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The Eric Carle Museum
of Picture Book Art
  • 125 West Bay Road
  • Amherst, MA 01002


  • Thursday, Friday10 am-3 pm
  • Saturday 10am – 4 pm
  • Sunday 12 pm - 4 pm

Closed Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday

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Making Art Together

A Honeycomb of Hexagons

In one of our recent Everyday Art Projects we took a page from the exhibition Collecting Inspiration: Contemporary Illustrators and Their Heroes. Just like the illustrators who get inspired by images around them, we get inspired every day by the artwork guests add to our installations. We wanted to share that inspiration and create an installation that felt like a unified whole and also explored the many different ways a material can be used to create a unique outcome. Recently we tested out some silver and gold tempera paint, and we loved seeing how the paint stood out against different backgrounds. We decided to experiment with black and white paper, metallic paints, and stamps to create patterns within patterns on the Art Studio walls. We chose paper in a hexagon shape because we knew that hexagons would create an interesting pattern when placed together in a group.

We used foam rectangles and recycled trays to create our own home made tempera paint stamp pads and we designated our stamps as either silver stamps or gold stamps so that the stamp pads would maintain their color over the duration of the project (about one month). We invited guests to experiment with the stamps and make a couple of hexagons each. They could either take what they made home or add it to the wall.

When the project started there were a few hexagons on our display wall . . .

. . . then guests added more and more until the front wall was completely full.

So we cleared the back wall of the Art Studio and that quickly filled up with a honeycomb of hexagons.

Meanwhile, the front wall continued to grow beyond the display wall until the patterned papers reached down Art Studio hallway and all the way across to the windows on the other side of the room!

Stepping in closer revealed the individual patterns created with the stamps, many of which were made in the Art Studio with recycled materials.

This art work shows three different sized circles created with three different stamps. The medium sized circles in silver paint were made using a bubble wrap stamp.

Guests applied paint to the paper in a variety of ways.

The installation is as interesting from far away as it is up close and while the front wall has been cleared away to make room for the next project, we are still enjoying the hexagons on the back wall of the Art Studio. The papers that we took down from the wall have turned into beautiful textured collage papers. Look out for our blog post that will follow these Art Studio paper trails from project to project!



We enjoy exploring materials and ideas in the Art Studio, and we’re excited to share our process with you! Please consider the following factors when adapting these posts for your learning environment: 

We facilitate a variety of programs within the Art Studio for a wide range of age groups. Please carefully consider the age appropriateness of each individual activity in your own learning environment.

Our projects are always done with adult supervision and proper safety precautions. Be sure all of your projects are overseen by adults who likewise follow proper safety precautions. The adults overseeing your project must also be responsible for handling or assisting with any potentially harmful equipment or materials. 

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is not responsible for any damages, injuries or liabilities that result from any activities contained within this website, and we expressly disclaim any responsibility or liability therefor. From time to time, we reference materials that we have found to be particularly important in our projects. We do not receive any monetary compensation for recommending materials. 


by Meg Nicoll

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 9th, 2017 at 2:24 pm and is filed under By Meg Nicoll, Displays & Window Shades, Found Materials, Homemade Materials and Tools, Painting, Paper. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


Dawn Norris
Tuesday, September 9, 2020 - 1:06 pm
Do you have a hexagon template that you can send me for my students to use? Thanks!

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