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DIY Art Supplies Workshop

- 3 hours -

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In this workshop, we will review a variety of approaches and resources to begin the journey of making your own art supplies. Participants will be encouraged to critically evaluate their relationship to materials as art educators. We will consider how taking of the practice of making art-materials can inform how we relate to the world outside of the classroom. In doing so, we’ll take a look at artist educators who make their own art supplies, such as Nick Neddo and companies who provide materials for making your own art supplies as Kremer pigments. Further, we will try out some wild-crafting of our own and discuss opportunities to learn more through organizations such as the Center for Art Education and Sustainability (CAES).









Course Goals: Critically evaluate your relationship to materials as art educators. Establish familiarity with natural and synthetic approaches to making art supplies. Cultivate awareness of the transformative potential of holistic and self-determined approaches to art education.  



  1. 1 Cup ripe berries (such as raspberries, strawberries, blackberries)

  2. 1 Teaspoon vinegar.

  3. 1 Teaspoon salt.

  4. Red or blue food coloring (optional)

  5. Small jar with lid.

  6. Small bowl.

  7. Strainer/sieve.

  8. Potato masher.

  9. Spoon.

  10. Muslin cloth. (optional but recommended)

  11. Rubber gloves (optional)

  12. Saucepan/stovetop or microwave

  13. Gum Arabic (optional)




1pm Welcome & Discussion

  • What is your current relationship to art materials in your classroom and in your studio?



1:20 Lecture/Slide show

  •  (the Google slideshow will be accessible to participants throughout and after the class)

1. Why make your own art materials?

  • Holistic & transformative approaches to art education

    • Bioregionalism/place-based learning

    • Sustainability in art education

2. ​What is paint? 

  • Pigment + binder

  • Options of binders (oil, acrylic, wax, honey, etc)

3. How to make inks, charcoal, and paper

4. Artist educators making their own materials

  • Nick neddo

  • Adema Motaboli

  • Caroline Ross

5.​ Resources: Companies and organization

  • Kremer pigments

  • Center for Art Education and Sustainability (CAES)


1:45 Make berry ink 

  • Heat 1 cup berries

  • Pass through strainer 

  • Add 1 Teaspoon vinegar

  • Add1 Teaspoon salt

  • Add Red or blue food coloring (optional)

  • Use & bottle


2:30 Discussion

Observation of materials and discussion of charcoal and paint-making process.

We will take a look at the materials and process of making gesso from rabbit skin glue and gesso powder, as well as how to make egg-tempera paint, and your own charcoal. 


2:50 Closing

Goodbye & where to learn more.



Suggested readings 

Downloadable PDFs will be provided to participants


Clover, Darlene. Toward Transformative Learning, Ecological Perspectives in Adult Education, 2002. Palgrave.


“Engaged Pedagogy” by Bell Hooks

Hooks, Bell. “Chapter 1: Engaged Pedagogy” Teaching to Transgress : Education as the Practice of Freedom . New York: Routledge, 1994. Print.


 “The Project and Vision of Transformative Education” by Edmund O’Sullivan 

O’Sullivan, Edmund, Amish. Morrell, and Mary Ann O’Connor. “Chapter 1: The Project and Vision of Transformative Education” Expanding the Boundaries of Transformative Learning : Essays on Theory and Praxis . lst ed. New York, N.Y: Palgrave, 2002. Print.

Slideshow & Teacher Exemplars:

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