Paper Collage Inspired by Charley Harper
Media: Paper and Glue
In conjunction with our science unit on Biodiversity, the girls in grade six created these collages in the style of Charley Harper (1922-2007). Harper was very interested in the natural world, and his prints and paintings usually depicted stylized animals in their habitats. Inspired by his use of clean lines, geometric shapes, and simple landscapes, the girls broke down images of their chosen animals into these elements, then made compositions out of layered paper. Details in these collages are based on research about each animal's habitat.
The titles of these artworks are the scientific names of each animal, in Latin. Do you recognize them?
This art was displayed during the month of May at the Deer Park Public Library.
Anna visits her piece.
Creating the collages.
Display of artwork at Deer Park Library.
Leptailurus serval by Anna.
Odobenus rosmarus by Serena.
Papilo ulysses by Intezar.
Phascolarctos cinereus by Gabi.
Pithecia pithecia by Amina.
The artists visit their exhibit.
Collaborative Electric Quilt
Media: felt, embroidery thread, conductive thread, LED lights, batteries, and switches
This project combined many “opposites”: the traditional and the technological; soft media and hard; skills that are stereotypically equated with girls, and those that are not; dark and light; art and science—and much more. The girls applied many skills to this project, including needlework, preparing paper patterns, and building working circuits. There were many times when they needed to troubleshoot different aesthetic and technical problems. This project required resilience, skill, and cleverness! Each student has reflected on the ways in which she overcame the challenges of this project, and what she learned:
Serena's Quilt Square.
I had a lot of trouble with the circuitry because of the battern packs and how many times I had to redo it. It was mostly because I found out that the conductive thread took some of the battery power, so it couldn't turn on the lights if it was too long. I got frustrated because I had to redo my work. I just decided to do two lights and two batteries and even found a good use for the other battery holder by turning it into a satellite. I was excited about learning how to add electrical circuits into a quilt. I thought it was super cool and I want to incorporate this into many other projects at home. In the end, I thought my square looked really nice, and actually what the earth would look like in space. I really liked how everything fit together, which included the circuitry.” —Serena
Amina's Quilt Square.
“The challenges I overcame during this project were mostly sewing details, like putting the thread into the eye of the needle and and the actual stitching techniques. It was really frustrating sometimes, but once you get the hang of it, it was really relaxing. I troubleshot problems by either asking a peer, Beth, or by trying new things. I really love my artwork because what I chose (a volcano) which matches my personality. I was excited about learning different types of stitches such as chain stitch and satin stitch.” —Amina
Karina's Quilt Square.
“One of the biggest challenges I overcame was making the circuit. The challenge was that it was hard to have the circuit short enough to work, but still long enough to look good. It was hard but fun. Another challenge was making the circuit pretty and still light up. I felt nervous that my lights would not work, and proud when the circuit worked in the end. I was most excited about learning how to do new kinds of stitches about learning how to do new kinds of stitches and making the quilt light up.” —Karina
Anna's Quilt Square.
“I found the circuitry difficult but how I troubleshot it was by trying not to pull the thread hard and not being sloppy. The lights were hard, but I looked carefully and planned where the positive and negative would go. At first, this was frustrating, but once I got it, I felt better. I was most excited about learning how to sew a circuit, and what I really liked about my work is that everything stands out. There is a dark background, so the dog and fireworks stand out against it.” —Anna
Intezar's Quilt Square.
“I overcame some challenges that were hard and some that were easy. Some were getting the thread in the needle hole, which made me kind of frustrated at the beginning, but after troubleshooting and doing it over and over again, I felt great and I knew how to do it. I felt proud of myself for learning a new thing. Another challenge I faced making this quilt was figuring out how negative and positive go together. I thought that this quilt was fun to do. I had fun learning new things and sharing my knowledge with other people. I think that at the end they all turned out to be beautiful, glowing together.” —Intezar
Gabriella's Quilt Square.
“I am very proud of my artwork. I overcame actually putting my thread in the needle and mastering the circuitry. I learned how to thread the needle by practising constantly. I overcame problems with the circuit by testing it over and over and troubleshooting that way. It made me feel good because I kept on trying and now my artwork is beautiful. I persevered. I think I was most excited about learning how to sew because I was always interested in it but never had the chance to.” —Gabriella
Checking the circuits.
Showing off progress.