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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

Sky Mobiles

Inspired by the flurry of snow that touched down recently in New England, we want to share with you one of our recent Every Day Art Projects entitled Sky Mobiles. The project itself was inspired by the exhibition in the Central Gallery at The Carle, A Friend Among Us: The Art of Brinton Turkle.

In one of Brinton Turkle's books, Sky Dog, a boy wishes for a cloud to become a dog and finds that his wish comes true. In the Art Studio, we wanted to focus on the idea of objects that move in space, whether that be clouds, snow, spaceships, or anything our guests could imagine, and experiment with white and clear recycled materials to create hanging mobiles.

On the tables, baskets filled with materials and an assortment of inspiring books specifically selected for the project were placed for guests to explore. Guests were invited to experiment with recycled paper and plastic objects, yarns and ribbons, and cutting tools to create their own hanging artwork. We chose specifically to focus on white and clear found materials so that guests could experiment with the subtle differences in the plastics and papers. Attached to the baskets, we also re-used the laminated card from the Materials in Motion EAP that might help guests think about the different ways that a mobile could move in space.

Some guests made abstract mobiles, choosing to experiment with each material and balance them.

Others made representational mobiles, focusing on construction of rocket ships, birds’ nests, and even firetrucks.

Some guests delighted in using the masking tape, taking large strips to connect their works.

Other guests chose to use smaller pieces, carefully connecting the parts of the mobiles together.

Still others enjoyed the sensory exploration of touching the materials, as seen by this young guest who was gently touching the bubble wrap, exploring the pockets of air encased in plastic.

After creating their mobile, guests could take their work home or contribute to two displays in The Art Studio. One display involved hanging their artwork in the sky, and the other involved hanging on a watercolored wall.

To hang the artwork in the sky, we put tension rods in our windows and used clear fishing line to hang them. Strung across the windows, they resonated with the white, snowy grounds outside.

For the second display space on the wall, we created a watercolor painted mural using large pieces of white paper, large paintbrushes, spray bottles, and liquid watercolor.

We then invited guests to have their mobiles hang in the watercolor sky by stapling them to the wall. The clusters of mobiles continued to grow and eventually covered the watercolor sky.

And while this display wall has been updated for the most recent EAP, Sea...What Can You See?, the sky mobiles are still hanging in the windows, and on bright, sunny days, the sun shines through the mobiles, illuminating each material differently.



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 Sara Ottomano

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 16th, 2017 at 1:03 pm and is filed under By Sara Ottomano, Displays & Window Shades, Every Day Art Program, Found Materials, Light, Mixed Media, Paper, Sculpture. 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.


Jennie Fitzkee
Monday, March 3, 2017 - 8:14 am
Sara, this is so beautiful! I love how you allow each child to create their own design. With loose parts and encouragement, art happens. Then, putting all the mobiles together into one makes the piece come alive. Just wonderful!

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