Out first day of our creative journey (school nature art project involving 47 students – grades 4 and 5) begins on Thursday with a presentation on the “Fascinating Story of the Chocolate Tree” – followed by a storytelling with nature workshop.
The Fascinating Story of the Cacao Tree
As a visual artist, I am always looking for ways to best present a story to my students. We have access to fabulous photos and illustrations of the Cacao tree (Theobroma cacao) but not a real example of the tree. I required something 3 dimensional, so I decided to construct a simple sculpture; a life sized cacao tree for my presentation (well a relatively small, young tree); apparently they can grow as high as 30 feet.
The trees produce large pods that are the shape of an american football. These pods contain 30 to 50 seeds—enough to make about two dark chocolate bars.
To make my chocolate tree, I used two fallen branches for my main structure, binding them together with twine. I then added felt and paper leaves woven with wire to make them more flexible.
It’s about the process, not the finished product
The process of creating the tree was so much fun. Playing with different materials, exploring different possabilities is such a beautiful, organic free-flowing learning experience. I love how these art projects push me as an artist and what I discover, I love to share.
My home is surrounded by earlier creations, one being my forest fairy dolls. We designed the butterfly fairy dolls to snuggle in their very own colour co-ordinated chrysalis – like a real butterfly (our main design reason was to keep the packaging as minimal as possible). The fairy doll chrysalis’s (pods) turned inside out were the perfect shape, size and colour – I couldn’t believe how perfect they were for the cacao pods!
Can’t wait to share this creative journey with the students and teachers. Stay tuned as we explore this amazing connection we have with nature, with all life….(I will be posting each week as we travel through the nature art workshops). The “Fascinating Story of the Choclate Tree” Art project has been made possible by grant funding from ARTSTARTS. If you wish to learn more about artstarts in the classroom, please click here.
Wishing you all a beautiful and creative week in nature, with love and gratitude on this sacred new day, peace Marghanita x
If you would like to learn more about our Nature Art Program or would like to join us for one of our nature art workshops please drop me a message and will send you out a PDF on Educating the Heart with Nature Art.