“Trees are often regarded as objects and are removed according to the landscape plan ruthlessly. In the Netherlands trees typically reach only one tenth of the age that they could make.
For Raw Color and studio Maarten Kolk & Guus Kusters, trees are anything but static. The are ever changing life forms that determine how we experience light, shade, wind and changes of the seasons. This observation, is translated to “illusions” of trees in different materials, that represent the life, dynamics and transformation of trees.
Invited by MU the project is part of Make a Forest, an international platform, founded by Joanna van der Zanden and Anne van der Zwaag.”
“When and why did the idea first occur to you to take toys as your inspiration?
I began using toys as my central material about five years ago, it started in my studio in Cornwall and began simply from a few moments that I spent staring into into my childrens cast off toy boxes which happened to be stored there. I responded to the variety of colours and forms they presented, the random juxtapositions, and the non rational ‘meanings’ that those combinations started to take on My work over several years had usually incorporated elements from my immediate environment, everything from whole books magazines and twigs collaged into paintings t, scrap building timber furniture and tree waste into sculptures. There are many reasons for choosing scrap, the obvious first one being financial. I have always enjoyed working on a physically large scale, paintings that you could feel that you could enter, sculptures larger than life. For some time I was making pyrotechnical fire sculptures in parallel to the more permanent pieces so it would have been wasteful to use new flammables. I have always disliked the blandness of many traditional sculptural materials clay bronze stone plaster etc. I like materials that are more obviously malleable, that have already had a life, have been part of other peoples lives. To me the fact that these things have been used ,touched by humans for other reasons than making art automatically adds depth to the work by giving it a history both separate to the work and integrated within it. The toys are mini sculptures designed by uncredited people. It is both theft and accreditation.”
Thank You e-glue for introducing me to Little Sapling Toys. Their products are aesthetically beautiful, handmade, eco- conscious, provoke imagination and promote various aspects of development in young children — Bonus for parents and educators: Fairly priced!
“Here at Little Sapling Toys, we are committed to quality toys and a healthy earth. We plant a tree for every toy sold, use FSC Certified hardwoods, recycled content packaging and participate in our local green power program.
Each toy is handmade by our family in Boise, Idaho. Our way to reconcile modern and natural beauty is by using Maple, Cherry and Walnut woods together with our own beeswax and organic jojoba oil finish. We design our toys to help young children develop creativity, pattern recognition and fine motor skills. Our goals are to make toys that will be beautiful to look at, fun to play with and cherished for generations. We hope these toys will be passed from our children to theirs.”
—Published October 22, 2010 at 10:22 am, by Jolayne
Directed & Produced by Bill Benenson and Gene Rosow
“Dirt feeds us and gives us shelter. Dirt holds and cleans our water. Dirt heals us and makes us beautiful. Dirt regulates the earth’s climate. Dirt is the ultimate natural resource for all life on earth.
Yet most humans ignore, abuse, and destroy our most precious living natural resource. Consider the results of such behavior: mass starvation, drought, floods, and global warming, and wars. If we continue on our current path, Dirt might find another use for humans, as compost for future life forms.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Another world, in which we treat dirt with the respect it deserves, is possible and we’ll show you how.
The film offers a vision of a sustainable relationship between Humans and Dirt through profiles of the global visionaries who are determined to repair the damage we’ve done before it’s too late. There are many ways we can preserve the living skin of the earth for future generations. If you care about your food, water, the air you breathe, your health and happiness…”
Click the image below for a variety of education resources (pdf), useful with children of any age and you might learn a new thing or two. Happy Earth Day, EVERY DAY!
“Films for Change is a bilingual National Film Board program designed to integrate documentary films on the environment into secondary level education.” Don’t be intimidated by “secondary level education” as these resources are valuable for children of all ages, as you know, it all depends on how you use them. “A comprehensive Teacher’s Guide is available to help students develop media literacy and environmental skills as well as to create an opportunity for students to implement environmental action projects in the classroom.
“Here you will find posts from Center for Ecoliteracy staff, including Zenobia Barlow, cofounder and executive director; Lisa Bennett, communications director; Karen Brown, creative director; Jim Koulias, deputy director; Carolie Sly, director of education programs; and Michael K. Stone, senior editor.”