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

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

In the Art Room: Clay Texture Turtles!

Need a fast and fun clay project that teaches kids all about texture? Try these clay texture turtles on for size! Here's a one minute how-to clip:
So easy!
 I did this project with my kindergarten (this was their second clay project...I'll share the other one soon!) and they loved it. Stepping on their clay and seeing the texture that the sole of their shoe left behind was their most favorite thing. Here are the kiddos in action: 
Stepping on the clay was def their fave part! 
 I loved using Mayco's Jungle Gem glazes for these turtles. I stressed to the kids that adding at least three layers of glaze would really make their turtles super shiny.
This is definitely a project that could also be done with air dry clay. In fact, every Wednesday night for the month of May at 8pm CST over on my Facebook page, I'll be hosting a clay chat, starting tonight! We'll also be creating in clay so be sure to bring your favorite clays...or purchase these clays as that's what I'll be working with: 
Of course, that book I wrote is nothing but non-kiln fire clay projects...I explored just about every clay medium in the making of that book. 
By the way, don't you LOVE that painting in the background? My fabulous P.E. teacherin' friend Ali is painting it as one of the backdrops for the art show! I thought it was a cute photo op for these happy and colorful turtles. 
See y'all LIVE tonight at 8pm CST...come armed with your fave clay tips!
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png
Read more »

Monday, May 1, 2017

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 33

If you are anything like me (and bless, as we say in the South, if you are), then you prolly got that art ed degree of yours without being a total pro in all forms of media. I didn't take a single printmaking or ceramics class in college and I got a C in textiles (which is a fave but at the time, I was huffing too many paint fumes, er, REALLY into my painting class, to be bothered with warping that freakin' floor loom). What I did get is a two year degree in oil painting because...you know, that's something we teach to the 10 and under set. Ahem. All that to say, we are expected to be at least somewhat knowledgable about the media we share with our students. But, let's be honest, a lot of times, we are learning right along with the kids. 

Now, I've been at this art teacherin' game for sometime now (18 years but who's countin'?) and I have learned a thing or two along the way. One thing is for certain: kids LOVE clay. However, it can be frustrating to teach if you lack experience. Since I've been around the art teacherin' block a time or two (wink-wink, nudgenudge), I thought I'd share some of my fave art teacherin' clay hacks with you. Here you go:
 Let's talk about some of the things I've shared and just where you can find them. 

* Clay mats. I mentioned The Clay Lady and her clay mats. I seriously have had mine FOR YEARS. They are worth the cost of $2 each. 

* Toothbrushes and doggie bowls. Seriously, what would we art teachers do without places like The Dollar Tree?! Toothbrushes are perfect for teaching scoring and doggie bowls are awesome for holding slip while preventing spills. 

* Texture! A visit to your thrift store will provide you with a good stockpile of texture for your clay adventures. Placemats, cable knit sweaters, burlap, stamps, you name it. If it has a texture, your clay will capture it.

* Skewer sticks. Perfect for cutting, drawing and carving into clay.
Something I failed to mention: what to do with those projects that kids work on for more than one class? To store these effectively, I have a stockpile of old and large zip lock baggies. The kids write their names on the bags in Sharpie, wrap their project in a damp paper towel and place gently inside the back. I tell the kids not to zip their bags shut as that usually traps air inside. Instead, I tell them to push the air out and tuck the opening of the bag under their project. This will keep their clay workable for about a week. 

If you would like to continue this clay chat, you are in luck. All throughout the month of May, I'll be hosting clay chats (and craft nights, so come armed with clay!) right here, every Wednesday at 8pm CST. You can work with any ole clay you like...however, I'll be using the clays made available in this kit which you can purchase here. For more info on what we'll be up to, check here

And now, I thought I'd share with you some of my fave clay projects over the years (many with video links!) for you to take back to your own Art Teacherin' Town. LOOOOOVE to hear your fave clay projects and words of wisdom. Please feel free to leave in el commentos below. 
This clay project was one that I did with my second graders FOR YEARS. They love it, it's a great way to introduce texture, slab, coil and glaze. It's also a quickie and with my short art classes, it worked very well. 
This was a fun project my third graders did one year. If you've taught clay before, then you've probably done the coils-in-a-styrofoam-bowl project (I know I have!) a different spin on that is having the kids use slabs of clay to create flowers. We had a spring theme one art show and these fit in beautifully. 
I almost always do a clay project that emphasizes texture with my kindergarteners. I'll share all of those projects...but this one is always a fave: texture butterflies
This is another kindergarten clay project with an emphasis on texture. This project is also shared in my clay book...but with homemade clay! 
These clay fish by my first graders always crack me up! They had so much fun creating the silly expressions on these a couple years ago. If every glaze is not an option, here is a fun alternative: florescent oil pastels and watered down black paint! 
Inspired by the painted elephants in India, my fourth graders created these fun guys one year. 
Funky frogs were created by my fourth graders one year. They had so much personality! This was a project we worked on over the course of a couple of art classes...which really allowed the kids to get creative. 
One year, to go along with our Asian theme, my fourth graders created these fun pandas. Each had their own wild and wacky personaltiy. 
To go along with that theme of Asia, my third grade kiddos created these Chinese dragons which they had a great time doing.
So I might have a thing for animals and clay...what do you think? My kindergarten and first graders created these pinch pot pets a couple of years back when our art show theme was to raise money for a local animal shelter. And, what do you know, animals are our theme again this year! 
That year, my second graders created this version of pinch pot pets: two pinch pots put together to create the body of their animal. 
And my fourth graders created these! Definitely a favorite by both me and the kiddos. 
Yet another spin on pinch pots and animals: using the pinch pot as a container. Our school mascot is the tiger and this particular year, second graders created tiger pinch pot containers
 Now last year, I decided to go for a food theme and create the art room into a 1950's style diner. These projects were not shared in detail like my others because...I was in the middle of writing my clay book and these projects are all featured in that book! The book is written to be used with no kiln fire clay...but, as you can see, you can use kiln fire clay as well. You can scoop up your book here
 My first graders served up these coffee and donut delights. 
 Second grade backed up cupcakes. Y'all better believe the retro lover in my totally enjoyed decorating for this art show!
 Third graders made hamburgers and fries...complete with all the fixin's. 
While others made pancake containers with hand painted paper plates. 
A kid and crowd favorite were the pie containers. The kids had so much fun googling pies and sculpting their favorite. 
While other classes did pizza containers. I reached out to a local pizza place for the boxes to display the pizza in. 
This year, we are back at it with an animal theme! We are transforming the art room into a pet shop. Third grade is in charge of the reptiles
Fourth grade had a blast creating these bobble head pets
But a crowd favorite so far are these fun and funky birds by second grade. They crack me up! 

Many more clay projects are coming up so stay tuned. However, if you just can't wait, you can see a handful of clay projects that have not been shared here but are on my YouTube channel. I always upload there first...so if you'd like to stay up to date, you might consider hitting subscribe. 
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png

Read more »

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

In the Art Room: Box of Chocolates UPDATE!

Join us tonight right here at 8pm CST on Wednesday to chat about BURNOUT. We've all been there. Let's share our stories and talk about ways of lifting ourselves out of burnout and getting the fire back into our art teacherin'. See you real soon!

Hey, y'all! Just thought I'd do a wee update on this incredibly fun project my students just wrapped up. They learned all about contemporary artist Peter Anton, created a heart-shaped box armature, covered it in papier mache and made fun plaster-cast chocolates. We are finishing them off this week and I thought I'd share. 
Here's the lesson video I shared with my students. This project took us about three one-hour art classes. 
 Supplies:

* Tag board for heart: one 8" square
* Tag board for sides of heart: 1" X 24" 
* Stapler
* Tape
* Newspaper cut into strips on the paper cutter
* Papier mache paste. We used wheat paste after checking for gluten allergies.
* Paint for the heart
* Plaster. We used Art Plaster by Activa Products
* Containers to make the "chocolate". We used ice cube trays and egg cartons
* PUFFY PAINT!
 Day One: We made the armature. We were in the middle of wrapping up another project so we did the armature in one class and early finishers completed their previous project.
 Day Two: We did our papier mache! It was good messy fun. Then we did an insanely fun clean up...
I hosed the tables down with shaving cream and let the kids spread it out and draw and play in it for a good five minutes. Then we had a Clean Up Game. Here's how it worked: I placed a tub of water and sponges on each table. I told the kids that WITHOUT TALKING, they were to wipe down their tables and get their table the cleanest in the room. I even provided old hotel key cards for the kids to scrape off the glue. You have never seen kids work so hard! If you go here, and scroll down a pinch, you can catch a couple short clips of my kids in action. 
Day Three: We picked out three to four plaster cast chocolates and painted them in a couple different shades of brown. While those dried, we painted our heart-shaped boxes. With about 10 minutes left of class, I busted out the puffy paint...and the crowd went wild! The boxes will be sealed with sparkle puffy paint before being placed on display.

This project was definitely a kid fave. Love to hear if you've given this lesson a go in your art room! 
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png
Read more »

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

In the Art Room: Third Grade Faux Box of Chocolates!


I have to share with y'all this faux box of chocolates project my third graders are working on...they are so excited! So far, we've chatted about our artist inspiration, Peter Anton, created an armature for our box of chocolates and used newspaper and wheat paste to papier mache our box. Next up, we are using our plaster cast forms to create candy! The above is my example...
 And this would be Peter Anton's! Don't you love it? He's an American sculptor who is often referred to as Candy Warhol. He's created many sweet and savory sculptures but at this time of year, I'm partial to the heart shaped box of chocolates. Here's the lesson video:
Here are the supplies we used:

* Tag board cut into 1" X 24" 
* Tag board cut into an 8" square
* Tape
* Newspaper
* Papier mache paste
* Plaster
* Paint
* PUFFY PAINT!

If you've never used papier mache with kiddos before, just a few things: 

* Check for allergies. I used wheat paste but made sure that we didn't have any gluten allergies before doing so.

* Sensitivity issues. Several of my students have sensitivity issues. Meaning, they don't like the texture of papier mache. For those kids, I had buddies who finished early offer them a hand. 

* This stuff is MESSY. In the best possible way, says me. However, we did a very successful clean-up party after the fact that the kids loved. When most kids were finished with papier mache, I explained to them that if they were standing quietly behind their pushed in chair, I would squirt shaving cream on their table. I gave them five minutes to go bananas, be loud, have fun and draw in the cream. When the five was up, I announced that we would be having a CLEAN UP CONTEST. I placed tubs of water and sponges on each table. My rules were there was to be NO TALKING...only cleaning. The kids were to squeeze their sponges over the tub of water and use it to wipe down the table. I also provided old hotel key cards for the kids to scrape glue off the tables. You can see my kids in action over on Instagram (I'm @cassie_stephenz). Not even gonna lie, they totally rocked clean up! The best tables got the grand prize of lining up first. 
I'll be sure to share an updated blog post when the kids have completed their boxes and candy. My early finishers will not only write about what they've learned but give their candy company a name, make a list of ingredients and design the lid of their box. I can't wait to see what they come up with!
Until then, Ima go eat me some chocolates, y'all! 
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png
Read more »

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 ;)
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png
Read more »