing everyday objects turned into art or usable item of value other than their original in…

Inspiring critical thinking and creativity in the next generation of architects!

What do you get when you put a variety of leftover tiles in front of preschoolers?
A feast for curious minds and creative hands!

One Sunday morning, in my art school, the Dune School in Newark, CA, the project theme was “Tiles”. As always, instead of telling them what to paint or construct, this was an open-ended art activity with no preset instructions or rules. I do this to encourage creativity and critical thinking in my students.

I kept a tray of tiles of all colors, shapes and sizes along with bottle caps, yarn, buttons, cupcake paper holders and other RAFT materials in front of 4 and 5 year olds. I said “Today, you get to be an Architect.” Immediately, one child asked “Who is an Architect?” I replied “An architect is one who makes things like houses and buildings and today, you get to be one!”

With the “oohs” and the “aahs” of growing excitement, I left the children to build their own dream houses! Collaboration is one of the key elements in my classes as the kids feed off fro…