Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Summer PD

 As I prepare to head back to school next week I've been reflecting about all the learning and professional development I had the opportunity to participate in this summer! It started with hosting KAEA Summer Camp in my hometown in mid-June. There were 3 workshop choices and I did painted batik.

My friend, Tranda (Ag Wife Artist Life) was the teacher and it was SO fun. I'm excited to be able to teach this better now that I've had some guidance as I tried it out.

The week after Summer Camp, I left with 5 other KAEA board members for Elmhurst, Illinois where we represented Kansas at the NAEA Western Region Leadership Conference.
At the conference there were meetings where we worked with other Western Region states' representatives on proposed position statements, talked about the future of our evolving organizations, participated in workshops, visited museums, had fun, and ate some delicious meals.
We learned about a new-to-me art movement, the Chicago Imagists, from one of the artists, Suellen Rocca, and enjoyed the collection at the Elmhurst Art Museum.
One of our meals was sponsored by Davis. That was one of the first opportunities to really kick back and make friends with some of the other attendees. 
We learned about using circuits to make kinetic sculptures, made small needle felted works, and gelli printed. I'm hoping to find a grant that will allow the purchase of some of the circuit kits that could be shared between the art room and the science department. 
The Kansas crew at dinner.
Fun road trip!
In July, a group of my art teacher friends got together to make stuff! First we did a bbq pit fire, which was super fun, and I would like to do on some sculptural pieces in the future.

We used a small bbq grill to heat up our pots then moved them into a metal bin filled with combustibles.
We threw coffee grounds on this mug and got really cool effects.
Later the first night we tried out cuttlefish casting and finally got the hang of it. I hope to be able to add the process to my program this year. (Tranda's post about the process.)

3 different stages of the process- my carving in the cuttlefish, the machine melting the metal, and the can holding the cuttlefish after we poured the molten metal.
Successful casts ready to be cleaned up. I made the pendant on the left and decided I liked the sprues so they will become part of the piece.
This is a cuttlefish or cuttlebone.
 The next morning before we went home, our friend Courtney helped Tranda and I on the potter's wheel. Tranda hadn't thrown before and I am just not super confident on it. Courtney showed me some different "tricks" than I had tried before and I threw probably the best I ever had. I also used stoneware for the first time and I really liked how it felt on the wheel compared to the earthenware clay I've used at school. I'm glad I ordered some earthenware to use this school year.

The last way I did some learning this summer was through Skillshare classes. I found an email in a weird folder with a link to try the premium membership free for 2 months. You know I love free stuff so I signed up. I started looking around and found SO many things to try. I took some digital classes to learn new skills and techniques that I will definitely utilize in my computer graphics class this year and I still have more I want to take. It's interesting to see other people's approaches to a topic whether it's poster design or painting.
One of my goals is to get more students excited about watercolor. I don't think I've "sold" it well enough before. I will use some of the ideas from one of the watercolor classes for my painting boot camp.

I also took a class on hand lettering which was really helpful and very practical. I think I'm going to incorporate her method into a computer graphics lesson this fall.

If you want to tryout Skillshare use this link to claim your TWO FREE MONTHS! There are still so many classes I want to take. I just keep adding them to my list for when my classroom is ready.

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