In our classroom, we take apart anything we can get our hands on. When done we are left with many parts. Some look less desirable than others when left on their own but add imagination and you never know what it can become. Alpha is our first creation after the students told me that there was nothing left to choose from in the drawer and we needed to clean it out and get more stuff, Alpha was born!
Step 1: Assemble to Make Recognizable Humanistic Features
there is no rhyme or reason for putting together your creation. Choose pieces that remind you of human anatomy. The plastic binoculars became our head. A vintage toy container lid became our body while the wooden toys became our legs and feet. A simple pill bottle and the kitchen faucet aerator that came in our son's 6th grade science experiment became a death ray. Now that we have our skeleton we can embellish with paint and broken jewelry.
Step 2: Giving Your Creation Life
Alpha needed a heart! Using broken jewelry, misc. nuts and a hair barrette on one side the lid gives us the outside of his heart. The first time we put him together we used hot glue. Today he is put together with screws we have scavenged from other things taken apart. in the next pic you will see the inside of his heart.
Step 3: Embellish to Add Emotion and Interest
The inside of Alpha's heart represents a timepiece. Using odds and ends to build a center for clockworks and hands to be able to rotate without hitting out number representations which are simply made from broken jewelry and nuts and bolts taken from cameras and other small appliances we have taken apart. Notice the head and legs have been painted with a bronze craft paint and broken jewelry embellish and give emotion to his eyes. In this pic which was our first attempt his legs are attached by gluing springs from the body to the wooden legs. This was not logical and Alpha had a difficult time balancing a very heavy body and head on such small springs. In the next pic notice we have changed the design to bolts.
Also you will notice that there is a front and back to Alpha. This is our Wise General side that knows war and is saddened by the devastation. like I stated, he morphed as we continued to find pieces and I still don't think he will ever stop.
Step 4: Finished Product? Probably Not!
Side 2 is a younger looking soldier angry and ready to go to war. Notice we changed the springs to bolts and also added arms with copper connectors.
I think the most important lesson we learned from Alpha is that as long as you are willing to look at something differently, you may just see a bunch of unusable parts. Instead we found great value in unused pieces to create a piece that has given great joy in our classroom and with passersby. I titled this Finished Product:? Probably Not! because I believe we are never finished and unless we continue to add valuable pieces as we grow and age we would live a very sad life.