I recently was confronted with a Facebook memory of this photo: handcrafted evil eyes that were used as a fundraiser by my art club 4 years ago. For many years I didn’t have much of a budget as an art teacher and I had to get creative as to how to get supplies for my 800 students. I decided with my art clubbers we would mass produce evil eye magnets to sell in order to raise money for the clock parts we wanted to buy to make ceramic clocks. The evil eye is seen in many Mediterranean cultures of protection from negativity. By having the kids make the magnets and sell them at our city’s monthly art walk the kids took ownership of their education, their program, instead of asking an adult to just give them the money or project components. I think this is a very important lesson. We are so blessed in this country to have free education for all.
To make the magnets I simply poured Plaster of Paris into old egg cartons I lubricated with Vaseline prior. When hard, I popped them out, sanded them, and then handed them to the children to paint and we hot glued on a magnet backing. I had hundreds of free magnets from a business that donated them when they closed.
At our local First Friday Gallery Walk we stood in front of my friend’s gallery with signs the kids created on posterboard. People stopped and talked with us about why we were fundraising, the meaning of the evil eye, and we made over $300 in a few hours of sales! The GATE teacher at our school sold the rest on Friday mornings with pencils. We were able to pay for our clock parts and create our masterpieces.