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Mixed Materials Building Blocks
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My work as an artist is informed by the three years I spent working in a Waldorf elementary school. There, I developed an understanding of how a tactile educational experience can foster a child’s sense of agency and empowerment within their physical surroundings. Students learn through building, cooking, knitting and woodworking. They leave elementary school with an understanding that the world is made up of myriad materials that they can manipulate and shape. When building a sculpture, I draw upon my own embodied knowledge of craft and construction. I choose materials based on their ability to hold a shape (or not), and for their particular lightness or weight.
I want to create a set of building blocks that give children the opportunity to use these types of contrasting material properties in their constructions. The shapes will draw from both the built environment and nature. Some will be solid, some will be open or hollow, and some will be flexible. Their weights will vary according to the density of each material. Each piece will measure 3 to 8 inches in any dimension.
Possible shape/material combinations include:
Irregularly faceted, rock-shaped ceramic blocks
Open-ended steel cylinders
Flexible foam strips
Thin wooden planks
Teardrop-shaped, leaf-like fabric pieces
Each set will consist of approximately twelve pieces, and will be contained in a cardboard storage box.
Time in residence will be spent developing a set of blocks that feels cohesive and complete as a building set, while considering manufacturing constraints. I will draw on my own experience as an art educator, Waldorf classroom assistant, and ceramics manufacturer at Atelier Dion. I look forward to the guidance and connections available through the Workshop Residence. Please refer to the attached images for reference to my material investigations within my studio practice.