Corrine Takara (@CorinneTakara) has been sharing her explorations with making materials rather than buying materials. She’s launched inspiring projects with mycelium, kombucha leather, and other bio materials. In late September, I took a workshop at the Textile Arts Center in New York City that sounded equally appealing and practical, Textile Futures: Bioplastics upcycled with Sheri Shih-Hui. You can follow Sheri on Instagram at @chi_Sheri.
Here are some photos from the workshop:
After, I considered ways of cooking and using bioplastics with children in different grade levels. Maybe students could make their own disc (with unique colors and/or bits embedded in the mold) and hang it from a class mobile? Or they could make jewelry (medallions or earrings)? Or maybe they could preserve an object or drawing in a sustainable mold – rather than use resin or plastic or something non-biodegradable? In turns out that the bioplastic will melt if exposed to heat or water, and there are ways of making it last longer. One trick is to rub it with beeswax to make it a little more water-repellent.
We just started a new trimester, so I have a great batch of girls signed up for our “Nailed It” afterschool class. We’re going to use our bio-plastic to mimic bits of glass and used in a modified version of a Tiffany lamp. The girls will design art for each side of a four-sided lantern (since it’s an easy shape to construct), then we’ll cut out their designs with our Cricut Maker, cook up bioplastics, and piece their “glass” into the walls of the lanterns. Possibly due to time constraints, we’ll just use a flameless LED tea light in the center of the their lantern… Stay tuned!