Grade 9 Mask Project

The Landfill Harmonic is the story of making something beautiful from cast-off materials that were considered trash.  "The families that live [in Cateura, Paraguay] recycle the trash and then sell it".  Their resourcefulness and creativity enabled Favio Chavez (Orchestra Director) and his musicians to share wonderful music with the world.

To my grade 9 class: as you prepare for your papier mâché mask project, I want you to think deeply about the importance of materials.  The people who live in Cateura have so little to work with, yet they are creating beautiful music to share with others.  What can you do with the materials you already have?  

We have many opportunities to create art, since we have an abundance of materials available at our fingertips.  We will focus on using recycled materials for our mask project, because it is important to consider our environment, but also because it forces us to see things differently.  

Begin to think about the kind of character you wish to create with your mask.  Look for stories, poems or songs that speak of a character that you would like to develop.  If you prefer, you can create your own story, poem or song instead!  *Make sure to bring the words to class (or post them to your blog), since this is an important part of the Creative Process.  Then, we will begin sketching plenty of ideas!

To inspire you some more, I want to share the story of Kevin Doe:

Will anything hold you back from creating?

Info for your project:

- we will be creating a base that will work as a foundation for the rest of our mask.  Watch the video that demonstrates the process:

- We will be using the following recipe to create our papier mâché: 1 part flour to 4 parts water (heated on the stove until it becomes a bit thicker).  Original recipe found here: 


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