Wednesday, February 25, 2015

In the Art Room: A Scrap Yarn Relief by Second Grade

A while back, when my second grade was working on the Ojo de Dios, our lil table top trash cans were becoming filled to the brim with yarn scraps. When I asked a student to empty the trash cans and throw away the yarn, the kid paused, looked at me and said, "What?! Throw all of this pretty yarn away? BUT WE NEVER THROW ANYTHING AWAY IN HERE."

Okay. So I may or may not have created mini-hoardering monsters. They learn from the best, what I can I say?
After the kids planted the seed of creating with our scrap yarn, I began to give it some thought. It was then that I thought a lil foil relief project might be just the thing. This project was quick, easy, environmentally friendly and tied in with our year long study of Mexico.
 Here are the supplies we used:

* Matte board cut into 6" X 6" squares
* Scrap yarn
* Cheapo foil
* Spray adhesive. I like 3M the best.
* Super cheapo black matte spray paint. I buy the $1 a can junk.
* 000 steel wool
* Sharpies
* Tempra paint
* Matte board for the frame 8" X 8"

To start this lesson off, we read The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie de Paola. We did start this project before the holidays so it was a great tie-in. Each student was given a 6" X 6" piece of matte board that had been sprayed with a light shower of spray adhesive. At their seat, the students were to create a miniature still life of a poinsettia. Once finished, they brought the board to me where I hit it with another shower of adhesive and placed a piece of foil on top. At their seats, the students used their finger tips to "massage" the foil and reveal their yarn design.

 The following art class, I had spray painted their design and passed it back to them. It looked a lil like this:
 Using the finest of steel wool, the kids took to burnishing off the spray paint and revealing their design. 
This was then given a wipe down with a tissue to remove any spray paint dust. From there, the kids used Sharpies to add some color to their masterpiece.
 Most of them chose to color on the raised areas which was fine with me. Some decided to color the entire piece which was cool...but did not make for a happy Sharpie. 
 I love the tulip look of the flowers in this pot.
In the story, the young girl is helping her mother weave a new blanket. We looked carefully at some examples of Mexican blankets that I brought in and then began the second phase of our project. On our first day, we simply painted a variety of thick and thin lines in different values of color on our 8" X 8" board.
The following art class, the kids learned how to create different patterns in their painting by printing with cardboard. They loved experimenting with different designs. I loved these so much I was kinda sad to see 'em covered by their metal pieces!
This project was so easy and fun and I totes loved the results. I keep thinking of other ideas for this kind of project. Like if the kids learn about Picasso, they can create a yarn-y abstract portrait. Or maybe a cool landscape that is continued onto the frame of the piece. So many ideas! Do you have any that spring to mind?
Our next unit of study is circle loom weaving which you know I love. The kids have already started to paint their plates which have a similar design as these painted frames. This also proved to be great because we gained some experience in color mixing and pattern making before diving into our plate painting for the circle loom weaving project
 Whatcha think, would you give this a go?
I promise your students would love it! AND moral of this story: Not throwing anything away, even bits of scrap yarn, can yield some pretty fantastical results. Until next time, y'all!

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9 comments:

  1. These are great! I might have to try this out!

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    1. You totally should, Abby! You and the kids will love it!

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  2. These are Great! And all tied in with a book - Impressive!

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  3. Beautiful creations! Love that you used the Mexican blanket patterns in the background! I like how the texture of the yarn shows up when it is colored. I love to work with foil and varied materials. I’ve done yarn and foil before, but we used it as a collagraph first, by inking up our yarn ’plate’ and printing it on a watercolor background. Then we covered it with the foil and colored it with the permanent markers.

    http://floridacreate.blogspot.com/2009/10/collagraphs.html?q=foil

    In the summer of 2012, we made Olympic medals with foil and cardboard!

    http://floridacreate.blogspot.com/2012/08/summer-olympic-medals.html?q=foil
    http://floridacreate.blogspot.com/2012/08/summer-olympic-medals-kids-work.html?q=foil

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    1. AH!! So smart! I love when you can use one art work to create multiples...the idea of printing with the yarn collage and THEN making a metal sculpture -- so smart! Thank you for sharing, I'll def be stealing. And the metals are awesome!! So looking forward to exploring your blog some more :) Thanks, Jane!

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  4. Anonymous6/28/2015

    Hey just wondering - when you burnish does the actual yarn pop through? Or did they just color with sharpie over the "foiled" yarn? Thanks!

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  5. any advice on what yarn art teachers like buying to use in the elementary art classroom?? I am having the opposite problem of too much yarn scraps - no yarn left! It is hard to tell texture and quality from online photos though..

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Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate each and every one :)