Saturday, December 27, 2014

Clay works for K-2

Here are some pics of our clay projects that recently went home with my youngest students. I hope they have each found a perfect spot for display at home! Find out more details by searching previous posts on these lessons - just enter the name of the lesson in the space on the right sidebar.

Kindergarten: shoe print charms with a focus on surface texture and glazing

First grade: Van Gogh-inspired sunflower pinch pots with a focus on form, texture and glazing

Second grade: thumb owls with a focus on modeling, pinching form, texture and glazing

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Printmaking: 3 grades, 3 ways

Second nine weeks involves printmaking projects for my 3-5 graders - if you follow me on Instagram (@smartestartists), you know we have been printing up a storm for a while now and we are ready to show off some great results. Printmaking is a favorite medium for me - it has a certain quality that you can't achieve with other methods, and you get multiple prints of your design. Here's a quick breakdown:
5th grade: reductive prints using Lichtenstein's pop art shoes as inspiration, also inspired by the students of Mr. Bob, a colleague from years back who has recently been teaching in several other countries.
4th grade: cityscape print collages inspired by the drawings of James Gulliver Hancock's series "All the Buildings in New York."
3rd grade: collagraph prints, made from shapes and textures, representing the beauty of evergreens in winter.
The pictures tell the story...

Third graders begin printing their plates made with a variety of textured shapes like foam and cardboard. We use the messy middles/clean corners approach - clean papers stay at the corners while messy inks and plates stay in the middle of the table.

After printing, the plates get a sprinkling of iridescent glitter and they become works of art too. The kids wrote their titles as they brought the plates over so I could squeeze in a quick Artsonia installation.

Fourth graders began their project after getting some inspiration - they traced their own building designs onto styrofoam printing plates.

Black and white inks pop with brightly colored papers.

Students traded prints to create some variety in their cityscape collages, and texturized the backgrounds with crayon rubbings.

5th graders were involved with the most advanced technique, reduction printing, which is a multi-layered print. We began the first layer with a simple contour line drawing.

To reduce the plate, we added background patterns, shoe details, and a few areas were rubbed out completely with the pencil, which allows the first ink color to remain during the second layer of printing in a new color.

Behind the scenes:

Keeping the inking trays washed after each group was a priority

Our table covers became beautiful compositions too

The drying rack was the place to be, but be careful not to bump into each other!

Over 300 prints a day! Quite an accomplishment.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The week of 1500 works!

It seems that around 1500 pieces of art were printed or glazed in my room this week - whew! Grades 3-5 were printing and K-2 were glazing, and I'm not sure how it all ended up in the same week - I certainly didn't plan it that way. I realized mid-week last week that something in my time frame had gone awry and the ultimate glazing/firing/printing mess was inevitable this week, in addition to the need for Artsonia updates. I stressed about it a good bit last weekend, but I am happy to say, now on the other end of the week, that it went remarkably well although I am Exhausted.
Here are a few more photos of our week of serious mass production.
The drying rack was filled to the top every day.

Third graders in progress with their evergreen collograph prints

Helping each other out at the quickly- filling drying rack 

Fourth graders are printing their city architecture styrofoam prints, soon to be cityscape collages

5th graders printed the second layer of their pop art reduction prints

Keeping the inking trays and brayers washed between classes was a high priority.

Some of the table mats became works of art too.

K made shoe print charms, 1 made Van Gogh inspired sunflower bowls, and 2 made thumb owls with pinch pot nests.

I will do some detailed posts on these next week and over break, but most of these lessons are on my blog from years past, just search them in the search bar to the right. Thanks for sharing in our week of 1500 works! 
Now to decorate the house and do some shopping with my own two smartest artists, Kinsey and Mak :) have a great weekend everybody - we've earned it!