Saturday, March 19, 2011

"Red Water! Red Water!"

I have a confession to make regarding the "tall paintings" I posted about yesterday. It wasn't actually a stroke of inspiration, or whatever, that lead me to hit upon the idea of using tempera tinted glue as our medium, it was rather a result of my ad hoc system of bag lady-ness that passes for classroom management at Woodland Park. You see, a few weeks ago, we'd made Orca whale paintings and had saved a cup of leftover "strange sky" hued (yellow-green) glue-paint. I've been known to sit on salvaged paint for months, but this year I'm really working on getting it used up because, well, I need empty paint cups to salvage yet more paint. So it was really a matter of using up leftovers that lead to my little tall painting epiphany.

It's honestly gotten to the point that almost nothing gets thrown out around our school until it's all used up, lending I suppose, some credence to those who remark on our junkyard aesthetic. For instance, I can't bring myself to dispose of those empty tempera gallon jugs. I have this idea that some day we'll have enough of them to build a full-sized igloo using hot glue guns. In the meantime, they sort of clog up the already narrow aisles in my storage room, with a flood plain that includes our front porch. 

Last week one of the girls in our Pre-3 class hit the outdoor classroom with a mission. Squeezing her way behind the open door behind which the jugs resided, she retrieved a jug that still had the residue of red paint in it, then hurried to the cast iron pump, where she unscrewed the lid and managed to hold the open top to the spout as she reached around to work the pump's handle. No easy feat.

Once she had some water in her jug she began shaking it, chanting, "Shake, shake, shake," before pouring her newly concocted solution into the top of the pump.

She then pumped the handle again.

She shouted, "Red water! Red water!

It doesn't really show up well in this photo, but trust me
the water was definitely tinted with the paint residue.

And sure enough, she had managed to make red (well pinkish) water come out of our pump. Naturally, her friends had to try it, igniting a frenzy of jug filling, shaking, pouring and pumping.

"White water! White water!"

At some point, however, the crowd around the pump got to be too much for our leader, who, undaunted, took to just dumping her jug directly into the sand.

Now our igloo building jugs are clean.

(Note: For those of you who expressed an interest, I plan to post a few photos next week of what yesterday's tall paintings look like dry, along with a few notes about what I think could be done to make the finished products even better.)

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Amy said...

we used very shallow cardboard trays from cat food can purchases as the bases for out tall paintings. It was the only flat cardboard I had but it ended up containing the ooze perfectly. In case your bag lady-ness has any of that stashed.

Amy A @ Child Central Station said...

Tom - we are collecting jugs for an igloo. For storage (because you need a ton of them..... .) We are using a length of clothesline and hanging the jugs near the ceiling in our basement/storage room. (running the line through the handle.... ) It seems to work quite well to keep the jugs up! In a few more weeks (hopefully just weeks.... ) our snow will have disappeared enough for us to start putting our igloo together. We are going to be making ours an outdoor igloo, and tweaking the plans a bit! Stay tuned :).