Monday, January 31, 2011

Lyceum -- Up-cycled!

Emma here!
Feeling the urge to recycle (and agonizing over my friend's impending birthday), I decided to up-cycle some old Lyceum issues to make her a gift rather than let them get recycled.
Up-cycling is essentially taking old materials and making them into new, higher-quality, more valuable products. Think: earth-friendly arts & crafts.

So I turned a cardboard box, a handful of old Lyceum journals, and a pile of newspaper into a paper mache "Day of the Dead" sugar skull, or "calavera."

These colorful skulls - sometimes edible, sometimes purely for decoration - are used in Mexico to adorn traditional altars celebrating the dead on All Souls' Day, or the Day of the Dead. The deceased's favorite foods, drinks, and symbols of favorite past times also adorn the altar, to celebrate their life rather than to mourn.

My friend ended up loving her "calavera." It took about two weeks to complete, start to finish, and consisted of three major steps: sculpting a cardboard base, paper mache-ing, and painting. One very messy desk later, this is what emerged: