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June 30, 2010

Summer creation: Local New Albany teens create colorful creations at tie dye workshop

NEW ALBANY — The summer has just begun, but many teens are already experiencing inevitable summer boredom.

But Tuesday afternoon, many found excitement while they turned plain white shirts, socks, hats and bags into colorful creations of art at a tie dye workshop.

The workshop is part of a series of teen workshops at the New Albany-Floyd County Public Library. The workshops were created as a way to get local teens involved in fun, safe activities. Ruth Koerner has been the teen librarian for the past seven years and said the library’s Teen Scene Initiative Program, TSI, has provided a great opportunity for teens, especially during the summer.

“When I first came to the library, they had an excellent children’s department, but at that time there was really nothing for kids once they were in middle school,” Koerner said. “We wanted to focus more on teens because they’re important too.”

Koerner said the TSI program currently has about 15 members, but is always open to teens that want to join the program. Eighth-grader Andrea Messmer has been in the TSI program since last year and enjoyed Tuesday’s workshop with her younger brother, Evan.

“I’m making fireworks on mine,” Andrea said as she wrapped rubber bands around the fabric of a T-shirt. “I want to wear it for Fourth of July.”

As Andrea designed her shirt, her brother Evan made a matching hat and shirt set decorated with his name and lots of blue and green stripes.  

“We’ve done tie dye before, and it’s so much fun, so we wanted to come today,” Evan said as he formed the letter “E” on his shirt.

Everyone who attended the workshop got to make their own designs using colored permanent markers, rubber bands and lots of creativity. After creating their design, the teens spritzed the shirts with rubbing alcohol, fusing the colors of the markers into a rainbow-like blend against the white fabric. This non-traditional way of tie dying without the rubber gloves, the buckets of color and the unavoidable mess was a hit with the teens at the tie dye workshop.

“It’s really fun because you actually get to draw things instead of just dipping your shirt in color where you don’t get to make your own designs,” sixth-grader Heather Kendall said. “I thought it would be fun to learn something new,” she said as she drew a blue star on the sleeve of a shirt.

After the myriad of colorful creations dries completely, the teens can take home their finished products. And just as they had transformed the plain white shirts into colorful works of art, the teens had transformed their “boring summer day” into a day bursting with excitement.

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