Monday, April 28, 2008

You Were Inspired by What? - Experimenting with an Unconventional Art Medium

If you have been following a long with my blog, you will see that I keep my eyes open for inspiring things no matter where I am or what I am doing. This may be one of the most interesting yet. I was in the kitchen and I sprinkled cornstarch on my work surface to keep the clay from sticking. As I shook it onto my work surface, I found it made the coolest "crater" patterns. I called Kyle (my 5 year old) because he loves the moon (and my strange art ideas) and showed him the texture. He thought it was cool. Of course I took a picture to have the texture for future reference. I wanted to see what else we could do with the powder, so I got a black sheet of cardstock to use as a background. Here is what we came up with and all it took was some imagination and some cornstarch:

Space (just sprinkled on the paper):

Moon Craters (Sprinkled from a distance on top of a thick surface of cornstarch):

Droplets (Shake the paper back and forth until the cornstarch forms little circles):

Snow capped Mountain (Shaking the paper a bit more vigorously in one direction):

Here several ones that looked like shots of clouds taken from space (same technique as the mountain):

Then we decided to get fancy with a skewer:

And a comb ( I think we had the most fun with this one):

And finally here are a few we made by scraping the powder across with an index card. Check out the spooky face that appeared in the first one.

We could have probably gone on for hours creating with this stuff. Lots of fun. I would recommend wearing a mask as it can get a bit dusty and never use talc powder as it is not good to inhale. I think my favorite thing was creating something cool and beautiful randomly and spontaneously with little thought. Each time you shook the paper you would get something new. I think artists (me included) think too much about what they want to create, so sometimes it is fun to create something without thought or a plan. Take some time this week to create some spontaneous, random art. Mix polymer clay colors together and create cool marbled or striped effects. Roll it up into a spontaneous "mudd" canes, slice pieces and cover something with them just to see the patterns and colors that randomly appear. Mix paints in a haphazard fashion and splatter paint them onto a canvas. Grab a handful of mixed beads and create something from the random mix. Let go and just create for the joy of creating. You may find that you get lots of new ideas from the results.


Lisa Clarke said...

Very cool! I definitely have to show this to one or the other of my kids...

Michelle Engel Bencsko said...

Wow, what a progression! Thanks for sharing your "moment" with us. I feel your excitement.

Block Party Press said...

Thanks. It was really fun. Lisa, Kyle had a ball playing with it and he has been coming up with new things to try. The tookth brush is next. Just make sure to use a mask or something over their face to keep from inhaling the dust. I had some on hand because my husband uses them for work, but you can usually get cheap ones at the dollar store. I am sure you could use flour too. Takes some pics of what you come up with!

DivaDea said...

How fun is that! I used to do cornstarch/water fun with my pre-schoolers and they always loved it.

Waterrose said...

great playing and discovering!

Barbra said...

I used to do that with confectioners sugar when I taught 1st grade. Then you can lick your fingers! You created a great memory with your son!

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic post! I feel so inspired by what you and your son created! I can just hear your excited voices... "Mom, look at this one!" "Cool!" "I wonder what would happen if we tried this?" "Mom take a picture of this one!"

Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

Amy Nicolai said...

Try to find the book "Designing with Natural Forms" by Natalie d'Arbeloff, 1973. Right up your alley!

SarahKelley said...

That's incredible! Thanks for sharing your experiment!


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