Some of you new art teachers may not realize that there are plenty of
resources in your own community where you can get materials for art supplies
Paint & Wallpaper Stores - These stores get new wallpaper sample books on a
regular basis and discard the old ones. Just ask for the old ones and you
can use the samples to create a variety of wonderful art projects. Some
stores may even donate their old paint samples to your school.
Construction Sites - Ask for the small pieces of scrap wood that is always
left over at these sites. You can always find great uses for small scraps
of wood such as sculptures and carvings.
Barbershops & Hair Salons - Can you believe that these places just throw out
bags of hair clippings every day! If you ask, they will donate this
material to you. I'm always amazed to watch how creative students can be
with a bag of fresh hair clippings. Some immediately want to use glue to
fashion disguises while others like to mix the hair into their clay pieces
to give the structures more strength.
Cemetaries - Cemetaries are great sources for both dried flowers and
artificial flowers. The dried flowers are create for making potpouri while
the artificial ones can be used in still lifes or as stamps in printmaking
exercises. I haven't had any problems taking these flowers from the
cemetaries so far, but out of courtesy always check the gravestones and
never remove any flowers until at least a two or three weeks after the date
of death. This will allow the family members all the time they need for
Junk Yards - These are like Heaven for the serious artist. There's often so
much to see and do that you just have to make a day of it. I like taking
the grandkids and bringing along a picnic lunch so we can just spend hours
searching the grounds for wonderful items. I would highly recommend
bringing along a whooping stick (an old car antanee works wonders) for rats
and snakes. You might also consider planning a school field trip to a
landfill so students can get a hands on lesson in recycling.