Monday, April 22, 2019

Textured Ceramic Mugs

Its that time of year again when we make mugs to learn how to work with clay.  The most important thing students learn is "Scoring and Slipping".  I also presented this at the art teacher conference in Knobnoster, Missouri with MAEA (Missouri Art Education Association)

Here are the directions I give out for working with clay, and making a mug:

Slab-Rolling a Mug
Mintert- Knobnoster 2018

1.      Roll a Slab- Use fabric, thickness gauges and roller to create a large slab.
2.     Check the Thickness- Get low, gently roll the roller over the slab to find any high spots.  Where the roller comes off the thickness gauges you have thick spots that need to be rolled again.
3.     Apply texture- if you want texture, it needs to be done now.  Get a texture plate, and leaving the thickness gauges in place, apply a texture by rolling over the texture plate in the clay.
4.     Cut the wall- Using the template (4x11 or 5x11 in) mark the dimensions of the wall.  Remove the template and cut free from the slab.
5.     Build the wall- stand the wall on end and form into a cylinder.  On the ends, use SCORING AND SLIPPING, (AND SQUISHING AND SMOOTHING) TO JOIN THE ENDS.
6.     Roll the base-  Take the scraps and re-roll to a slab that would be large enough to accommodate the cylinder.
7.     Measure and connect- Place the cylinder on the slab, mark the location, and flip over the cylinder onto the fabric, to expose the bottom.  SCORE AND SLIP the slab and base of cylinder.  Flip the cylinder over again and firmly press onto the slipped base.
8.     Cut and remove- Once you are sure it is connected well, use clay tool to cut it free from the excess slab material and flip it over onto the fabric.
9.     Squish and Smooth- while the mug is upside down, double check the bond, and smooth down any marks.  Using a needle tool, ADD YOUR FIRST AND LAST NAME, CLASS HOUR, AND YEAR to the bottom.
10.  Smooth Inside- Flip the mug over and use the brush and water to double check the seam on the inside and remove any extra scoring marks.
11.  Attach the handle- Use the extruder to pull a handle shape.  Attach using scoring and slipping over the joint in the mug wall.

12.  Dry and Fire- Allow the mug to dry for several days before firing to proper cone in the kiln.

13.  Glazing-Glaze the mug. ( directions on another instruction sheet)

This year many students used a specialty "Crystaltex" glaze that had crystals that burst making a speckled pattern.  they turned out really nice!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Grid Drawing Project

In addition to learning drawing from observation, I have students learn grid drawing.  It works in a similar way, but may be easier since it breaks down an image into smaller, possibly more abstracted tasks.  

For ours, I pre-selected some images, and used to automatically apply a 4x6 grid of squares.  If students wanted a different image, it was easy enough to pump it into the online program and print out in a minute or so.

our drawing paper is 12- 18 inches, so a 3 inch grid works with a 4x6 matrix.
In fact, I made a classroom set of grids that students could place under their drawing so they did not even have to draw the grid!  They could see the grid lightly through the drawing paper.  

We had not talked about color yet, so these were finished with pencil and we focused on value.

  Grid Drawing Rubric:

Accurate drawing          40 points
Full range of Value        30
Craftsmanship               30
total                                100 points

 Here are some of our results.

Drawing with Perspective

Perspective drawings re create the way our eyes really work, but does not rely on direct observation.  Pre-Renaissance  and Renaissance artists like Giotto  and DaVinci figured out how this works.

Its been a while since students used perspective in my class. I introduce t-squares for verticals, a triangle for horizontals, and using rulers for orthogonal (lines that go to the Vanishing Point) then  all the rules of perspective:

Rules of 1 Point Perspective
1.  As things go back in space, they go to a Vanishing Point (V.P.)
2.  Front and back edges match/go the same direction.
3. On round objects, the outermost point connects to the V.P.
4.  If something gets in between an orthogonal and the V.P. the the line stops (overlapping)
5.  As things go back in space they get smaller

Vertical-lines that go up and down
Horizontal- lines that go left and right
Orthogonal- lines that lead to the Vanishing Point.

We make 3 projects, 2 class hours each.  After this quick start, students finish one to a higher degree, finishing details and adding color.

Correct Perspective              40 points
Color                                    20
Use of all Space                   20
Craftsmanship                      20
total                                      100 points

Here are some of the results: