Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Ever been to the Crayola Factory in Easton, PA? It's kinda hard to miss, what with the giant crayons raining down the building. For our August Team Day we came in early and made the drive north for some team-building. Team members AJ, Lindsey, Amy, Felicia and I were ready for some fun. love the matching outfits This is not the actual factory where they manufacture Crayola products (that's up the street), but a hands-on museum of the history of the company, a showcase for new products, (Felicia drawing on color-expose paper) and a place for rampant creativity. When you pay the $10 admission they give you a map, a plastic bag and three tokens. Working in a museum i love, loved that they gave each person a bag because the whole time you are collecting products and making projects. The tokens are to use in machines that give you either a four-pack of crayons, a magic marker or some model magic paper clay. I really liked that instead of just giving you the samples you could choose which three you wanted; if you wanted different colored markers, or lots of crayons or three sets of model magic that was up to you. I did not get any markers because i wanted to spend my tokens on this a chance to visit the actual factory! There was a lot of anticipation, but alas, it was not to be. This summer they had an Under the Sea theme going in the museum with many of the projects being about sea creatures and fun sea-themed decorations Lindsey as Nemo and Amy as a slow, sad turtle except that she couldn't hold the face There was a demo stage/theater that did demonstrations on crayon and marker manufacturing so we went to the 11:40 show. To get in we had to pass a giant wall mural where every single member of my team pointed out the same figure and wondered exactly what drug this volunteer was taking cause even as people who enjoy our museum jobs we never have this expression of sheer ecstasy on our faces. The theater itself was cool and produces the crayons and markers that are in the token machines. It was interesting to learn see how clear, liquid wax becomes red crayons, but i gotta say that our performer was like the most boring guy ever. My job is to train people in public speaking and informal education and I needed to spend about 3 days with this guy. Yikes. It was bad. Though he was terrible, the process was amazing and i'm glad we endured his presentation. There was one thing in the theater that held everyone's rapt attention the digital crayon counter numbering the crayons produced at the actual factory. The numbers turned so fast it was nearly a blur. After the theater we wandered over a clear bridge into the studio space (where AJ randomly saw one of his close friends from New Jersey and his family; small world, right) which was a high-ceilinged, warehouse space that was filled with sunlight and huge art projects. There were multiple classes that you could pay extra to do, but there was a free craft as well using watercolors. Each one of use were given a turtle to paint. We were one of the few (possibly only) groups present without children. That did not deter us at all from getting into the spirit of creating. You have never seen a group of adults so intent on painting little turtles with dry-cake watercolors Here is my little guy, all bright-eyed and purple-shelled It was interesting to listen to the parents and grandparents around us "helping" their charges with the paints. Some were really encouraging and fun, but it was alarming to hear more than one person say Turtles are supposed to be green when the kids went for some other color - way to squelch creativity and completely miss the point of the museum, people. We made up stories about our turtles as we painted and had a blast. (l to r) AJ's Schizo, Felicia's Homer, Lindsey's Guillermo, Niki's Jasper and Amy's Milton Back across the bridge and into the lower galleries where there were every Crayola product you could imagine to play with : Amy and street chalk, AJ using a light pen, Amy and Lindsey using window markers in a plexi hallway while Felicia take pictures and then AJ draws outlines of the girls drawing on the outside of the wall, and lots of crayons The undersea theme was maintained with the coloring pages and a multi-media project Plus there was fish-printing We didn't get to use real fish, but you could still get the gist of the artform with rubber fish, brayers and printing ink. My fishy goes into the drying oven and voila! This is my favorite picture from this part of the museum cause AJ is hard at work with crayons, Amy has been captivated by something hanging from the ceiling, Felicia is taking pictures and Lindsey is still working on her seahorse someplace. What a fun place. And we still had to see The Crayola store is adjacent to the museum and filled with a bajillion Crayola products. I bought postcards and a fridge magnet, but i resisted everything else. What i was really interested in was Big Blue 15 ft long and 1500 pounds of crayon Kinda takes your breath away, no? Man i want to try to color with that. Time for lunch and then on to the next museum on the tour.