Saturday, March 24, 2012

"The Crows of Pearblossom" Art Project Part I: The Nest

One of Serafin's favorite books is The Crows of Pearblossom by Aldous Huxley.  In this book, a rattlesnake sneakily eats the eggs from the nest of a female crow, Mrs. Crow, while she is out for the day.  When she catches him in the act and tells her husband about it, him and a friend figure a way to outsmart the snake.

I can't tell you how many times we've read this book, it's one of my favorites too!  Since it's been so rainy and we are always looking for new activities, I thought it would be fun to create some of our own story props, that way we can play with them and read the book at the same time!  I first started with the nest, . . .

It took me two rounds to figure out how to get the nest to work out.  I think if I did it a third it would turn out even better.  I, however, am going to stick with what we've got for now,  it will do for our purposes!  

To make up the nest, Serafin first picked some pieces of construction paper that she liked the colors of, I then stuck them in the shredder.  I used about five large sheets and was surprised that I actually ended up using all of it.  
Next I covered a small bowl in plastic wrap and got the glue ready.  In a tall container I put in about 1/3 cup of glue an 1/3 cup of water, I used Mod Podge because I knew it would dry clear.

We then added the shredded paper to the gluey mixture.

Then pushed it all down and made what we called construction paper soup.  

We then molded the nest to the plastic covered bowl.  

Admittedly, I did most of the work.  Serafin kind poked around adding scraps of paper and making the  usual amusing commentary that she does while we do projects together.

When your finished molding, you will have goopy mess, don't try lifting it off the cardboard, just pick the entire thing up and place it in front of a space heater.  It will be wet and need help drying.  Rotate it about every 40 minutes.  The first time around I tried to dry it by sticking it next to the heating vent and that just wasn't enough heat power.    The outside dried but the inside stayed wet and when I went to pick it up, the entire thing fell apart.  

When it becomes really hard on the outside, slide a knife under the nest to detach it from the cardboard, hold the nest in one hand like you would a bowl and carefully lift the cardboard.  Remove bowl and plastic wrap and put in front of the heater to thoroughly dry the inside.  In a couple of days it will be super hard and you will have your nest!

Soon we are going to work on Mrs. Crow's eggs, they are green with black spots.  I'm thinking paper mache.  It will be just in time to start decorating our Easter Eggs too!  Afterall, it's always good to kill two birds with one stone!

1 comment:

  1. Neat! So nice that you have a shredder to make the cool black and orange nest too.