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Our sketchbooks have been filled with fauna and flora, we've woven with leaves, grasses and flowers and our Case of Curiosities have been filled over and over again with objects we've discovered at home and out in nature.  For our last week of Outside IN, we'll be making objects to say thank you to the sky and earth for all the wonderful things they've shown us. 


Inspired by artists such as Andy Goldsworthy & Maya Lin, as well as the traditions of framing and working with natural landscapes in Eastern and indigenous cultures, we will work with found  & natural artifacts, our drawings & paintings of nature, our imaginary creatures, as well as our textile creations to make installations for the Sky and Earth.

Join us in collecting and combining our nature observations and art techniques for a creative mashup that explores the contrast and connection of earth and sky!  


Have you seen natural objects out in nature look like art installations already?  A rock that looks pizza?  A branch or tree stump that is twisted in just the right way?  Maybe some leaves that look like a bouquet of flowers?  Record in your sketchbook or with a photo any found & natural artifacts that inspire your imagination.



We are ready to use the Salt Dough packet that is in your Explorer's Box! You can salt dough objects to add your collection of objects for both activities this week.


POUR what you have into a bowl and add approximately 1/2 cup of water.

MIX it together with your hands or a spoon until it becomes a soft, pliable consistency.  If your dough feels dry or crumbly, you might need to experiment with adding a little more water at a time until it comes together.  Once you have your salt dough mixed, you can use it to make all sorts of shapes for the activities that we are working on this week. 


STORE the salt dough in a container with a tight fitting lid to help it stay soft for a few days while you are working with it. 


When you are finished with your pieces, you can leave them out to dry and harden over a day or two.  If you're in a hurry, you can also bake it in a low temperature oven (250 degrees) for an hour or two until they are dry and hard. 


Once your pieces harden, you can also paint or draw on them to add another layer of color or texture.



You can also use your found and natural specimens to press into the salt dough to create fun patterns or to record textures of what you've found.  If you'd like to hang any salt dough objects for Activity 1, you might need to make a small hole so you can tie some string around it




For both activities this week, campers can choose to work with the curiosities and observations from the past three weeks or collect and make new ‘earthly artifacts’ from this particular moment of summer.  For this activity, we will work on arranging them in patterns and shapes and lifting them up to the ethereal sky.  



In this activity, we'll be creating constellations of sky to offer to the earth. Modern sky constellations represent people, real and fantastical animals and objects but your constellation can be inspired by patterns, shapes or even the shapes and shadows you've recorded in your sketchbook.

STEP 1  Gather a collection of objects that you would like to use for this activity.  They can be objects you've been making and collecting over the last three weeks or they can be objects you happen to find around you.  We found acorns, pine needles, a feather, pinecones and fallen leaves on our walk, and combined them with some leaves from indoor plants and rocks from the beach.

STEP 2  You can choose to arrange your objects in a circle or in whatever pattern and shape you find satisfying and inspiring. You can use the same objects to create several constellations.


STEP 3 (OPTIONAL) Record what you've made with a photograph or a sketch to share with your fellow campers.

Our creations below are inspired by mandalas from Hindu and Buddhist culture, which form a circle that represents the universe and the connection between all things.



By Joy Harjo 

Remember the sky that you were born under,
know each of the star's stories.
Remember the moon, know who she is.
Remember the sun's birth at dawn, that is the
strongest point of time. Remember sundown
and the giving away to night.
Remember your birth, how your mother struggled
to give you form and breath. You are evidence of
her life, and her mother's, and hers.
Remember your father. He is your life, also.
Remember the earth whose skin you are:
red earth, black earth, yellow earth, white earth
brown earth, we are earth.
Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their
tribes, their families, their histories, too. Talk to them,
listen to them. They are alive poems.
Remember the wind. Remember her voice. She knows the
origin of this universe.
Remember you are all people and all people
are you.
Remember you are this universe and this
universe is you.
Remember all is in motion, is growing, is you.
Remember language comes from this.
Remember the dance language is, that life is.

Woven by Air, Texture by Air
By Naomi Shihab Nye

Some birds hide in leaves so effectively
you don't see they're all around you.
Brown tilted heads, observing human maneuvers
on a sidewalk. Was that a crumb someone threw?
Picking and poking, no fanfare for company,
gray huddle on a branch, blending in.
Attention deeper than a whole day.
Who says, I'll be a thoughtful bird when I grow up?
Stay humble, blend, belong to all directions.
Fly love, love a shadow. And sing, sing freely,
never let anything get in the way of your singing,
not darkness, not winter,
not the cries of flashier birds, not the silence
that finds you steadfast
pen ready, at the edge of four a.m.
Your day is so wide it will outlive everyone.
It has no roof, no sides.


Poem from Voices in the Air: Poems for Listeners (Greenwillow Books, 2018)



Campers can continue to replace items in their Case of Curiosities as they would like, to make a completely new collection each week or create their own evolving theme for their Cases.  


Campers are encouraged to document and sketch Find Four items each week (fauna, flora, fungi and a free item).  If any campers would like to share their work, please email us photos to post and share on social media and on the camp website.


For Outside IN, we are reading WildwoodPablo & Birdy, Zoe in Wonderland and Pilu of the Woods.  We will be discussing our books with Heidi from Split Rock Books this Wednesday! For voracious readers, order more Outside IN books directly from Split Rock Books.

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