Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Carousel Animals

These were made with 5th graders using watercolor. I showed them a slide show of various carousel animals and had them choose an animal and draw it, adding the pole, saddle, and various accessories. Next year, we are going to try these using oil pastel.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tried and True

Have you ever tried projects from the art supply web pages? Here are a few that I have tried with my students, with notes about the changes/alterations we made.

From the United Art & Education site: Stained Glass Sculpture
I did these with 5th grade.

* These are very fragile sculptures.
* We made our pieces a little bigger than suggested- the smallest frame is 2" X 2" in our sculptures.
* Keeping the pieces separated and not stolen is key here! My students placed them on a piece of paper with their names on it before painting.
* From the project directions: "To remove ripples from cellophane, evenly dampen it with water. It will become taut when dry with a glass-like look."
Yeah, this didn't work. Skip it!

Also from the United Art & Education site: Metallic Clay Leaf Collage
I did these with 4th grade and they were the hit of the art show!

* We used Crayola Air Dry Clay for these instead of Stonex.
* We painted them completely with one color of acrylic before applying the Magic Metallics.
* To make the leaves stand out, we used the Steel & Rapid Rust Magic Metallics on the base shape
* Instead of adding holes for hanging, I glued them to a piece of matboard

From the Dick Blick site: Crazy Quilt Texture Board

* We skipped the gesso step because the canvas panels were already primed.
* We used gouache to paint these.

More supply company lesson plan pages:

I created these tiles during a workshop at the state conference. I'll be doing these with my 5th graders next year. (Photos tomorrow!)

Ok, your turn! Have you tried any lessons from these pages? Do you have any other sites to share?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Metapec Clay Sun

My third graders make these each year. They are glazed using Stroke & Coat Wonderglazes (two coats).

They begin by learning about the clay suns of Mexico and view several examples. They then create a design that will be replicated in clay. I hand out a circle shape to trace and they go from there.

Their clay suns must match their drawings, as seen in the following examples:

The kids also love using these stamps (press tools) on the cheeks and forehead from Mayco. We add holes in the top using the handy milk straw method and when fired, add a ribbon for hanging.

Glazing the suns to match their drawings.

The kids really seem to enjoy this project! To see our entire gallery, visit our Artsonia page.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Initial Letter Painting

This tempera project is done with second grade and only takes one class period- bonus!

Students choose a 12" X 12" piece of construction paper. I pre-cut these and have enough different colors so that no student has the same color.

I also put out enough colors of tempera (in a small dish) so that each student has their own color. The trick is to complete the painting without repeating any color.

Have students turn their paper on the diagonal and paint their initial large enough so that it extends off the paper on all sides. I usually have some students who cannot visualize this, so I will draw it on the board for them to see. Also, I have them make the letter nice and fat.

Students return their paint cups and choose a different color to outline their letter. I have them drop their brush in the sink and pick up a different one as it saves time. I was them as they are doing this step.

Students return their paint and brush and again choose new. For this step, I have them make a striped design in the background of their painting; wavy, ziz-zag, dashed, etc. I demonstrate beginning in the center of their painting, which is still on a diagonal, and connect the corners and work their way up and down.

Students return their paint and brush for the last time and choose new. This color is used to add a pattern inside their letter. Some students make polka dots by using the end of their brush handle. Larger, bamboo brushes work great for this.

These paintings are quick, fun, and colorful!

Possible artist tie-in: Jasper Johns

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Metal Repousse Mask Sculpture

This project is a hit amongst my fifth graders. It stresses symmetry and introduces a new technique- metal tooling (repousse).

white typing paper, pencil, ink pen (for transfer method), Modeling repousse tools, newspapers, 26 gauge aluminum metal tooling foil (cut in to 8 1/2" X 11" sheets), Sharpie permanent markers (or other brand), scissors, 1/8" paper punch, thin ribbon, variety of beads, wooden dowel 1/4" X 12", wooden base with 1/4" hole drilled in middle, wood glue, clear packing/book tape

Fold the typing paper in half, either vertically or horizontally. Draw a face, using large shapes that fill the paper. I tell the students to begin with the nose shape and move toward the edge of the paper. It is important to fill the paper so not much metal is wasted. Patterns should be added to parts of the face as well.

Using a light box or window, flip the paper over and trace the other side of the face, making it symmetrical.

Tape the drawing to a sheet of metal, place it on a stack of newspaper (used as a cushion), and trace the drawing using a ball point pen. This will transfer the drawing to the metal.

Remove the drawing and use the repousse tool to pop some of the face shapes out, being careful not to break through the metal.

Use permanent markers to add color to the faces, making sure to keep them symmetrical.

Cut out the mask shape using regular scissors. Recycle the aluminum scraps.

Tape the mask to the stand using clear packing tape- I have used masking tape and it falls apart within a few weeks. To make the stands: drill a 1/4" hole in the middle of the base and use wood glue to add the dowel to the hole. Our custodian makes these of scraps from the high school wood shop class.

Punch 5 holes on each side of the mask along the bottom edge. Add ribbons: fold the ribbon in half, push the loop through the hole, pass the tails of the ribbon through the loops, and gently pull tight. Note: ribbon colors should be symmetrical.

String a variety of beads on to each ribbon. We used 5 beads plus one "brake" pony bead tied at the bottom to keep the beads on the ribbon. Note: bead choices should be symmetrical!

Some of our favorite beads to use include: clay beads, exotic beads, old world assortment, star pony beads, Hygloss assorted plastic beads

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Clay Owls

I'm not gonna lie-- I saw these owls on a school's website and loved them, so I came up with my own method for making them. I did these with 1st graders this year & they turned out great.

Supplies: waxed paper (I order a huge roll and use it all year. It is a great work surface!), rolling pin (mine is from Bed, Bath, & Beyond), tapestry needles for cutting, school sized straws, texture plates, clay, water, seashell, glazes, kiln.

I use Amaco White Art Clay #25. It bique fires to a pure white and makes glazes look fabulous.

Texture plates.

I get these register tape receipt rolls from my parents, who own a business.
They make awesome eyes.

We use tapestry needles to cut our clay. I'm not sure where I learned this. Ohio State maybe?

Using the tapestry needle, cut around the oval pattern. Remove excess clay.

Place a texture plate on the bottom half of the clay and roll over top to transfer the design.

Peel back the texture plate to reveal the magic.

Fold the top half of the clay oval down to form the head.

Using your thumb and index finger, pinch an ear/horn on each top corner.

Cut out a triangle shape for the beak, score & slip it in to place.

Use the register roll and make the eyes. Be sure not to press too hard or the clay will stick!

To make the wings, cut out 2 capital D shapes from clay.

Using the needle, cut away 3 triangles from the straight edge.

Remove excess clay, smooth edges.

Score & slip the wings into place, under the head.

These are the beginning shapes to make for the feet. (the triangle on the right is the beak).

Notch out the claws.

Score & slip the feet into place.

You may have to smooth out the claws a little.

Now for the feathers. Use the back of a scalloped seashell.

Press the edge into the clay on the head and wings to make the feathery texture.

Almost done!

A teacher once gave me a surplus of drinking straws that she had cut in half for counting sticks. They work perfectly to make holes in clay. These are the same drinking straws the kids use in the cafeteria.

Twist the straw to make 2 holes at the top of the owl's head for hanging.


A Parliament of owls. (Yes, this is the correct term- I Googled it!)
I made 20 owls to be used as thank you's for our volunteers at the Arts Festival.
Allow to completely dry, bisque fire, and glaze.
Don't forget to add a pretty piece of yarn for hanging.

I LOVE these glazes- Amaco Crystaltex, Mayco Crystalites, and Sax Crystal Magic.

Here are some of the beautiful colors:

Some gorgeous creatures...