Showing posts with label air dry clay. Show all posts
Showing posts with label air dry clay. Show all posts

Sunday, May 21, 2017

In the Art Room: Art Show 2017, 3-D Displays

Welcome to the 3-Dimensional display of the Johnson Elementary Art Show! Our annual art show showcases all of the artwork that each of our young artists create throughout the school year. In this blog post, I'll be sharing all of the 3-D work that was displayed in my room...but stay tuned! A post about the incredible 2-D display is up next. This art show is a HUGE undertaking as we share all of the efforts of every student. An art show like this would not be possible without the help of some truly AMAZING moms that spend more hours than you could imagine making the art show a memorable one for our artists. I cannot thank them enough...y'all are truly incredible!

All of the projects you'll see here are ones that were created by my students while viewing the how-to videos I created for them. I'll be adding those videos for you here. Feel free to use them in your art room! I'll be adding more videos like these over the summer so you might want to subscribe to stay tuned. But enough about that, let's take a tour of the Johnson Elementary Art Show 2017, 3-D Displays!
I hope you liked the tour. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments! 
This project was a hit with the kids...and one that my current third graders are asking if they will get to do next year. I had several kiddos sewing at home and bringing in the pillows and monsters they had created there. It was so fun to teach them this life skill. Here is the video they viewed:
Their creativity really blew me away. By the way, if you teach a fourth grader how to make a pom-pom, it can be a dangerous thing.
By the way, y'all know that big bunned monster is my #lifegoals, right?!
This display is one of my faves. It showcased the sculptural work of my kindergarten, second and third grade students. My kindergarten kids created the monarch butterflies:
That was a one-day project that the kids really enjoyed. 
 My P.E. buddy Ali Starkweather painted the rainforest backdrop that you see. Isn't it amazing? It went so well with the theme of our exotic birds and reptiles! 
 Let's talk about these clay projects. The third graders created these clay chameleons which were one of my faves. 
We used a combo of Mayco's Stroke and Coat glazes and their Jungle Gems for a speckled look. 
 I really stressed a three coat minimum for glazing and I think that's why the kids were so successful in having such beautifully glazed pieces. They take so much pride in their clay work that I usually don't have to ask them to redo...they are dedicated to making them awesome!
Also on display were these birds. Y'all, these were the comedic hit at the show, they are so fun and funny. They really came to life when the kids painted them and added the feathers and beads. Here is the video lesson:

A couple of my kindergarten classes had extra days with clay so we made a second clay project: these turtles! Their other project was hung in the hallway, I'll be sure to share that with you in the following blog post. 
Those turtles were super fun to create...I loved seeing the glaze effects on the texture. 
The first graders created the most incredible fish so they needed a sweet display to show them off. The kids created the painted bubble paper hat covered the tables. 
 For these, the fish were glazed but the bases were painted with metallic watercolor. Here's the lesson video:
My second graders had just completed their ceiling tile project and had traced templates for that project. I had 65 templates...so, instead of throwing them away, I had the kids paint them as their last project.  
We hung them above the first grade fish! Here's the video used for the ceiling tile project:
These might be my favorite ceiling tiles to date! 
For the fourth grade bobble heads, these were displayed on my counter. I covered my cabinets with white paper and works of art by both kindergarten and second grade. 
Um, that one has a top hat, a bowtie and a monocle. Perfection. Video here:
This is another project I think my younger kids are gonna wanna create. These were so fun! 
I love all the extra cat bowls for this one!
On the cabinets, the kinders created the Arlo Needs Glasses paintings and the second graders did the black glue and chalk fish. Here are the videos:
The kids loved this project!
Sandra Silberzweig is a favorite artist of mine...and my students. 
On another set of tables covered in pink, my fourth graders had their plaster candy hearts on display. 
Also featured on the pink paper were the plaster candies that my third graders created...they really looked good enough to eat!
 Puffy paint for the win, y'all. 
The days following the art show, I invite the classroom teachers to bring their students during my planning time. Together, we teachers work in an assembly line wrapping clay projects, stuffing them into the bags and stapling the labels on top while the kids wait on the floor. It usually takes about 7 minutes to get a class done. The kids then take their 3-D work home safely. 

Stay tuned for the what's up next: a post and video of our 2-D work...until then, here's a tour of last year's 3-D display, enjoy!

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

In the Art Room: I WROTE A BOOK!




I know I've mentioned this before...but now I can finally make it official because IT'S FINISHED! Guyz, I WROTE A BOOK! 
I still cannot believe it. In fact, I don't think I'll actually believe it until I have a hard copy in my hands. The book is not due to come out until mid-May but it is available for preorder on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, and Indigo. It is so surreal to see my name pop up on these sites!

What will you find in this book? 52 CLAY PROJECTS, Y'ALL. Clay that does not require kiln fire. The purpose of this book is to give kids the opportunity to explore creating homemade clays, store-bought air dry clay, paper clay, oven baked clays...you name it, I tried it out in this book. Writing this book, I approached it from an art teacher standpoint: would my students enjoy these clay projects? If you recall my 1950's diner-themed art show last year, then you actually got a glimpse of several projects in the book. For our art show, we used kiln-fired clay which means that the projects in the book are versatile enough to be used with just about any kind of clay you have available. It's a book for those who wish to explore clay with children regardless as to whether or not one has a kiln!

So, how did writing this book come to be? It all started last November. A lovely editor at Quarry books reached out to me and simply asked me if I'd be interested in writing a book. She had seen this Sculpey creation and this paper clay pumpkin and was curious to know if I had more up my sleeve. I'm not even gonna lie: I was so flattered to be asked to write a book that I immediately agreed before discovering that I'd be dreaming up, writing about and taking step-by-step photos of 52 clay projects. 


It wasn't until last February that the paperwork was signed and I was on the hook to write a book. And that's when reality set in. True Confession: I'm a BIG TIME procrastinator. And there ain't no procrastinating when it comes to book writing. There were several deadlines throughout that I had to meet which was a good thing as it kept me working...but it was tough because I had to give up precious time to do so. I spent weekends and nearly the entire month of June in my pj's from morning til night sculpting in clay, snapping a picture, sculpting a little more and snapping another picture. That part was fun. It was the writing the steps out that was more tedious. I mean, I write all the time on this here blog but I write in a very casual tone. I had to sound all legit and professional and yet kid-friendly and such for the book. Thankfully, I was working with wonderful editors who helped tremendously.

June 30th was my final deadline. I made it...and might I add on June 29th. Whew! Snapping hundreds of photos and editing them, writing endless pages of copy and doing rewrites...it all made me seriously consider my life's choices. My husband's favorite question was, "Well, do you regret saying yes?" that answer varied from day to day during the course of the creating. But now I can say Nope! I don't regret it a bit! His next question is usually, "Would you write another book?" Well, I've not been asked...so I don't know my answer. 

Thank you so much for letting me share my exciting news with you. It's so nice to see all that hard work, long hours and pj'ed weekends become something tangible. You'll have to let me know if you get a copy and what you think! 

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Thursday, February 2, 2017

In the Art Room: Heart Sculpture UPDATE!

Hey, y'all! I'm poppin' in to share with you an update on a clay project I posted here not too long ago. I did this lesson with my second grade students in 3 thirty minute art classes and it was a huge hit. I decided to not have my kids create the wings because I was fearful that they would break. I was inspired (as usual) by my good buddy Laura Lohmann to create the popsicle stick hangers. Here is the video'ed lesson:
List of supplies:

* One sheet of thin aluminum foil per student.
* One large bag of Celluclay per 60-80 students. I mixed up about an orange-sized piece of clay per kiddo.
* 10 large popsicle sticks per frame. I laid them out and hot glued two horizontal sticks across the back to act as braces.
* Paint in a variety of colors.
* Twisteez wire.
* Beads....LOTS of beads!
Day 1: We began by talking about sculpture and getting a sheet of aluminum foil. Together, we slowly sculpted our foil into a heart shape. I really used my peer tutoring to friends help others who needed it. We went to our seats and added the clay to our hearts. We worked fast and furious to get it all done in 30! 
Day 2: I put the hearts in front of a fan overnight. The next day, the kids painted their hearts and their "fences" using two different colors.
 Day 3: I took my drill to school and quickly drilled two holes in the top of the "fence" frame. The kids looked at Jim Dine's hearts and painted theirs with small brushes and Q-tips. I gave very little instruction, I wanted to see what they'd create. 
 So pretty, right?! That took no time at all. Then the kids added the wire to their frames. They did this by putting the wire in one hole, twisting it like a twist tie and then loading up with beads. I have a TON of beads and I was glad to have the kids use them up. They thought that was pretty much the best thing ever. Then they twisted the other end of the wire and BOOM! Masterpiece complete. 
 Not gonna lie: this project was labor-intensive on my part. I had to glue those frames, drill the holes and then hot glue the hearts to the frames when complete. I had a helper student slap ModPodge on the hearts so the paint wouldn't chip. I really love how they turned out and the kids had so much fun. The work was worth it. I am hanging them in the hallway tomorrow!
The kids are so excited to share these with their moms and dads! I heard many conversations on color choices based on mom's favorite color. So sweet. 
In fact, this young artist redid his entire bead pattern once he found the "perfect purple for my mom"! 
IN OTHER NEWS! You can find my interview with the lovely Heidi Easley of Texas Art and Soul here! It's free, fun and fabulous. So many awesome artsy folks interviewed. Y'all go and check it out and please tell me I don't sound like a crazy person ;)
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Sunday, January 8, 2017

In the Art Room: Clay Hearts with Wings

If you are a teacher, then you've probably experienced team building activities. They can either be big hits or misses, depending on the mindset of the group. I work at a school with a very low turn over rate, a whole lot of history and love, both for the children and each other. However, knowing that we were coming back from a break of much needed time off, I knew it might be hard to feel that love when we really just want to hibernate until spring (I could simply be speaking for myself here!). Before break, I asked my amazing administration if I could possibly host a team building activity on our most recent professional development day. I was so thrilled that they agreed and even more happy with the beautiful results...
I chatted with the teachers about how we teach from our hearts and give our students wings to fly. Our students don't see us for our outward appearance but what is in our hearts. I used this sweet poem as a reference. I don't know who the author is of this poem, if anyone does, I'd love to know!
Knowing that I would have a packed house, I thought it would be best to record the process and show it on my big screen telly. Here is the video. I played it in phases, pausing it to allow the teachers time to work. It took us 45 minutes to create and clean up. Not too shabby!
I loved hosting the teachers in my art room...and they were the best of sports. I was asking them to step out of their comfort zone and they did so happily. It was so fun!
Knowing that these teachers might have a limited creative background, I wanted to remove any obstacles. I didn't want this to be a frustrating experience for them but a fun one. One where they could chat, laugh, create and forget about any stresses. 
 Here are some short cuts I provided: 

* Templates. In the video I told them that they didn't have to use them...but almost all of them did. I was glad I took the time to make them.
* Tons of Textures. I didn't want the teachers to have to wait on each other as I knew we wouldn't have time. For textures, we used doilies, placemats, burlap...anything with a beautiful raised surface.
 * Toothbrushes and water cups. Instead of teaching them the slip and score method, I provided them with a tool that would get the job done much faster. 
 * Skewers. The best and cheapest clay cutting tool!
 And, finally, I provided glaze. Yes, glaze! You can glaze on greenware (or fresh, outta the bag, clay). I plan to do a clear glaze over all of the pieces before they are fired in the kiln. 
 We had such a fun time, I'm so lucky to work with these people!
Have y'all ever done a team building activity before? Love to hear about it!

Feel free to share this project with your admin and teachers. Also, this project is age appropriate for your elementary (and up!) students as well. We just might have to make this a school-wide endeavor. I'll keep you posted. 
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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

In the Art Room: My Favorite Clay Lessons

Well, y'all, I gotta tell ya. It's been a long, exhausting but super fun and exhilarating week. Which can only mean one thing: Clay Week! I started doing a week of clay for the entire school a coupla years ago and now that we have it all down pat, we ain't never going back. The only thing I plan to change for next year: do two separate clay weeks, one in the fall and one in the spring. The kids love clay so stinkin' much that I want to give them more opportunities to explore! 

I spent this past weekend filming clay demo videos that I've been sharing with each of my classes. I did this for a couple of reasons: 1. it's so hard to demo clay and insure that each child can see. 2. I don't forget any of the details or get distracted by raised hands, talker-outers or whatever randomness that causes me to get off track and 3. the kids pay so much more attention to Television Stephens than Fur Realzies Stephens (which I take offense to but whateves). I've not added these videos to my YouTube channel yet because I'm too tired, y'all! Instead I thought I'd share with you my favorite clay lessons (with links to each lesson!) of all timez.

IN OTHER NEWS (by the way, if you know me even for a second, you know that "in other news" is my fave segue to totes off-topic-town), I've been keeping secrets from y'all. It's time I let the big ole cat outta the bag: I've been working with Quarry Books...and I'm writing a book! That's right! AND it's all about...clay! So...in case you noticed that the DIY's on this here blog have pretty much dried up to nothing that's because my weekends have been spent working on el book-o. I've been keeping it kinda on the down low because I didn't want to get too excited lest Quarry find out what a crazy I am and back outta the deal. But it would appear that they are in it to win it and so am I. I'll keep y'all posted...but I just had to share. 

AND NOW, back to my fave clay projects!
When it comes to Clay Week, I do love to have a theme. This helps with the teaching as I can reference the same visuals. It also helps when we put together the art show as there is a real cohesiveness to it all. The clay display is always in my art room. It looks so nice to see all of these thematic projects together! One of my favorite lessons for an Asian theme were these Painted Indian Elephants inspired by my art teacherin' buddy Debbie Flynt. Each one was so colorful and unique!
Another hit, especially with the kids, were these Chinese Dragons by my third grade students! So much creativity and imagination went into each and every one that this was def a kid fave. 
Pandas are so stinkin' cute. We've taken to watching Animal Planet's Panda Cam in my art room (along with puppy, kitten and otter cam...y'all, it's seriously the best thing ever). My fourth graders had a blast making these Pandas with Personality for our Asian theme. 
Because our art show is in the spring, I settled upon spring with an emphasis on Monet's Waterlilies one year! My fourth graders created these frogs with so much spunk and personality that they really were a true reflection of the young artist! 
Kindergarteners are a freakin' joy to do clay with as they absolutely love every minute of it! While we were working today, I heard so much laughter, happiness and discovery that it just made my day. We created these textured butterfly wallhangings to go along with our spring theme. 
Opening my kiln to these pretties, I remember letting out a squeal! They were so colorful and spring-like and the third grade had a blast making them. 
My favorite projects are the ones where the kids just go bananas with little details and creativity. That's what my second graders did with these cute and fun waterlilies.
One year, our theme was animals because we "sold" our creations back to our parents (for a donation) which we turned over to a no-kill humane society. This was a fun experience for the kids to see the power of being kind and art! My kindergarten and first graders created these sweet Pinch Pot Pets
My second graders used two pinch pots to create their own version of Pinch Pot(s) Pets! I love all the variety of ideas in this lesson. 
My fourth graders created these fun cat and dog sculptures. I love to encourage silliness and imagination in their works so that they really explore making a simple idea like a cat or dog their own. Again, this was a hit with kids and parents! 
Second grade created these tigers one year that double as a container. There's a pinch pot on the back of each tiger that was flipped upright to be used as a bowl! Our mascot is the tiger so this was a great tie-in with school pride as well as keeping with our animal-loving theme. 
And now for a batch of randoms. These fish were not tied to a theme but super cute. I love that clay can be a great vehicle in teaching texture. Such was really emphasized in this textured fish lesson for first grade!
Wall hangings can be a fun alternative to sculpture when working with clay. It's often difficult for the young kids like kindergarten town to create standing sculptures. So, with a focus on texture, my wee ones last year created these textured birds! This blog post has a how to video if you are interested.  
This is one of my tried and true favorite lessons that I used to do every year with second grade until I grew tired of it and moved on. I brought it back for an after school group last year and they loved their textured initial wall hanging!

What are some of your fave clay lessons? I am SO EXCITED about our clay theme this year and cannot wait to share it with you...it's gonna be the best one yet!
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