The story goes that Pedro Linares Lopez, an artist in 1930's Mexico City, was ill with a fever. He hallucinated/dreamt that he was in a strange forest where he saw these weird creatures, a mixture of donkey and a butterfly, a rooster and a cat, and many more. These creatures were all shouting one word- "Alebrijes!"
After the artist awoke from his dream and got well, he began making these Alebrijes out of cardboard and paper mâché. These were very colorful, patterned creatures, a combination of two or more animals.
Famous artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera discovered the art and loved them, commissioning more to be made for them to have. The wonder of these beautiful sculptures became very popular and continue to be so to this day.
We started by doing a few sketches of ideas for their sculpture. After doing at least two drawings, they chose one to create.
Using newspaper and masking tape to create balls, and rolling the newspaper like a yoga mat, students were able to assemble their pieces for their creature and attach them. They also had access to cardboard if needed. This step actually takes a few days as the students figure out how to manipulate the newspaper and how to attach pieces.
Once they had their forms created, we used more newspaper and paper mâché paste to cover their sculptures. This step helps create a firm finished sculpture. Most of the students love this process as it is wet and sticky but I provide rubber gloves for those few students who just can't handle it or find it extremely gross.
This entire process from day one of the slideshow until completion actually ended up taking like two months! BUT these turned out sooooo cool and the students love them.
I was able to put these on display in the library after they were finished and everyone loved seeing the colorful creations!