Jennifer encouraged her students to fill the classroom Jane Jar with the scraps, trifles and toss-aways from their own lives, along with the trash items I usually collect. So, in addition to the plastic bottle lids, candy wrappers and dried up pens and markers I'm accustomed to receiving from my garbage collectors, this sixth grade class collected such things as pencil stubs, broken toys (awesome!), worn out school supplies, random stickers, and frayed friendship bracelets (I'm sure the friendships have far outworn the bracelets). The jar is not only an assemblage of upcycling treasures, it's also a time capsule: a time capsule I hope to capture and honour in the artwork. I'm going to upend this brilliant jar, let the contents scatter all over my desk, and see what ideas spring forth.
In a sunny and busy classroom in Chedoke Elementary School, a fabulous group of sixth graders has been collecting junk for me. Their wonderful teacher, Jennifer Miscas, contacted me earlier this year to let me know her class had been filling a Jane Jar, and she wondered if I'd be interested in creating an art piece from the contents. Um, yes!
This collaborative project represents everything I love about upcycling and art: a bridge for strangers to meet, a chance to capture moments in time, an opportunity to take a pause - however brief - to think about what and how much we throw away. And it's the start of something completely new. Lots of the junk in this jar will emerge in the art that I'll create for Jennifer and her sixth grade class. The rest of it will eventually find a purpose in something else I make, be it more artwork or a piece of jewelry. The possibilities are curious, colourful, exciting and abundant!
Jane Hogeterp Koopman
Subscribe to Jane's Blog by RSS or email:
Stuff I love: