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Creative Artist at Miller’s

September 19, 2013

  09/20/31 Dorothy Boynton of South Bend loves to create things.  And she can create almost anything out of almost nothing!  Boynton demonstrated that skill during National Assisted Living  Week at miller’s Senior Living Community.

Boynton has loved creating and molding and sculpting things since she was a child.

“There were three of us girls in the family,” said Boynton.  “When my mother made pies she would give the excess dough to us.  My sisters would make put sugar and cinnamon and make little rolls.  But, I would start molding it and form it in to little animals and things!  I’d squeeze and mold until it couldn’t’ be molded anymore.”

As an adult, Boynton became involved in leading crafts for vacation Bible school and boy scouts.  Of course budgets were tight and she found ways to make crafts using items that most people would just throw away.  Through the years one thing led to another and now she enjoys sculpting using ordinary brown paper grocery bags, corrugated cardboard, cereal boxes and pages out of magazines.

Residents and guests watched spell-bound as Boynton leisurely crumpled a brown paper bag as she explained she was “distressing” the paper.  Continuing with a tear here and there, a dab of Elmer’s glue and some twisting, she expertly shaped the bag into a tree.  She explained how she then looks for a nice flat rock to use and a base for the tree to sit on.  If she doesn’t like the look of a limb she can bend it in a different direction or add and strip of paper and make it thicker.  When the tree is shaped the way she wants it and the glue is dry Boynton may use watercolors to paint it or she might stain it with shoe polish. 

Boynton had many different size trees on display.  Some very intricate with many limbs and branches and some that resemble dead, stark trees.  She went on to show how to make birds and dogs and snowmen, once again using only a brown paper bag and Elmer’s glue.  She also demonstrated making small houses using cardboard cut from cereal boxes and covered with scraps of material.

The audience had many questions for Boynton and spent time marveling over the trees, birds, dogs and houses she brought for display.  She held up a sculpture in process and pointed out that there are no mistakes in sculpture.

“See this piece,” She asked?  “This started as a dog.  It is supposed to be sitting up on its hind legs.  But, after a while I saw that the legs just weren’t right.  Then I realized; it’s not a dog at all – it is a squirrel!  It was a squirrel the entire time and when I put the tail on it will be perfect.”

Photo Caption: 

Marcy Sickmiller and Carol Winkler listen as Dorothy Boynton of South Bend discusses sculpting using ordinary brown paper bags and Elmer’s glue.