Are you an insatiable recycler? Do you have a creative kid at home? Why not try our project Phone Book Towers.
For one of the projects at Free First Saturday in January 2007, we combined the theme of recycling with the artwork of Eva Hesse. The Walker is currently showing Eva Hesse Drawing until February 19, 2007. Here’s what we did.
Each person got a piece of screen cut into a 4” by 10” strip, a plastic top from a yogurt or deli container, and a page or two of the phone book. These materials reflect my mania for recycling, and I bet we gave out 400 plastic lids that day, which ended my 3 year collection. Those phone books are in your household too, so unclog the kitchen drawers.
Now that you have an idea about the materials, let’s look for some inspiration from the artist Eva Hesse. I was interested in 2 of her ink wash and line drawings of cylinders that are in the exhibition. They are easy to recognize even if their labels say No Title 1967. What I like about them is Hesse’s distinctive rendering of each cylinder, as if each one had its own body language. Both of these drawings were studies for a work called Repetition Nineteen I.
Eva Hesse experimented with all kinds of materials latex, fiberglass, and resins, but she started with papier-mché. This project blends papier-mché techniques with acrylic matt medium. The acrylic medium was chosen for it strength and flexibility. I preferred the matt medium because it’s more pliable. Please note that you can buy the acrylic matt medium at any art supply store. By the way, the acrylic medium could be glossy instead of matt; that’s for you to decide.
Ok if you’d like to have the recipe, here’s what I recommend.
- Lay the screen flat
- Tear up the phone book pages into small pieces (approximately 2” x 2” and they can be irregular)
- Brush matt medium on the pieces of paper
- Collage the pieces on the screen
- Fill the entire screen with paper
- Repeat this technique using the paper on the top of the plastic lid
- Roll the screen into a cylinder
- Seal it with more paper like a band aid
- Set on plastic lid
- Apply smaller strips like a band aid to attach to the lid
- Brush the cylinder and lid with matt medium
- Add words found in the phone book
- Touch up with yellow or tan paint
- Set out to dry
- (It takes about an hour to dry!)
Ilene K. Mojsilov, Art Lab Coordinator
If you come to the Walker Art Center for a tour and an art lab or drop in for an exhibition opening, you’ll see me in the Star Tribune Foundation Art Lab; I concoct these activities for you. So, tell me what you think.