Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Plastic Fantastic: The marvels of melting

Beautiful butterfly collage

Yesterday I ran a melted plastic decorations workshop at The Hut, which is part of Brampton Community Centre. It was a bit of a wet and grey morning but this worked out well as the session was over subscribed so very busy, a few more than I anticipated but it kept me busy! Last year I ran a similar session at The Kirkgate Centre in Cockermouth as a drop in workshop. The session was for children and there was quite a wide age range. Because of this I'd planned two activities so that they could choose what was most suitable for them.

Arranging bits and pieces

Laying the pieces out

Another collage ready to melt

The first option was plastic bag collage. This involved collaging and then fusing pieces of plastic bags together to make pictures or abstract compositions. Some of the children made really complex collages and there were some really fun ideas.


Cat collage

The right trousers!

The second option was to crochet chains and then arrange the chains into shapes before melting. Because it was quite a large group it was difficult to have enough time help everyone with this but all the parents, grandparents and carers were really helpful and some of the children picked it up really well and made some really long chains!

Learning to crochet

Finger crochet

Chains arranged into a flower and melted

My main aim for the session was to give the children and their carers a fun and creative activity that they could experiment more with at home. As all that is needed are plastic bags, an iron and some baking parchment it is a cheap and easy thing to experiment but with a bit of skill and practice complex patterns and pieces can be produced. I've been melting plastic bags for about ten years now and I like the element of transformation and slightly unpredictable nature of it.

Fish Collage

Fish Collage #2

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