Since the beginning of the year, the Brown Room children have worked on a variety of collages. They have collaged using glue sticks in the message center and liquid glue and with brushes in the studio. They have used a variety of materials in the collages, ranging from materials with warm and cool color palettes to using both natural and man-made items. This week, we tried a new technique, using glue bottles and corrugated cardboard pieces to create "linear collages." It was interesting to see how each child approached the task in their own unique way.
We began our studio experiences with “linear collage” by asking the children to share their thoughts with the prompt, “What is a collage?"
Fay: Putting things on and using glue to make them stick.
Ford: On the birthday committee for Bailee (her gift included collaging materials).
Ragnar: Where we put glue on top of it so it can stick better.
Cal: A collage is how you make things into plaster and it goes dry (referring to the plaster collages made previously).
Ramsey used the small metal pieces (with teeth) and pushed them into the cardboard at first instead of using the glue. Ramsey made a long line of glue in one of the “valleys.” Ramsey described how the glue fell into the valley of the corrugated cardboard: It’s so easier because it goes so long. After placing some more materials, Ramsey used the paper clip "tool" to position some of his materials.
Win placed glue dots of glue in the individual "valleys" on her cardboard. Once she was satisfied with the dots, she began to place her materials.
The variety of materials also led to some interesting conversations as the group worked on their linear collages:
Ramsey reached for the silver “tacks” and dropped a handful on the cardboard. He then picked up a small dyed seashell.
Ramsey: Look at this shell. It’s a little…
Bailee: Maybe it’s a pinching crab.
Mimi: There are sharks in the water.
Ramsey: There’s no sharks, only if they’re in salt water.
Bailee: Pinching crabs at the beach.
Ramsey: Some lobsters. Well, lobsters live in the shell when they’re dead.
Ragnar drizzled glue back and forth across his cardboard piece: See how they're like covered with glue. Are they getting covered? Ragnar chose one wooden bead at a time and placed them in the glue. At the end of our visit to the atelier, Ragnar decided that he would continue to work on his collage again the next day. Upon returning to his piece the next morning, Ragnar looked at his collage and shared an observation, "It's not sticky anymore." He followed up his observation with a question and a hypothesis after some thought, "How do things dry?...I know how things dry. They're dry in the morning."
Cal, Ford and Ramsey also returned to the studio on the second day to continue collaging. While Cal added on to his work from the previous day, Ford decided to create a new piece.
Cal: I need to get more materials. I put that and I put it over there with the other one. Then I tried another one. I thought mom would like these different materials.
Ford squeezed the glue bottle and very little came out at first. He paused, and then began to tap the bottom of the glue bottle with his heel of his hand until he was happy with the amount of glue that had been dispensed. Ford looked at the materials and stated, “I want to use paper.” Then he looked at the materials tray and seeing no paper, he began to choose a variety of materials, including plastic, wooden and metallic beads.
Karen: Which materials that you chose is your favorite, Ford?
Ford F! Because it’s in my name!
Karen: Ramsey, did you pick the pink bead for a particular reason?
Ramsey: Yeah. The pink ones, because Nora (his older sister) loves pink...and purple.
Ramsey chose a small purple-dyed shell next. She'll love this. This is a crocodile shell. It has little teeth.
Fay placed a dot of glue on her cardboard and then placed a single pink bead on the glue. She then chose several other beads and put them in a pile next to her cardboard on the studio table.
Next she began to spread lines of glues into the “valleys” of the cardboard. Fay used the “tool” (a bent paper clip) to pickup and place each of her beads.
Rawls drizzled glue across his corrugated cardboard. He placed two orange beads in parallel “valleys.” “Cotton candy. From church. Look at this,” (pointing to the oblong orange beads). “It’s a funny one It’a a funny glue."
Fay: I have purple glue at home.
Rawls: I got some (glue) on the materials. Stick it. Look at this (picking up an orange bead). It’s kinda cute.”
Fay: Look at this one. There’s so much glue over here (looking at her cardboard).