The seemingly simple process of collage can result in some truly spectacular works of art. Collage, which literally means “to bond or glue”, emerged in the early 20th century, with artists including Pablo Picasso assembling everything from torn newspapers to shredded photographs into statement pieces.
Collage continues to thrive today and is often used as an expression of political commentary. Artists like Jesse Treece and John Stezaker exhibit their multi-media works in galleries around the world. Although much of the interest in collage comes from the artist’s selection of materials and unique assembly of colors, sizes, and shapes, the various fibers found within the handmade paper often used for collaging can also contribute interest.
Guide your students through the expressive process of collage with our Handmade Paper Collage lesson plan. You’ll discuss the process of making paper and the various fibers used, examine the works of famous collage artists, and review the basic principles of design that come into play, including the size, shape, weight, texture, and color of each piece, as well as the composition of the entire project.
When you’re ready to begin, students will decide to collage a seascape or landscape and create a sketch to follow. They’ll then cut handmade paper into shape, arrange, and rearrange until satisfied. They’ll glue their pieces into place on the backboard of a Crescent Create and Show Kit, beginning with the sky and working forward through the background, mid-ground, and foreground. A coat of varnish will make their work shine beneath the kit’s mat and frame.
Click to view this plan, including step-by-step instructions, a complete materials list, and a photo of a finished piece. This mounted and framed project is perfect for your next student art show.