Let's have some Upcycling Fun! - in collaboration with EtonHouse International School
For Big Blue Trunk, 2019 was a year of fun collaborations - working with other creatives, influencers and businesses to make beautiful outcomes together with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. We loved each and every collaboration, but our most favourite one of all came right at the end of the year and by chance, with EtonHouse International School Sentosa. The project we worked on together strengthened two beliefs that shape a lot of what we do at Big Blue Trunk -
- That Annie Sloan Chalk Paint can indeed be used by anyone and everyone to get creative
- And that every child IS an artist
So to get to the details - I had a brief chat with the lovely Principal of EtonHouse Sentosa, sharing my story and passion for upcycling and interiors. A few weeks later, I received an email from her outlining all the different ways EtonHouse would like to work with Big Blue Trunk. I was amazed at the detail with which the teaching team had thought through the opportunities to collaborate, and their openness to trying something new and different - Upcycling!
At the end of each year, EtonHouse hosts a Charity Dinner organised by the students from Year 1 - 4 which includes an auction for charity. For 2019, the school decided to include an Art Upcycling Auction as part of this Dinner. The children were going to select items to upcycle, learn the upcycling process with Chalk Paint, get creative and paint their items into beautiful works of art, which would then be auctioned at the dinner for charity.
I happened to mention Hock Siong (love them!) during my chat with the Principal, and ofcourse the children found beautiful old items at Hock Siong that they could transform into something new and colourful. They picked a diverse mix of items to upcycle - a mirror, magazine rack, metal serving platter, glass plate, candlestick holders, a vase to name a few.
Next, I packed a suitcase full of paint, wax and brushes and set off to spend a morning at EtonHouse teaching children from ages 6 - 11 about Upcycling. And what a fun morning it was! Although I must say, my respect and admiration for the teaching staff went up significantly by the time I was done :D I was amazed at the knowledge the children had about upcycling, their enthusiasm to try, and curiosity to ask so many questions about the paint and their projects. We spoke about what Upcycling means and how it helps with the environment. I introduced them to the wonderful world of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and demonstrated how to use the products to transform a little step stool. Later, they all got to try their hand at painting, and were super excited about getting started on their own pieces!
The children spent the next few sessions in their groups - designing their piece, choosing colours, patterns and drawing them out, all with guidance from their wonderful Art teacher. Each group had to agree on the design, before they could put together a list of items they needed to upcycle the piece. Soon I received a lengthy “Shopping List” that had everything the children needed for their projects - paint, wax, brushes, stencils! We had the entire lot sent over to school, and the next update I received had pictures of the thoughtfully designed, colourful and absolutely beautiful finished pieces. Each piece came with a name, story and a design background. To give you an idea - the vase was called “This is not a vessel”, the glass plate “The bubble plate changes its dress” and the lamp base was called “the red lighthouse”.
What stood out for me was:
- How much FUN the children seem to have had with their projects
- The fantastic TEAMWORK they had to develop to negotiate and agree on everything from which piece to pick to what colours to choose for their piece and how they would split responsibilities for the project
- The power of CREATIVITY they experienced from being able to completely transform old items into masterpieces of their own beautiful minds and hearts.
- Their interest and enthusiasm for UPCYCLING - recycling old used items rather than buying brand new
THANK YOU, EtonHouse Sentosa and to all the children, teaching staff and parents who participated in this Upcycling Project. We hope to collaborate with you to create many more such immersive learning experiences for the children!
For those interested, we are able to customise Upcycling related learning programs for schools or corporates, that are hands-on, fun, creative and great for the environment. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.