Monday, August 17, 2015

Self portrait pre tests

This is our first assignment for the new year before we try "drawing on tje right side of the brain".  Here are some results.  These are all pre instruction, 7th and 8th grade.

Friday, May 15, 2015

End of the year art showcase

It's that time of the year again  The choir concert brings in hundreds of parents, so I have all my students pick one of their artworks to go on display.  The large tigers were collaborative projects that all students helped with.  They did a great job this year!

End of the year artwork stack

This is the stack of collected artwork from spring semester.  It's all paper here and about 4 foot tall.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Textured mugs

I love textured mugs. They have so much more character than a regular, store bought mug.  I fashioned a die for our extruder from scrap lumber,  so the handles are all more uniform. 

They use slab technique and scoring and slipping.  we have roll sets that include a roll, 2 pieces of fabric, and thickness gauges.  

Students roll out a slab, apply a texture using a texture rubbing sheet, and cut out an 11x4 slab.  
This is then picked up, turned into a cylinder and the ends are scored and slipped together.
The scrap clay from this initial rolling is recycled into a smaller slab that will be used to form the base.  This is attached using S&S, and then cut out and flipped.
At this stage, students make sure there are no sharp edges, no holes, and their name and year is on the base.
they are set to the side for the next day and handles.

The handles are extruded, and usually attached on the seam from yesterday, to facilitate a stronger bond.

Once dry, they are kiln fired to bisque ware.

Glazing is fairly simple, unless the students want to accentuate their textures.  In that case, we use a subtractive method as follows.
 1. They apply 1 layer of glaze they want in the depths of the texture.  Then they take a sponge and wipe flat across the tops of the texture, removing glaze there, but keeping it in the grooves.  The top areas are glazed with a second color, and then clear glaze over it all for a second coat.

Fired again and ready for drinking!

We use a low temp white earthenware.  Cone 04.  Done right, these are functional and beautiful!

Tessellations 2015

Tessellations are a pattern made across a flat surface by repeating a shape with no gaps and no overlaps.  There are many techniques for making tessellations, the technique we will use is called the paper cut method. Students are to trace their tessellation template in their sketch books 4 times and try to envision what it possibly could be. Once they have a good design it is applied to a sheet of drawing paper and colored in with alternating colors.

For fun I tried out the triangle shape and got a wolf's head.  Here it is being traced over the surface using a light box.

Student work

Thursday, May 7, 2015

String art project 2015

7th grade students made curve stitch  projects, commonly called string art.  Here are our steps:

1 I downloaded several templates from various websites as patterns.  Photocopied and set out for students to choose.  They glued them to the back of a piece of posterboard, and glued a black sheet of construction paper to the front.  

2. Once dry, we used push pins to poke holes every where we wanted to stitch.  

3.  Next, students got a section of string. ( I have them get 2 arm lengths at a time)  This string is like kite string, and it comes on a large roll.  Its white, but we will fix that.

3. Students start stitching.  The idea in general is to run a stitch from one location to another some set number of spaces forward.  they both move forward one space, and a "web" is formed.  

4. Since this is not the traditional string art with boards and nails, the process basically means students stitch long lines on the front, and make short trips to the next hole on the back.

5.  The ends of the strings are simply taped down on the back of the board with masking tape.  When they use up the amount they have, they simply come back for more.

6.  The white webs are colored using water based markers.  the string absorbs the ink and with a small amount of water and a brush, they can blend and fill in missing spaces.  This technique cut down a lot on the of task behavior I have had in the past with allowing them to select colored string.

What do you think of the results?  I think they did a great job.

Rhino project

Albright Durer made an amazing drawing of a rhino without even seeing it in 1515. This lesson is originally found in the book "From Ordinary to Extraordinary", an art and design book by Ken Vieth.
 Students are manipulating this famous rhino to add new content.  They trace a simplified version of the rhino 4 times in their sketchbook and try to come up with 4 different themes.  The best one is applied to a large rhino that they traced from an original large scale template on 11x17 paper.

This time around, we used watercolor pencils to complete.  Really nice results.  They color just as if it were a colored pencil project, then use a small brush and some water to move the color around.

As a neat side note, our incoming superintendent came in while students were working on this project and I got to give him the history lesson on Durer just like the students!