ART - sculpture 

JUNE 12-13

ALISSA Hessler

Un-wasted Potential:

Ecological paper mache art created by diverting plastic and paper waste headed to the landfill

Tuition: $400 (+$25 materials fee)


With landfills and oceans overflowing with plastic and our dependence on plastic goods just starting to diminish, why not use plastic items destined for the landfill to create art? Creative reuse is one small way to divert trash from landfills and create beautiful, functional, impactful and/or whimsical works. 

In this fun-filled, messy, hands-on weekend, artist and photographer, Alissa Hessler, will guide students through the process of using  plastic materials that can't be recycled to sculpt animals or abstract forms. Once their structures are created, students will then use the ancient technique of paper mache to cover and smooth their sculptures. Finally, students will use paint to finish their final works.

In addition to the sculpture project, Hessler will have one lecture that highlights other artists who are using plastic to create their art and some other fun and useful creative reuse projects. Students will leave the workshop inspired and empowered to teach others how to creatively reuse objects that otherwise would be thrown away.   


All materials are provided but feel free to bring any scrap paper or plastic to use in the formation of your piece(s). Lunch is provided on Saturday and Sunday. If you have dietary restrictions or serious allergies, please email us in advance so that we can accommodate. We pride ourselves on offering healthy meals that use as many fresh, locally-sourced and organic ingredients as possible. Every effort will be made to ensure options are available to students with food limitations.


Accommodations are not included. We recommend booking a local Airbnb, hotel or motel in Camden, Hope, Lincolnville, Rockport or Rockland. Here are links to a few local favorites in the Midcoast Area:

Lincolnville Motel (hip, laid-back, affordable, renovated vintage motor inn)

Drift Oceanside Inn (oceanfront cabins close to the Camden Hills State Park)

Whitehall Inn (boutique hotel within walking distance to downtown Camden)

250 Main (high-end boutique hotel in Rockland Arts District)

Camden Accommodations (vacation rentals in Midcoast area)

Airbnb (Camden, Hope, Lincolnville, Rockport and Rockland are all within a 25-minute drive)


Please bring any photo or book references for your paper mache project(s). We will have some reference material available. Feel free to bring your own plastic or paper waste, but there will be ample materials here to use.  

Skill level

This workshop is designed for people of all skill levels who want to play and experiment with new techniques, see creative reuse potential in throw-away goods, and paper mache. 


If you need to cancel, please notify us at least 30 days before the start of the workshop. We will refund your tuition, minus a $125 cancellation fee or you may transfer your full tuition amount to another Workshop at Howe Hill Farm within 18 months. Cancellations made after 30 days prior will result in forfeit of the full tuition amount. If you are traveling to attend a workshop we recommend insuring your trip with Travelex insurance so your trip and tuition can be covered in the event of illness or unforeseen circumstances. We are monitoring Covid-19 closely and have updated our Terms and Conditions to address this virus directly. We will follow CDC guidelines and make the call 30 days prior to the workshop running. If it is deemed unsafe, we will provide full refunds to every student enrolled. Please read our full Terms & Conditions and Liability Waiver for more information.  


Class will run from 9am-5pm on Saturday and Sunday with a 1-hour break for lunch


A maximum of 12 students, and a minimum of 6* 


*The workshop will be cancelled if minimum enrollment is not met within 30 days of the workshop start. If cancelled, a full refund will be issued to all registered students. We recommend waiting until you receive our confirmation email that minimum enrollment has been met to make your travel arrangements or investing in travel insurance to reimburse your expenses if the course is canceled. 



*By registering, you are agreeing to our Terms & Conditions





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Alissa Hessler is an artist, photographer and instructor, with over a decade of creative industry experience. She has led diverse creative teams in the photography, design and film worlds, working as a photo editor, photographer, art director and executive producer. Her clients include industry giants Nordstrom, Microsoft, Boeing, Edelman, Colliers International and Starbucks. For the last six years she has been shooting and interviewing ex-urbanites across North America for her project, Urban Exodus. Her first book “Ditch the City and Go Country” was released in July 2017, distributed by Macmillan Press. 

Alissa's passion for craft and creative reuse was instilled at a young age by her mother. With six kids to feed and not much money, Alissa's creative, practical and environmentally-minded mother taught her to fix broken items and to use discarded materials to create art. In 2015, she began experimenting with sculpture and using plastic waste that couldn't be recycled. Hessler is currently working on creating paper mâché heads of all of the critically endangered animals on the endangered species list. 


Alissa co-teaches photography classes across the country with her husband Jacob Hessler and consults artists and photographers wanting to develop a wider audience for their work. In addition, Alissa co-operates Hessler Creative, a branding and photography agency, and does freelance writing and photography work for for various publications, including Modern Farmer, The Guardian and Good Housekeeping.