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Our group is working on a series of sequential questions and an aesthetic
puzzle to present to a 3rd-6th grade class.
We will be discussing recycled art, focussing on Saarenald T.S.
Yaawaisan's flip-flop helicopter.
1. What do you see?
(desrciption of the toy)
2. What is the function?
3. How is this toyhelicopter different from the toy helicopters you may
have played with?
(materials, style, size)
4. What is it made out of?
(recyclable flip-flops, wood)
5. Why do you think Mr. Yaawaisan used these materials?
Saarenald T.S. Yaawaisan is an itinerant toymaker in Monrovia, Libera, who
has long fashioned toys from found materials. When he first began making
toys from flip-flop sandals, he found the raw materials on the beach, along
with scraps of plant fiber and plastic bottles. Mr.Yaawaisan scours the
beaches near his home for discarded, brightly colored thongs which he
cuts and forms into elaborate toy locomotives of all types: planes,
boats, pick-up trucks, eighteen wheelers and tractors, to name a few. The
rotor-blade on this striking helicpter is designed to turn by a
rubber-band mechanism which is activated by the rolling of the wheels.
(Description from ArtsEdNet, Art and Ecology: Art and the Earth)
1. Can a piece of art be made out of trash? (Can trash be art?) Why or
2. Under what circumstances can trash be transformed into art?
3. Can it be made out of reusable/recyclable materials?
4. Can a toy be considered art? Why or why not?
5. Does art have to be made by an artist? (Mr. Yaawaisan was a toy
6. Why might something made by a toy maker be found on an art website?