Thursday, November 29, 2012

Kindergarten Clay Frames

I enjoy introducing a clay project to Kindergarten students.  Their excitement for the clay is contagious.  No matter what the product ends up looking like, students learn so much by just getting their hands dirty and working with a 3-dimensional sculpture material.  We discuss the many steps involved with clay making and students are always intrigued with the kiln.

Kindergarten students created clay slabs (flat, thin pancakes) and cut a hole out of the center to make a frame.  Students experimented by stamping various objects into the clay to create texture. 

Clay can sometimes be difficult and unforgiving.  There were a couple broken frames, but I only used this as a lesson in adaptability and process over product.  Students will have no problem gluing their creations together after the glaze firing.

2nd grade Clay Guitars

After last year's success, I had my 2nd graders make clay guitars this year too.  After studying Picasso's guitar and violin series, students pondered how music can inspire artwork. 

Students became very familiar with clay hand building techniques by making slabs, adding texture, and attaching pieces by slip and scoring. 

It's interesting to discuss the different types of guitars and with which genre of music they're associated.  The flying V style was very popular this year.  I think my classes were filled with some rock and roll fans!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

3rd grade Prints

After studying Gustav Klimt and his famous Tree of Life painting, 3rd graders created a symmetrical tree collograph.  We discussed positive and negative space and printed with gold ink in the spirit of Klimt's favorite color. 

After students printed, we discussed how artists know when an artwork is finished.  Some of the responses were,

 - "When all the steps are completed"

 - "When the space is filled"

 - "When the artist decides"

It was an interesting discussion as students pondered their decision making role in the creative process. 

4th grade Mandala Prints

Buddhist Tibetan monks have a tradition of creating beautiful sand mandalas.  The monks create the designs in silence and while meditating.  When they are finished, the mandala is swept up and sent down a river of water to honor the value of impermanence.  I love discussing this art form with my students.  It's difficult to imagine destroying something so beautiful, but we talk about how the important factor is the process, not the product!

4th graders created radial symmetrical, geometric mandala designs on styrofoam and printed them with gradient colors.