I have been teaching several classes lately. The first one was on unconventional materials. The idea for the class came out of the material I'm using to create the things and trying to find a use for supplies I already own instead of buying more art - which is such a seductive thing to do. The class was originally 2 sessions although I added a third. The first session was on 2-D materials. We made out own mark making materials using coffee, onion skins and 3 types of spices mixed with hot water or egg yolk. Also we used shoe polish and stove black as pre-made materials.
I think Turmeric was the most successful. The cinnamon is very odd. It became thick and viscous almost like slim. If anyone knows the chemical reason for this please let me know. It smelled the best but was basically unusable. One student even drew some lines with the Hershey kisses that were there for snacks. They give a very pleasing light brown line.
The second session explored 3-D materials. Some of which are pictured below. Not pictured are a lot more hardware, fabric, beads and I'm not sure what else.
And below are some of the creatures that the class made.
For the last session. The class continued experimenting with previous materials and also ones that they had brought in.
I think in the fall I will offer a similar class on Unconventional Materials used by artists in the 20th century. I'll have to research a little. but I can definitely see sandpaper (Jean Miro and others), newspaper (Picasso and Braque and others) and some house paint (thank you Mr. Pollack!) in the 2-D section. If you have any suggestions please leave me a comment.