Tag: recycling

Wild Art Summer Camps with RuckusRoots!


This summer we had a blast leading some wildlife and art-based workshops with local kids. Based on our middle school-aged program Wild Art, these workshops were geared towards younger kids and held in Northeast LA at Heartbeat House Dance Studio. We taught our participants about local wildlife, like the mountain lion, trout, falcon and monarch butterfly. Then the children got to decorate paper animal templates with fun recycled art supplies and paint. As always, it was a great way to get creative and start the learning process about nature and sustainability for these youngsters!





This week during TRASHformation: Fabric Mache

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Last week saw a lot of progress made in our TRASHformation program at Academia Avance middle school in Highland Park. Since the students had recently learned how to create a small 3D sculptural model, it was now time to think about how we will create the “skin” of our piece. Besides mentoring the students, Rebekah Waites and some very dedicated volunteers (thanks, Doug!) are simultaneously building the large structure. With the overabundance of fabric materials the community donated we thought it best to put those to good use. We introduced the students to a new art method known as “fabric mache”. “Fabric Mache” is in sense very similar to paper mache, it is the cross-stitching of strips of fabric that have been dipped in a solution of glue and water; once dry it becomes a stiff shell that can be painted and/or drilled.

In these upcoming weeks we will begin working towards designing and “stuffing” the interior of the sculpture, ensuring the strength and durability of the bear. We are still searching for a suitable home for this art piece at a Highland Park art gallery. Let us know if you have any leads!

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In Full Swing: TRASHformation in Highland Park


With our TRASHformation program in full swing at Academia Avance middle school, we decided to push the flow of creativity and excitement by having each student prototype their original sculpture ideas. We did this so each student could gain a greater understanding of the process to creating their own large-scale art piece; from drafting art proposals to making miniature scale models, each student is contributing to and making progress towards our final large-scale sculpture. In our previous class we had each student build the body and form of each work, this week we moved on to painting the exterior with a base coat of white. Soon the students will have their own piece of art to take home, along with the large sculpture, which we will display in the community.

With the miniature projects nearly done, we had eager students help contribute to building the base and structure of the sculpture. We composed our base from recycled bed frames and had already formed its structure from recycled wood and chicken wire. While working with the dangerous tools was a task left to the artist mentors, many students helped out where they could, whether it was painting the base or helping form the body with chicken wire. It was a rewarding day! We closed shop with great hopes for the next week.

Mend your ‘un-green routine!’

Wait! Don't throw it away just yet...new uses for old things!

While we at RuckusRoots believe in the old adage “Earth Day is every day!” We know that isn’t always the case. But fear not, there are plenty of every day things you can do to mend your ‘un-green routine.’ And with 2012’s Earth week fast approaching, what better time to promote awareness and appreciation for our Earth’s environment, sustainable living and awareness of overall green living. Below is a list of everyday household items that can be turned into something useful, instead of being sent to the overstocked landfills.

1.) Old paper towel rolls or TP rolls, great for sorting cables and wires or any other tangly cords.

2.) Corks from wine bottles, perfect to use as a cork board for pictures, name plates at weddings or dinner parties, or use the cork and bottle as a recycled wine bottle torch.

3.) Turning plastic bottles or aluminum cans into small herb gardens or window planters.

4.)Another use for those old TP rolls, store your bobby pins, hair clips and elastic bands on them. Much better than scouring the floor or an old purse for that ever elusive bobby pin

5.) Turn an old matchbox or Altoids canister into an instant sewing kit or jewelry container.

6.) Turn your 6 pack carrier into the perfect condiment carrier. Just add ketchup, S&P, some silverware and napkins and you’re ready for the next backyard BBQ.

7.) Use an empty kleenex box to store plastic bags. Easy to access when you’re ready to reuse the plastic bag, of course!

8.) Turn a wine box into your newest shoe storage. As an extra bonus, reuse old newspaper to cover the box to make it more presentable. Comics and crosswords preferred.


Thanks to Real Simple for the images 


Wisconsin TRASHformation Recap

WOW! What an incredible time was had at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh over Earth Week 2010! I’m ecstatic to report that our newest project, TRASH-formation, which the kind folks at UWOSH hosted and to helped to fund, exceeded our expectations.

In case you don’t remember from previous posts, TRASH-formation is an interactive art experience that converts University garbage into an aesthetically stunning and sustainably built sculpture. Since this was our first attempt at the idea, we didn’t know exactly what to expect, but we were hoping that students would get involved, help us build the piece, become inspired and have fun. Without question, all of those goals were met! 

With the help of Art Customs artists Robin Banks and Jon Patty, along with some great music from DJ Ryan Nelli, we were able to create a welcoming creative environment—over the course of three days, hundreds of students came to learn how to build, paint, weld, and use a plasma cutter for the first time. For materials, OWOSH Facilities Management donated some surplus pieces to us, which included filing cabinets, computer parts, old furniture. We used these, as well as recyclable bottles and cans, paper waste, scrap metal to create the structural bases and decorative elements of our creations. 

Robin, the main artist behind TRASH-formation, wanted to emphasize functionality as well as aesthetics in his design, and so the final product is something that students can both enjoy looking at as well as use. We made a “TRASH-form” stage using filing cabinets, complete with an amphitheater style arch built out of computer panels. Filing cabinets were also used to construct a seating area with beautiful, large metal flowers emerging from “planters” (recycling bins) on either side. A 20-foot tall palm tree in the middle (trash barrels, computer components, scrap metal, etc.) provides shade and visual interest (and a little reminder of California for all you Wisconsin peeps)! We hope both sculptures, which took 2.5 days to build, will serve as student gathering spots for a long time to come.

An extra-special highlight occurred when the Chancellor of the University gave a speech from our stage, using his own UWOSH podium. After his speech, we conducted “TRASH-talk” from the stage, where Robin and I, along with UWOSH Sustainability Board representatives Stephanie Spehar and Jim Feldman and some environmental studies students led a discussion on improving waste management, reducing consumption and sustainable living.My heartfelt thanks go out to all who helped us complete this project, including UWOSH Facilities Management, Jim Feldman, Stephanie Spehar, and of course the UWOSH students, teachers and administrators who made it all possible! And a big thank you to the Student Environmental Action Coalition, Pepsi Fund, American Democracy Project, Reeve Union Board, Anthropology Club, Religious Studies & Anthropology Department, 18 Chairs Sculpture Club, Steinhilber Art Gallery, Campus Sustainability Office for helping to fund TRASH-formation.