Grow : Create : Recycle
Steven L. Anderson
302 Years, 2016, marker and pen on collaged paper, 96in. x 96in
What do you see in this work? Take a few moments to zoom in and really look closely..
What if I told you this is a depiction of a tree?
When we cut across the truck of a tree and look down, this is what we would see! Can anyone guess how old this tree is? How can we tell? Trees tell us how old they are by how many rings they have. This particular tree has 302 rings, so it is 302 years old. WOW! 302 years is such a long time.
This piece of art is made out of paper
Let's talk about how paper is made. Can anyone guess what paper is made from? Trees!
Grab some crayons and paper draw along with me as we discover how paper is made! Let's start from the beginning, a tree starts of its life as a small seed planted in the soil.
That little seeds gets sunlight and rain from its environment to help it start to grow into a sprout. A sprout looks like a seed with little roots coming from the bottom, and a little stem at the top.
As it grows, its roots get deeper and its stem gets taller and even grows little leaves! It is now a seedling.
As our seedling grows, its roots continue to dig deep into the ground, and its stem turns into a trunk with small branches and even more leaves. It is now a small tree. The more the tree grows, the taller and thicker it becomes. Each year that passes our tree gains a new ring!
Now that we have an adult tree, how do we make paper? First, groups of trees are cut down and taken to a factory! Have you ever seen a tree on its way to a factory?
Once at the factory, the trees are ground up into small wood chips and cooked in hot water, bleach, and other chemicals that make it strong and white in color. The chips are cooked in a mushy pulp.
That pulp is then rolled out as a large, thin sheet and begins to look like paper! It dries out and is cut into pieces of finished paper.
Who is ready to make their very own paper! Heres is what you will need:
-Scraps of old paper to recycle
-Any size blender
-Organic material (flowers, cotton, fabric scraps..)
Gather old pieces of paper you would otherwise throw away, like old mail or cereal boxes. You can also gather cotton, torn fabrics, and flowers!
Put you torn materials into a blender with warm water until you have a mushy pulp. Experiment with different color, texture, and types materials!
Dump your pulp out on your window screen (your screen should be propped up over your bucket to catch all the water). Spread it out into the shape of paper you want, and begin to press out all the water with a thick cloth until your paper is flat.
Lay you window screen in the warm sun to help it dry, it could take 24 hours for your paper to be fully dry. Once dry, your paper is ready to be used for a work of art or a letter!