Blog  Making Art the Crane Lake Way

Making Art the Crane Lake Way

By Melissa Palombi, Art Director at Crane Lake Camp

Along with all the other activities at Crane Lake, I wanted to share some of the great projects that we have made in the art room this summer! As the Art Director this year I decided to bring my passion for paper, book arts, and the dying art of letter writing to camp. We started the summer off with all three.

Our first chugim took on paper making with two large vats of fibers to make pink cotton paper and denim blue jeans to create a dark paper. Each camper had the opportunity to make his or her own paper. We also made our own envelopes to write home to our families from camp. In addition, Pelikan Pens donated 40 fountain pens to camp so we could practice the art of letter writing, calligraphy and cursive. There were some beautiful letters sent home, which we hope you enjoyed!

To expand upon the art of paper, we

marbled our own paper. This is done when campers spread paint over the top of a vat of oiled water in which the paint “floats”; we then place the paper on top of the water to pull up a beautiful marbled design!  Campers then used their marbled paper to build their own sketchbook or journal. In our bookmaking chugim campers made their own sketchbooks, an accordion book, and a book design of their choosing.

Other chugim this summer included making your own “camp” Tallit, as we tie dyed silk scarves and collaborated with the Limud staff to learn about the elements of a Tallit and its significance. Other projects with a Jewish theme included “sun”-painted challah covers we did outside, and our take on micro-calligraphy inspired by the artistic tradition of Tzvat, Israel during our Israel day. Campers looked at images from Tzvat, examples of microcalligaphy, and created their own autobiographies around the image of a thumbprint to explore what makes them unique.

One of the most successful parts of the art room this year is our “living mural” in which every camper in camp had the opportunity to contribute to.  Inspired by a contemporary work of art, it was truly a collaborative project in which each camper could easily color in a square to paste onto our wall and participate in an ongoing composition. Not only can campers see their work every time they return to the art room, but we watched it grow from a blank piece of brown paper, to the filled wall that you can see in this blog.

Many bunks contributed to the start of a camp wide project in which they can leave their legacy on camp. We made mosaic stepping stones to be placed on the camp grounds; to welcome guests, give campers the opportunity express what they love about CLC, and another opportunity to leave their mark. I hope it might turn into a new tradition. Other projects this summer included bubble art discoveries, femo clay beads, making mobiles, and of course our vibrant tie-dyes.

  • Looks like great fun. Very artistic — especially the beadwork.