Through dearada I was informed about that work of Eva Zeisel a few years ago. It just so happened that the Mingei Museum in San Diego was having a retrospective of her work right after I was exposed to her functional clay forms. Sweet!
At the site EvaZeiselOriginals, you can watch a video of her in the studio. The fact that I love to share with kids is that at the time the video was made, Eva was 102! Still being creative after 100 years. She's 104 now, and still going.
Her forms have a simple elegance to them that attracts me. When I share her work with the students I emphasize her use of natural shapes, and the importance of the empty spaces as well as the spaces the forms take up themselves.
She did a few screenprints in her day, and these are really what the project is based on. When the students look at these, they recognize that one side is a mirror image of the other- aka- symmetry.
The students create a 3 layer collage that uses natural looking abstract shapes that show symmetry. They use 3 sheets of paper that are different values. I rotated the order of the valued paper with each class, so there would be variety in the display of them at our end of the year student art exhibit.
The 4th grade project was based on the work of an artist fresh out of college, Patrick Hruby. He did a print that used analogous colors, symmetry, and floral shapes that I dug. Instead of doing a screen print, the students created a collage that used 2 or 3 analogous colors with black included as well.
Each class did a different group of colors to keep it fresh for me, and to make the presentation of this project more interesting at our annual Celebration of Art.
1. intro to the artist, symmetry, and natural shapes
2. fold backkground layer paper, draw half the design- keeping it simple, cut, and glue in place
3. fold middleground paper, draw half the design- making it a bit more complex, cut and glue
4. fold foreground paper, draw half the design- making it the most complex, cut and glue