Wednesday, May 6, 2015

In the Art Room: First Grade Slab Fish and Under the Sea Sculptures

If you've been a-thinkin' that there's something fishy about this here blog post, you are correct, friend! My first grade friends just finished off these hilariously expressive fish and I just can't stop lookin' -n- laughin' at 'em. They have just as much silliness as the wee artists that created them. This was a fun 30 minute art class project that I know your kids would love to do so I just had to share it with y'all!
To start, every kid was given a grapefruit-ish sized piece of clay. I use cone 06 clay and I love it. I had a little selection of doilies, burlap an textured fabrics on each table for the kids to use as the "scales" of their fishy friend. 
The clay was then annihilated by the pounding fists of the first grade set. Our rule is pound it as flat as a cookie but no more. I also chat with them about how the clay should be level like a plain. There should be no peaks or valleys. Once it's smooth-ish, they peal it away from the fabric to reveal the texture underneath...
 Which always gets a multitude of Oooooh's and AAAAaaaah's. 
Once the fabric is pealed away, the clay is then cut into a circle shape. I had coffee lids for the kids to trace.
The excess clay trimmed off was then used for the whites of the fishes eyes. Two spheres were rolled and then flattened for this part. 

 In my art room, we use the terms "slip and score" but an old ratty toothbrush is used for the job of scoring. 
 Boom, two eyes. 
Smaller spheres for the pupils. AND just in case any of the clay is too thick, we used the back of our skewer stick to poke two pupils in the iris. 
 For the mouth, we rolled a coil.
 With both the eyes and mouth, we talked about expression. So, your fish could be surprised...
 Or fishy-mouthed...
 Or happy with a touch of possible constipation. It's up to you!
Next up, we pounded another piece of clay flat onto a texture. I love how this photo looks like my fish is eyeballing the clay as if it were a cookie. 
 Cut in half...
Now use one piece as the tail and the other as the fin!
Cut out a section for the top fin and, viola! Fishy is finished!
Once out of the kiln, these lil guys were given color with bright oil pastels. Then they were dipped into a bath of watery ink (although watery tempera would work as well)...
 And, ta-da! Seriously, aren't these little guys a total crack up?!
Since the kids didn't exactly experience sculpting with this slab clay project, I thought I'd introduce them to this art form another way. I picked up some pink insulation foam from the local hardware store that I scored and broke into pieces. 
This project was a great review of abstract, line names and sculpture. Each child had so much fun with their creation and I loved how fun and funky each turned out.
Each compliments it's fish so nicely. This is definitely a project I'll be doing again. Hope you will give it a go as well. Smell y'all later! 

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Sunday, May 3, 2015

What the Art Teacher Wore #139

 Closing in on May Monday: I just cannot believe it. How can the end of my school year almost be here? We get out at the end of the month and I'm in tooootal denial as my kids still have so much to do! dress: vintage, Buffalo Exchange; belt and tights: Target; boots: old, Seychelles; necklace: Anthropologie

Y'all. I've been living in total denial. About many things (my hoarding problem; my issues with not-wanting-to-behave-like-a-responsible-grown-up; my strong addiction to dark chocolate...first thing in the morning). But most importantly, I've had my head in the sand over the fact that the end of the school year is so stinkin' near. And while I know many celebrate such (look, I love my summer daze, don't get me wrong), it inspires nothing but pure white hot panic in me. I get all, OMGaaah, we have so much left to do! HOLY COWZZZ, I had so much more I wanted to edumacate! And, biggest panic of all, GOLLY GEE, this means the art show is creepin' up on me like a kindergartener with a palm full of paint about to plant it on my behind (um, it's happened people. Like, more than once). Deep breaths. It's a-gonna be okay. Me thinks.

I hope to be back with you later this week with a DIY. Although, right meow, it'z lookin' like a hot mess. In which case all y'all will get a double dose of some art room goodness. Regardless, I hope to see ya soon! Have a fab week, kids!
 Having the opportunity to write for Nashville Arts has been one of the coolest things that has happened this school year. I love that I've had the chance to participate in cool opportunities (recording studio, anyone?!) and write about it, all thanks to Nashville Arts. In this month's issue, I wrote about my students chalking experience. You can catch a glimpse of the complete article here.
Doncha Donut Tuesday: I wish everyday was donut day. The kids did as well. They had as much fun with this project as I did making the hat! sweater: ebay; dress: vintage; belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing; tights: Target; shoes: thrifted; hat: DIY here
 "Look, I made Homer Simpson's donut!" That you did, girl. Complete lesson here, y'all.
 Bring on the Spring Wednesday: I'm so ready for it, y'all. Sadly, my yard is beyond ready for it. I spent countless hours just working on the front yard alone this weekend. I do love it to a certain extent. Although, I gotta admit, there are about twenty things I rather be doing. Like not pulling One Million Weeds for starts. dress: vintage; neon fishnets: free!; shoes: Clarks
 Holy moly, could these kindergarten self-portraits be any happier? Or cuter? Or wide-eyed and toothless?! I love 'em so.
 Stripe-y Spring Thursday: I have decided to bust out my spring dresses for this mild weather. I can only wear these spring color'd and long sleeve'd bad boys during these mild spring days. Pretty soon it's gonna hit 90's and never back down until November so I've got a small window to wear these lovelies. dress: vintage, Buffalo Exchange; shoes: Jeffery Campbell
Oh! So speaking of ceiling tiles, just one of my third and fourth grade classes had the chance to chalk ceiling tiles as well. The day of the chalking event, I still had my afternoon classes so for my sanity's sake, they worked in chalk as well. Since I have them for a shorter class period, these are progressing a little slower. I can't wait to see them complete as they are going to be installed in my art room!
 Me Made May Friday!: So, I'm super stoked because I've never, like neverrrr, been able to participate in #MeMadeMay. For those of y'all not in the know, it's this thingie where you wear something you've created for the entire month of May. I've never been able to participate because I never had enough me-mades...until now. So, for the rest of the month (and the next four-ish What the Art Teacher Wores), you'll be seeing me in my own creations. Like this here number...dress: DIY blog post here; sweater: thrifted; crinoline: Amazon; flats: NOLA 
Speaking of MeMadeMay, here are some me-mades I started this weekend! If you follow me on instagrams, you've already seen these works-in-progress. After seeing a million dollar vintage dress on etsy that had a lovely play on stripes, I decided to try my hand at that number on the left. I'm totally winging it which will prolly be the dress's demise. As for the number on the right, I'm using a vintage pattern. Both have a long, stitching road ahead of 'em so I don't think they'll be making another appearance here for a wee while. 
 Me-made Saturday! I thought I'd share with you one of my fave dresses that I just can't wear to schoolin'. The "hot as hell" sauce that's printed on the fabric makes it a lil NC17-ish. But I had to share it with you in this me-made month! Sadly, I was in nothing but hiking/gardening clothes all day today so no me-made post for ya'll. Try not to act too fake-disappointed. Until later this week, I hope it's a good one, kids!
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Thursday, April 30, 2015

In the Art Room: Time to Make the Donuts

So if you've recently smelled the delish scent of donuts (or heard the crazed chatter of sugar'ed up chil-rens), then there's a good chance you've been hangin' out in my neck o' the "with sprinkles, please" woods. 
This week, my fourth grade artists were introduced to Wayne Thiebald, Peter Anton and Lucy Sparrow (all artists with work that is sweet-tooth provoking) via this wee prezi I created. Feel free to use and edit (you just might wanna remove that pic of me in my donut hat!). My kids thought this was just about the best thing everrr so I thought I'd share the deets of this fun -n- fast lesson with y'all here!
After an intro to Mr. Thiebald and friends, I showed off my hat created this past weekend. The kids were all, "wait, YOU took an art class?! Why didn't you TEACH the art class?!" It was a fun chat about how even as a wanna-be grown up, I still have lots o' learning' to do. 
Y'all don't even know how obsessed I currently am with creating hats. Itz 'bout to get all kinda hat-making cray on this here blog, fyi-ness. 
So for this here lesson, you're gonna need the following:

* Donuts (not necessary but super fun and a GREAT motivator! I chatted with my school nurse about allergies beforehand, of course. Also, call the donut joints ahead of time, they will prolly give you a good discount if they know what you're up to!)
* 8" X 10" white paper. I've started trimming an inch off my paper before giving it to the kids. This way, I can easily frame it by just cutting my construction paper in half.
* 9" X 6" white paper for the donut. 
* Oil pastels.
* Tempra paint.
* Texture combs. 
* Doilies or paper plates.
* Puffy paint. 
This project took us two, one hour art classes. For me, that's a fast project. Which should really be a clue to me that my art projects take too long. I'm working on it!
By the way, I love puffy paint. Almost as much as the kids. They used puffy paint earlier in the year for this fun project
1. On their 8" X 10" paper which was folded in half lengthwise, the kids used "naked" oil pastels (paperless, people) on their sides (aka, sleeping-style) and created two different patterns: one for their background and one for the surface or table for the donut to sit upon.
2. On the smaller paper, the kids used oil pastels again coloring at random.

** NOTE: In my art room, when I have a lot of directions to give, I present the directions in bite-sizes. For example, I have them those directions and set my timer for 7 minutes. This gave them enough time to "go shopping" for their supplies, write their names on their papers and complete steps one and two. When my timer goes off, the kids know, finished or not, they are to report to the floor to hear the next set of directions. 
3. The kids were told to go back to the store this time for a texture comb, a large paint brush and a messy mat. Once at their seats, they used whatever color they wanted for their "wall" and their "table". As soon as one section was painted, they immediately created texture with the texture comb.

**I LOVE my texture combs. We use 'em all the time and the kids find them fascinating. I purchased this set a million years ago from one of the art supply catalogs. I used to make my own outta cardboard but those break down after while. These have lasted me for years. 
4. The last step for the first day: paint a donut. We chatted about point of view and foreshortening for this portion. They simply painted an oval, painted a smaller oval hear the top of the donut and filled it in. Because these kids just finished a big fat color-mixing unit, they knew how to mix a good color for a donut. Once the donut was painted, they used the back of their brush to draw the icing.
Once complete, we slid these puppies onto the drying rack and gathered for our donut dining session. And that was the end of our first day.
Now you'd think the kids wouldn't be as excited about the next day being that it was donut-less. But, I tell ya, you bust out the puffy paint and the kids get real excited, real fast. 
5. The kids cut out their donuts. Several wanted to have a colored icing so they mixed up tints of colors for that. Others were content with they way their donuts looked with the scraping method. Like this dude. Once the donuts were cut out, either a half a doily was glued to the table or a 1/3 of a paper plate. Those that used plates decorated them with paint.
6. The final step: El Puffy Paint-o! Twas the perfect thing for sprinkles and an outline. The kids were absolutely thrilled with their delish looking work. I can't wait to see them on display for our upcoming art show!

I hope your week has been as sweet as these yummies! Have a great one, y'all!
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