Thursday, September 1, 2016

In the Art Room: Radial Design Printmaking

I love art teachers because they have the best ideas and are super sweet about sharing them. This idea comes courtesy of art teacher Jeanna Pena (who you can follow on Facebook and Twitter for all of her art adventures). When she shared this lesson in the Art Teachers Facebook group, I immediately decided to scrap the lesson I had planned for my fourth grader's Dot Day project and go with this one. And I'm so glad I did. It was such a smash hit of a lesson (with still one more round to go as we'll be covering these printing plates and burnishing them next week, a la this project) that I just can't thank Jeanna enough for sharing. So, with her permission, I'm sharing my version of her lesson here!

But first, a word about Jeanna. She's pretty stinkin' awesome. I noticed from a wee bit of Facebook stalking that she seemed to be quite the adventurer. Here's what she had to say: I came up with this idea after I traveled to Cuba last fall. I was attempting to translate the radial tile patterns that I saw in some amazing old buildings.

I applied for the Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship with National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions and it has been a whirlwind! They are sending me to Antarctica in December. They brought our group together in DC and we had photography lessons at NatGeo HQ, naturalist updates, and classes with the Google Educational Engagement folks. I'm the only art teacher. They're looking for adversity in content areas! I highly recommend it!

How awesome is Jeanna?! If you have a moment to show her some love in the comments for this awesome lesson, please do so. AND if you have any questions about her travels, you can find her on those social media links above.
Now, let's talk about this project. It was our first for the new school year, right after we wrapped the Escape Game and the Monochromatic Selfies. Jeanna had mentioned she did this project with her older students...so I wasn't sure how my kids would do being brand new fourth graders and all. But they knocked it out of the park! Here is the video they viewed on the first day.
Supplies:

* Cardboard. We used cardboard rounds because of our Dot Day focus which were purchased from Amazon. However, any cardboard or mat board would work. 
* Foam Sheets and/or Shapes with Adhesive Back. I found that Michael's had the best selection where Joann's fell short. I did purchase foam sheets because I knew some kids would want to explore creating their own shapes. Some foam sheets were not adhesive backed so the kids glued them on. Those we found did not stick super well when it came to printmaking. When they came off, I just had the kids bring their board to me and I hot glued them back on.
If you follow me on Insta then you've seen our progress. I had my early finishers recreate their design on scratch paper (also purchased via Amazon) and write about what they learned. 
The following art class, we printed! And, with about 35 fourth graders in the room it was, well, busy. We'll just call it busy.
* Printing Ink. Y'all. ALWAYS buy water soluble Speedball. I have had the same jars of ink forever. I just keep adding water, stirring and it still works great. Unlike the "house" brands that the art supply vendors sell which harden in the tube. 

* Inking Trays. You can purchase these through your art supply vendor. However, with this many kids, I did run out so I simply cut my Gelli Arts plastic containers in half and used those. I'm sure something could be found at the Dollar Tree for this item.

* Paint. We used tempra paint for rolling on texture/color on the background.

* Brayers. I happened to have one per kid so there was no wait time. 

* Paper. We  used 14" squares that I had cut down from large paper. 
Day two's video: honest speaking, I didn't show the entire start of the video to my second group of fourth graders. Knowing that they are a group that likes to move, I knew I'd need to get them working right away. So I started the video just before the demo portion. 
And then they went to work! They had a BLAST.
And the prints turned out so colorful and fun just like the artists. 
A little "before" action. Don't ask me what the aftermath looked like. I've blocked it out.
I had a couple of kids double stack their shapes which I wasn't sure just how that was going to turn out...but I really dig it. Check out the triangles. 
I can really see so much potential with this printing project: a lesson on architecture, a portrait project, floral creations...the possibilities are endless!
Yeah, ya did.
For now I'm just gonna keep taking them off the drying rack and saying Ooooooh and Aaaaaah. Stay tuned for what happens next with these beauties.
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9 comments:

  1. I love the idea of recycling gelli plate covers but it left me wondering how you stored your Gelli plates then?

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    1. For now, they are sitting on my counter ;) When we finish printing, I'll put them back in.

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    2. Aha, that makes sense! Thanks!

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  2. What do you do with the printing plates after? Take them apart and use them again? Toss?

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    1. drop by next week, I'll have the lesson and video up by then :)

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  3. Hi, I haven't been able to get Gelli plates yet ($) but I grabbed all the old lunch trays before we reverted to Styrofoam (a recycling nightmare). I just draw a square in the center of the tray and tell the kids not to roll outside the lines. I've also used Styrofoam meat trays for inking. But what a hideous mess printmaking is. Fun - but a HUGE MESS with one little bitty sink. Any cleaning tips besides stacking and cleaning later? Oh, and where's the least expensive company to purchase Gelli plates? Thanks for your wonderful ideas and awesome sharing!!

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    1. My favorite way to clean is: Get a big ole Rubbermaid tub, fill with soapy water and soak. I'm fortunate that this year, I have a super sweet 6th grader who comes in the afternoons and LOVES to wash (I can't relate!). So see if you can recruit a kid! Also...I do have a recipe for gelli plates on my blog but they will only last a couple of days....see the post on the right under "popular posts" and have fun!!

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  4. Holy guacamole these are amazing! So beauteous!!! Well done :)

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    1. Thank you!! I'll tell the kids you said so!

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