Thursday, May 19, 2016

In the Art Room: Crayon and Pencil Sculptures

Because I'm a clay-loving art teacher with clay-loving students, I don't often venture down Papier Mache Avenue for sculpture projects. However, I knew I wanted my students to create giant-size art supplies for their fourth grade legacy. The only problem was, I knew they'd love their pencils and crayons so much that they'd wanna take it home. So my compromise was that they make one big one for the school (details on that in the near future) and one for themselves!
And I'm totally smitten with these! This project, like many of my others, morphed into a couple different projects from a group crayon mural to a sweet little photo op with some writing fun. In this clip, I walk you thru the construction of the armature for these bad boys. 
Because so many of us have different recipes and methods for papier mache, I left that out of the video. However, I can give y'all the dirty deets here. We used Art Paste and newspaper (that I rapidly cut on my paper cutter) to cover the taped bottom to about 2" up the bottom of the pencil. We completely covered the tag board at the top to about 2" down. Covering the tube was not necessary unless the kids just wanted to do it. For me, it was just important that they get the papier mache portion complete in one hour class period. 
The following class, we primed the sculptures which took all of 7 minutes. Knowing that, I created the Crayon Collaborative lesson (video below). This proved to be a great tie-in and just so much fun!
 The following class, the painting began. Students had to decide if they were creating a pencil, a crayon or a colored pencil. Once the colors were mixed, the kids set to painting. Early finishers resumed work on their collaboratives.
Finally, we added the sweet little details. The metal tooling for the pencil band and the labels for the crayons. Modpodge was also added to seal and protect (and add a little shine!). Again, every time we had a spare moment, we went back to our other project. It made for a chaotic and messy class time but, eh, that's what art is all about, right?
The kids came up with the most creative names for their crayons, it cracked me up!
Like, whuh? Grannie really digs a certain blue, perhaps? Maybe it's the color of her hair? I need to find out!
Here's a peak at the collaboratives they worked on as well. 
We used chalk...but I'm sure oil pastels would work really well for this process. And less dusty!
 By the way, not all chalk is created equal. I'm a big fan of Koss brand chalk. It's not cheap but that's because it's good. 
Save that pastel-y chalk for the sidewalk, y'all. 
 Can you guess which gender created this set of crayons? 
 It's my sweet fourth graders last year at my school. I've taught these children art for five years! I'm going to miss them and I know they are going to miss our school. So I created a little cloudy background, got a big lined piece of paper and had them pandomining writing their thoughts on the past and future. 
These images, along with their writing, were on display in the halls of the art show. It was hung next to their artwork for the year. Meanwhile, their sculptures were featured in the art room. 
 Of course, I had to read what they wrote! I do not know what "crazyness" this kid speaks of. 
 My younger students are fascinated with these giant art supplies and keep asking if they will be making them. I don't often repeat lessons out of sheer boredom...so I told 'em I wasn't making any promises but I did explain the process to them. 
 That last line, geesh. So sweet. 
 Here's a peak at one of the larger pencils that were created. These are staying behind with the school. Some of them are HUGE!
Let's hope brother has a good reputation! Until next time, y'all! 
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21 comments:

  1. I love both crayon assignments! I will have to try the Papier-mâché project for sure. I like how it's a simple form that could be turned into several different things.

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    1. Yes! And it was so much fun! Give it a go, you and your students will love it!

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  2. Cassie, I am not an art teacher, but a teacher who loves to do art with my class. I really appreciate your videos and how you explain the process and the "art vocabulary" so clearly. The videos have allowed me to add quality art projects and meet curriculum standards in a fun and engaging way. Thank-you, Marsha Ivany

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    1. Wow! Marsha, you just made my day! Thank you so much for leaving this comment, your words truly mean a lot :)

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  3. Are they really paper towel rolls? They look bigger to me. Love them. I'm going to do them as an art room legacy project with 5th grade in the Fall! Thank you!

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    1. They are...however, they are the ones that are used in my school. So, they are rather thick and industrial strength and, I guess, bigger. Email your custodial staff and ask them to start saving for you. By the start of the new school year, you'll have a ton!

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    2. Will do! Thank you!

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  4. Great project idea. Am doing the try it out now in preparation for using it next year with 4th grade art class. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. your students will love it! Start asking your custodians to save paper towel tubes for you now, they are much sturdier than the ones we have at home. Have fun!

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  5. Hi,
    I love this and I'm gonna jump right in and make this my first 5th grade project of the year. Thanks. I know the kids will love it.

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  6. Anonymous10/05/2016

    I love this idea and how detailed your video is! Thank you!

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  7. What size tag board do you cut?

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    1. I'm so sorry, I don't recall! It took a little cutting and playing with the size before getting it right.

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    2. I'm so sorry, I don't recall! It took a little cutting and playing with the size before getting it right.

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    3. I started yesterday and cut an 8.5x11" tagboard in half, so 5.5x8.5" and it worked well!

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  9. Hi Cassie,

    Love your blog! I'm curious, how did you support these while working and drying? During both the paper mache and the painting steps?

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  10. I am a classroom teacher who is big on class projects with an art portion. We have begun this project and the students are having a great time. Since I am at a small school, we don't use those large paper towel rolls. We are using normal paper towel rolls and just covering the whole thing. Can't wait to see how they turn out!

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