Tuesday, July 15, 2014

In the Art Room: Pandas with Personality by Fourth Grade Artists!

Howdy, friends! I trust that most of y'all have been spending your summery days chillaxin' like these two. Sunny day, cold bevvy, fancy umbrelly and a polka dot bikini? Why, don't mind if I do! My genius fourth grade kids created these Pan-duhz with Personality at the end of the year and I'm still chucklin' at their silliness. 
As y'all might recall, I did share with ya's our annual art show where every masterpiece each and every kiddo created throughout the year was hung all over the place. Like, we're talking around 2000 pieces of art. Y'all, we covered every inch of that school...so much so that I was a breath away from hanging some artwork in the bathroom stalls (which reminds me: does anyone else love those stall-ads as much as I do?! Although, I gotta tell ya, I do find the restaurant ads a wee bit disturbing when I'm, well, you know. Droppin and ploppin). When I was out for a coupla days for the amazing NAEA convention in San Diego, my awesome sub had the kids create those Party Panda paintings. This proved to be the perfect jumping-off point for our ceramic endeavors. 
Lemme break down for just how the kids created these cuties: 

Day 1: We created the base. To do this, pounded our Cone 06 clay to a cookie thickness. Then we traced a template for our base shapes with wooden skewers. I provided circles, organic shapes or rounded-edge squares. After those were created, the kids created the basic forms of of the panda's body. After our 30 minutes, the kids wrapped their work in a damp paper towel and stowed it in a labeled ziplock bag.

Day 2: I demoed some ideas on how to make a panda head. We looked at a boat load of examples and thought about our fun drawings. The word of the day was personality. The more your panda had, the better. Once the heads were created, the kids started attaching them to the bodies and kind of playing with just how their panda's body would look. Would he be sunbathing? Chillin with the kids? Strummin' a gee-tar...
whilst wearing shades and sportin a big pink bow?
Or glazing their clay pinch pot, as pandas like to do.
Days 3 and 4: On these days the kids really started thinking about details and an environment for their panda...one that would really reflect their panda-nality.
A coupla of my kids recalled that our local zoo had just hosted a red panda exhibit. With that in mind, this cutie was created.
I love the sweet gaze of the baby panda to it's mama.
Once our friends were fired, we glazed them with 3 coats of Mayco Stroke and Coat. My fourth grade friends have created a masterpiece outta clay every year since kindergarten so they are pretty much like experts at this whole process. Hence this panda-monium. 

Speaking of pandaemonium...
Y'all, this week, I'm currently at the amazing Tennessee Arts Academy and gearing up for this Thursday's online conference with The Art of Education which means my life this week is crazy-happy-fun-busy. So don't ask me why I thought it would be a good idea to start the Artsy Book Club this week. Thereforeness, I've decided to officially begin posting next week...but y'all can start reading Teach like a Pirate by Dave Burgess and/or Printmaking Unleashed by Traci Bautista any ole time, ermkay?! I'll be back soon with a full report on the Arts Academy...and I hope to chat with ya at the AOE conference. Til then, strap on that bikini, slap on that sunscreen and enjoy these summer days while you can!

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