Friday, May 22, 2015

glazing away.

The 5ths have been glazing their modified coil pots all week. Many trips back and forth to the kilns. I'm tired:)  Next week it will be the 3rd graders turn to work with clay... stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

colorful invaders.

This week the 2nd graders are adding color to their invader tiles. I took a page out of Cassie Stephens playbook and am having them do a crayon resist painting instead of glazing the tiles. This allows for a lot of color variety and saves me from loading a lot of large flat pieces at a time when kiln space is at a premium.
an invader in space!

The kids are really enjoying the process. I emphasize that they should try and use either light or dark crayon colors and then paint with the opposite. 

The kids are doing exit slips that get them reflecting on what texture is and how thy used it in their work. As students are finishing up I go around and slap a few brush loads of gloss varnish on the tiles to give them that "we weren't fired, but kinda look like we could have been" clear coat;)

Some kids are being very controlled with their color work.

Other students are being more expressive and free with their color application.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

clay all day.

This week I entered my clay phase;)

The 2nd and 5th graders are both working with clay for the next two weeks and then the 3rd graders will be for the two weeks after that. Time to break out the lotion:)

The 2nd graders are making clay tiles inspired by the work of Invader. I have been stoked about trying this with them for some time and I think the kids are enjoying it too. We take a look at his website and he's got a map of the world that shows where all his "invasions" have taken place. You click on any of the cities and it takes you to photo/s of the works at that place. Pretty darn slick! Look out for the moving one too- he's got a piece on the outside of the International Space Station too.

Five years ago, he invaded San Diego, so we look at those. Some of them are still around the city. While we are looking, I point out how he only uses squares and rectangles to create his images. We talk about pixels, old school videogames, and of course, minecraft.

The role the kids play in this project is that of an invader creator. Their job is to design their own invader using only squares and rectangles. Also, they use the texture of legos to alter the texture of their clay tile. The kids have been pretty engaged with this one;)

The kids sketch out 3 different designs, decide which one they will do, share their reasoning with a neighbor, and then get stamping. When we get to the stamping part, I emphasize that they only need to press softly. If they go to hard, they will punch a hole through the clay. Some kids inevitably do this, but I tell them it does add a little character to their overall design- which, when controlled, it does. They should use the legos as stamps and not as cookie cutters.

Next week, we'll paint 'em.

The 5th graders are making modified coil vessels for their clay project. I have been using work by high school students up in LA county as the inspiration for this one. Debra Price-Agrums teaches at Whitney high school and her students can rock the clay work:)

I demonstrate various ways they can coil and modify coils to create their form. The shape and style is up to them. Next week, they will glaze them.

I love how this guy used his leftovers to make something else, too:)

Check out that interior!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

mini Krushenicks

I originally had a different project planned with my first graders this week, but I decided, last minute that glue string bowls with my firsts would not be as successful as I had envisioned. Another time, another grade level:)

So, I switched to a shrinky dink project with them instead. It still fit into their texture unit because we were working with smooth and rough sides of the plastic.The inspiration for the project came from Phyl over at There's A Dragon in my Art Room and her post on a recent pd she did that used the work of Nicholas Krushenick as the focus. I was unfamiliar with his work and it's right up my alley! Brightly colored, pattern heavy abstractions with a strong sense of play in his shapes and compositions. I knew I'd use his work at some point after reading Phyl's post, just not this soon;)

So, the classes and I quickly reviewed the texture rubbings we did the week before and when I introduced Nicholas' work, I talked about how he, like Clare, was more interested in creating images with interesting arrangements of shapes and not about making a picture of a person, flower, etc.

We looked at a number of his pieces and then did some practice drawings that were inspired by, and not copies of his work. We borrowed compositional elements and his use of patterning, but I emphasized that everyone's was going to be different based on choices they made. When their sketches were done, I had students put a check next to the one they wanted to make and turn to their neighbor and explain why they wanted to use that one.

I then gave students their shrink plastic and they got to check out the surface qualities of each side- rough and smooth. They traced the rectangle of plastic on the back of their sketch and drew out their chosen design on a larger scale.

Students then traced over their pencil lines with thick and thin black sharpies to capture Nicholas' use of bold outlines. They used crayola color sticks to create color patterns and fields in their design.

Then we were ready to bake! I set my toaster oven temp to 325 and was able to fit 2 5x7" plastics in there at once. Kids LOVED watching their designs curl, twist, shrink, and finally flattened in the oven. Before putting each piece in the oven I used my 2 hole punch to add to holes at the top, so that it could get strung later to make a necklace, rearview mirror ornament, etc.

I think the kids really responded well to this project- they always do when shrinky dinks are involved, and I really dig the range of patterns and compositions come up with.

I get to play, I mean model too:)