Sunday, April 14, 2019

Clay Around the Room

This school year I did my ceramics boot camp a little differently. I've started using some "around the room" activities- a brilliant idea that TAB teacher Cynthia Gaub came up with. You can read an article about her Around the Room activities HERE. Basically, there is some type of activity at each table to which students rotate to try something new or learn a new skill. I started making handouts for each around the room activity and storing them in page protectors in a binder so I can just pull them out next year.
For ceramics, my stations were coils, pinch pots, sculpting, and slabs.
At the coil table, students were shown images of coil construction then challenged to roll the longest coil they could and try to make a little bowl.
At the sculpting table they were once again shown images of some ceramic sculptures and were asked to manipulate the clay just using their hands and no other tools to make something. My students tend to think in parts and I wanted them to see they can pinch and pull the clay instead of just assembling.
At the slab table, students learned to use the slab roller then I asked them to make a 90 degree corner by mitering the edges, scoring, and slipping.

At the pinch pot table I asked the students to form two similar pinch pots and put them together to make a hollow form. 
The around the room practice pieces were recycled so we covered a lot of skills without waste.
To finish off the boot camp, the students made clay plaques for lack of a better term. They had to use additive and subtractive techniques as well as create texture. Some melted stained glass in a few areas. The theme and subject were up to the students. They tend to remember seeing this "project" in the hallway from previous years and enjoy making their own ideas.



Saturday, March 30, 2019

Mixed Media Bootcamp

I’m a big fan of mixed Media. I think there are a lot of possibilities for expression and it frees you from having to stick to one medium. If you tho k another material to combination will work best to communicate your idea, go for it!
I decided to do a short mixed media boot camp to introduce the students to some possibilities. In just a few days we covered monoprinting, image transfers, collage, and adding stitching or embroidery. 
I was able to get a basic sewing machine through a grant from my district’s educational foundation. The freshman boys in particular really enjoyed using it. 
I have quite the collection of gelli plates. We use them with inexpensive bottles of acrylic paint and it works great. 

Packing tape is a really affordable and easy tool for image transfers. You can use magazine images or a color photocopy. Just cover the image with a layer of tape, overlapping multiple strips of the image is wider than your tape, soak the tape-covered image in water (warm is best) and after it has soaked for a bit, gently scrub away the paper from the back. Then you have a translucent image you can layer onto something else. 

Layered monoprint using leaves as masks. 

Citrasolv on laserprints is another medium for image transfers. Put your image face down on the surface to which you want to transfer it, use a cotton ball to dampen the back, and then burnish with a spoon. This works on paper, fabric, wood, etc. 

Citrasolv transfer on an old sewing pattern. 

Citrasolv transfer into negative space of a monoprint on fabric. 

Adding stitches to a monoprint/packing tape transfer study. 


Torn paper collage can yield interesting paper paintings.

I would love to hear your favorite mixed media techniques!

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Youth Art Month

Every year March is celebrated as Youth Art Month, but you can really kick it off in November with the Youth Art Month Flag Contest. There is a theme and each state selects a Student design to be made into a flag that is displayed at the NAEA convention. This year one of my students received an honorable mention in the contest with the theme of “your art your story”. The other two designs did not place but I thought the students did a nice job. 

When it gets closer to YAM I start thinking about selecting artwork for the Kansas exhibit and because I’m a KAEA member, the Sargent Art Contest. I am able to select three, one for each age group since I teach K-12. 
My middle school entry was created by a super creative and hardworking 8th grader who I’m looking forward to having in high school art classes. She went above and beyond in the everyday objects sculpture project making an entire room complete with a hidden safe containing a bundle of tiny money behind the picture frame and a book with real pages in the tiny drawer. 

My high school entry is a colorful watercolor painting made by one of my seniors. She was a freshman my first year at the school so she’s one that’s been with me clear through high school. 

The elementary entry was made by a sweet kindergartener after we discussed American Gothic and I gave the prompt of drawing your family in front of your home. It received recognition in the Sargent Art Contest but we won’t know what place until the reception tomorrow afternoon. 

The other cool thing that will happen at the YAM awards ceremony is that another one of my seniors will receive a Harry Hart Memorial Scholarship! Two students who plan to continue their art education receive a scholarship each year and I’m so proud of and excited for my Student! Above you can see the works I submitted for the portfolio application. 

Sunday, March 3, 2019

8th Grade Collaborative Theme

At the end of the semester my 8th graders were finally ready for a choice based project so I referenced the following national standard,
VA:Pr5.1.8I can collaboratively prepare and present artwork based on a theme for display, and make exhibition narratives for the viewer,
and ashes the students to brainstorm and vote on a theme for their last project. They narrowed it down to two themes, celebrations and activities, and were pretty split so we decided they could pick either theme OR make a work of art for the Jr Duck Stamp Program.

At first instead of “activities” they said sports but we discussed how that wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea and broadened it to activities.

This studwnt’s activity was drawing so she did a stop motion video of herself drawing and turned in both.


This slab built truck ended up as a demolition derby truck but started off with solid slab construction.

Unfortunately we ran out of time before break and I only have 8th grade for a semester so the big display and narratives part of the plan didn’t happen