For the past two days, the students in this week’s Sculpture Camp have been completely absorbed in the creation of their trees and tree houses. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a group so excited about a project or witnessed a project that held a group’s interest for so long. After two full days of work, most are still not done!
We started off yesterday by building a tree armature out of paper, wire, cardboard and LOTS of tape and then proceeded to paper mache. Our trees had a little trouble in the balance department but lots of toilet paper rolls and dowels as props seemed to hold them upright while they dried. I was a little nervous when I entered the studio this morning (I envisioned all sorts of toppled down trees) but they were all standing and a little duct tape here and there seemed to remedy any issues.
The project continued to evolve as students painted their trees, collaged with tissue paper to create a colorful ground and used crumpled tissue to create the foliage. Students also had a variety of natural materials to choose from (moss, sticks, leaves, etc.) and they embellished their trunks, foliage tops and grounds with these objects.
Last, but not least, came the tree houses! We started these tree houses yesterday and today they just continued to evolve into amazing living environments. There were zip lines, pulley systems, fire pits, swimming pools, and much more. I am continually amazed at how creatively students but together a mish-mash of materials to create unique, creative and beautiful pieces. These tree houses are no exception. At times it proved difficult to balance these masterful houses in the trees but we used plenty of hot glue and a few extra supports here and there (dowels) and they seem to be staying put. I am just blown away by these (almost) finished pieces!!