Saturday, September 20, 2008

Girl Scout Project

The local Girl Scout council built an incredible building last year. After years in a tiny, outdated house-turned-office they raised the money to take their organization to another level. The girls benefit directly as the new space offers a much-welcomed area for indoor and outdoor activities. They offered grants to local artists to help decorate this amazing space. One caveat was that the artists must include Girl Scouts in the creative effort. The space will feature the work of glass, paper, fiber, and mixed media artists.

Another area papermaker, Barb Stewart, and I applied and were fortunate enough win one of the grants. In our proposal we suggested that we create a handmade paper quilt entitled “Celebrating Similarities/Embracing Differences”. Our intentions were to celebrate the art of papermaking and the camaraderie that is encouraged when creativity blossoms. With 9 to 12 year olds we made hundreds of sheets of paper with the same pulp, the same tools, the same equipment, and the same materials; yet, the results of each sheet was quite different. Some papers were very colorful, while others featured botanicals gathered from a garden. Each sheet is beautiful in its own way.

We then worked with older girls, ages 12-18, to turn the handmade paper into beautiful, 12" x 12", quilt blocks. Each block was finished using a spiraling pattern and four different handmade papers. This pattern becomes almost three-dimensional, as the eye seems to spin toward the center. All the girls had a great time with this project and were amazed with the results. We had many begging for directions on how they might do this sort of thing at home.

The work with the girls is completed. Now Barb and I are working hard to get the quilt blocks mounted and hung. More on this later, but for now here is one of the 24 quilt blocks that is completed. Sorry, this isn't a great picture but, believe me, we're off to a great start!



Stone said...

Lorrie: Keep up the great work with the kids!!

I once had an elder mentor who likened art to the following>>

See it, touch and feel it, hear it, smell it and if really brave, taste it!

Lorrie Grainger Abdo said...

Actually, one of the girls did taste the pulp because she thought it looked like cotton candy!

Joanne Huffman said...

What a very cool project. I look forward to seeing all the blocks.


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