Eco Friendly Art with a Cause

Providence Academy students and fellow members of GOALS UAE were invited to participate in a rare opportunity to create a sculpture with a real artist! Acclaimed Emirati artist Azza Al Qubaisi wears many creative hats – artist, designer, entrepreneur. She is also an advocate of local arts and artists, and of each individual expressing their own soul through art. Ms. Azza introduced our group to sustainable art with a focus on natural elements, namely the palm.

The artist explained the process of sand casting and patiently answered a gazillion questions before preparing the the students for their creative task. The students used hands to poke, pound, and scratch designs into the moist sand form created by Ms. Azza.  Ms. Azza explained that she wetted the sand the evening before so that it would be moist but not too wet. This could cause issues with the casting of the shape and reaction of the metal to the evaporating water. While the children were making their designs, the recycled aluminum siding was being heated in a large box. This process took a very long time to reach just the right temperature. The Artist’s husband was in charge of this job showing the children how he sorted out the burnt off paint leaving a pure silver liquid ready to pour. Once the metal was ready the pot was removed with great caution. The students looked on from a safe distance in awe as the metal was poured and the form took life. Bubbling into the cavities in the steaming sand, the silver liquid solidified. This process was done a second time.  After the piece completely cooled Ms. Azza lifted, dusted and poured water to clear off the remaining sand. The first finished piece; to be added to a much larger piece, was finished.

Some of  students described the piece as “humanity trying to escape the natural elements from the palm frond”, the younger students exclaimed,  “It looked like the the head of a sawfish”,  “It looks like Gandalf’s staff from Lord of the Rings”,  “An over sized key with a silver wrap on it”. “A stalagmite formation”.  It is  an amazing piece sparking many different conversations. What was especially interesting was being able to see the little finger protrusions, random textures, and a single hand print.

This is only one piece that will be added to the final creation to be on permanent display at Umm AL Emarat Park . Unveiling will take place during the Art Festival on March 16-17, 2018 . This sculpture is a part of the E11 Art Workshops uniting People of Determination in an inclusive community bringing attention to the abilities of all.

Recycled aluminum siding to be used for the sculpture.

Sand casting box

Watching over the fire box.

Recycled aluminum siding going into the fire box to be melted.

Bits and pieces of burnt paint and impurities that were scooped out of the melted metal.

Hand-print in sand.

Professionals pulling out the melting bowl getting ready for the pour.

First pour

First pour

First cast, cooling metal

A close up of the cooling metal from first pour.

Second pouring

Second pour almost complete

Second pour cooling off

Cooled piece turned over to examine the cool textures the students made.

The detailed edge of the finished first piece.

Emirati artist Azza Al Qubaisi pouring water to clean off the sand

Emirati artist Azza Al Qubaisi admiring our work

Students Heidilynn and Josiah Hambleton from PA with the piece they helped to create

Students Jonah and Eliana Hambleton from PA with sculpture piece they helped to create

Students Isaac, Micah, and Joel Hambleton from PA with sculpture piece they helped to create

Providence Academy students with Emirati artist Azza Al Qubaisi

Emirati artist Azza Al Qubaisi

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