Student Teacher Blog
I taught a one day lesson to students in Art History and World Culture this week. In the beginning of the year, my cooperating teacher asked her students if there were any art forms or techniques they were interested in learning. Quilling was one of the requested forms of art. I thought this would be a great one day lesson and give them a break from studying for midterms.
Quilling is the process of using strips of paper that are rolled, shaped and glued together to create decorative designs. After sharing the evolution of this medium, I demonstrated the process of making a basic coil shape. A tightly wound coil is the starting point for many other types of decorative designs.
Students were given a handout walking them through various coils. After practicing two or three coils and understanding how the material works, I explained what we were going to make with them. After the glue on the coils had dried (the end of the strip needs to be glued down so the coil does not unravel), I showed students the artist Yulia Brodskaya, an artist best known for her paper illustrations.
Inspired by Yulia Brodskaya’s work, the class then created a collaborative collage of all the small coils they worked on. As the coils dried, they were invited to thoughtfully glue the designs together to create a composition.
Examples of Yulia Brodskaya’s work:
After the students had created a few coils and were comfortable with the process, I introduced this artist. I showed many examples of her work and encouraged the students to look at the detail in which she manipulates her paper. She does use coils, but sometimes she manipulates the paper in ways besides coiling. I encouraged students to think of new ways to explore creating shapes and filling space with the strips of paper. They worked collaboratively to create a composition. One student wanted to create a sketch as a starting point, however, I explained that they needed to work as a group and if one person made a sketch, everyone would be building on that one person’s idea. The students had one class period to complete this project.
Photo 2 students at Atlee High School were introduced to artist and VCU Photo professor, Shannon Castleman. The class consists of juniors and seniors considering a post-secondary education. Shannon Castleman was able to discuss using her work as a platform for this discussion.
Shannon Castleman received her BFA at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and her MFA at San Francisco Art Institute. This allowed her to travel abroad teaching photography courses in places such as Saudi Arabia and Singapore. Her work explores issues dependent on the specific region she lives in, bringing to light societal issues such as homelessness and encouraging community engagement abroad.
She explained to students that the difference between photographers and fine art photographers is the conceptual backing to the project, assignment, or shoot. “There should be a question that you try to answer through the work.” You present your question and findings to the audience, but allow them to decipher the answer for themselves.
After her artist lecture, there was time for the students to ask questions about college, jobs, and grants within the arts. She unraveled tips for researching schools ranging from private to public, city to rural and also being aware of the professors teaching (getting a sense the work coming out of that school).
Freshman in the Art Foundation class have been working on drawing what they see instead of what they know. We have been doing different activities each lesson to reinforce observational drawing by studying different subjects and working with various media to keep the lessons engaging.
The students have been studying Edgar Degas, especially looking at his ballerina works. We thought it would be fun to mirror the ballerina idea in a lesson! Moving away from contour line, we have started discussing gesture drawings in class. Working with graphite crayons (which are water soluble) students observed and drew gesture drawings. Their live model was…me! I put on a tutu and posed in various ballerina or dance positions to recapture Degas’ style and subject. Students created three gesture drawings from three different seats in the room. They were frustrated and uncomfortable with the new concept and I don’t think any of the students were enjoying what they were making.
With some time left in class, we put out various colors of watered down liquid watercolor. The students were able to use one or two colors to emphasize line or shape in their gesture drawings. They started with the drawing they thought was the worst of their three and began to add color. Because the crayon was water soluble, when mixed with water, the crayon acts as paint. The students were easily able to blend both the crayon and the watercolors to create color, highlights and shadows. It was amazing to see the transformations. They not only looked beautiful but the students were enjoying it!!
Art 2 students at Atlee High School are being introduced to acrylic painting by drawing inspiration from artist, Dana Schutz:
Dana Schutz is a contemporary artist that uses cubism, comical narrative and the absurdity in her works.
Students created narrative collages focusing on a main character in the foreground, physical distortion, and a background using perspective. To get them started, they focused on one warm and cool color for their main color scheme.
As they finished, we dissected the collage into basic shapes to transfer onto our canvases using pencil, then applied a light wash of our selected colors.
Collages were created to help guide students with concepts such as composition, thoughtfully constructed narrative and as a source for investigating various tints and shades as we moved further into our paintings.
As students moved on past their initial washes, we learned how to create our individual tints and shades by recording the necessary color mixture for our paintings.
Students were then introduced to proper blending methods using highlights, mid tones, and shadows.
As students are nearing the completion of this assignment, they will write a narrative about the main subject in their paintings:
Post by Ms. Williams
Students began the stained glass project by selecting pieces of colored glass. Moravian Stars are made from 12 identically sized triangles of glass. The glass started in varied sizes, so students were forced to cut the glass down using a template. Cutting glass is tricky. Once you begin to score the glass with a glass cutter, you must cut all the way across without stopping.
In class we discussed transparent, translucent and opaque glass, I also introduced the artist, Louis Comfort Tiffany and his glass studio.
Below are 12 cut piece of glass.
The next step of the star-making process is grinding the glass. The classroom is equipped with 5 electric grinders. The grinder smoothes the edges of the glass and allows the sticky copper foil to make a better seal around the edges.
The sponge is in place to catch the small shards of glass and dust from flying into the air.
The glass below has been ground, washed and dried and the copper foil is ready to be applied. The foil is wrapped around each edge of the glass creating a frame, this is what the solder sticks to.
Below is a soldering iron! Before the solder can be applied, the glass and foil must be brushed with Flux. Flux is the dark red oily substance pictured below; it allows the solder to stick to the foil.
Below, soldered pieces are laid out to be pinned. Pinning is when you apply a drop of solder to keep pieces in place.
Once the pieces are cut, ground, foiled, fluxed and soldered, it’s quite quick to assemble the star. Below is a complete Moravian star! Students have been cutting, grinding and foiling their pieces, next week they begin to solder and assemble.
Photography 2 students at Midlothian High School have completed their still life project. Over the past 7 weeks students have been brainstorming, experimenting, shooting and printing their still life photos based on 6-word stories. As the final portion of their project students conducted a student led critique of their work, focusing on composition elements, object choice, lighting and symbolism. After giving individual feedback in written form students votes on which 5-6 pieces they wanted to talk about as a group. Their pieces evoke stories about loss, determination, peace, childhood and what it means to be female. Students practiced reading artwork and having their artwork read. Students ended their critique with a on discussed how making and viewing art, work symbiotically creating the holistic ART experience.
7th-grade students have been practicing their drawing skills by learning how to draw faces with emotion. We looked at artists that show emotion through explicit and extreme facial expressions, as well as artists that still express emotion with their face covered. Students are working on drawings that emphasize facial expressions that show extreme emotion by changing the shape of the eyes, nose eyebrows, and mouth. Students have discovered that every part of the face changes when we smile, frown, or scream and they must reflect that in their drawings.
We will be printing these drawings using an intaglio printmaking technique called drypoint or etching. Students will begin etching into plastic sheets using thumb tacks to scratch the surface. They will then use aqua color crayons to press their ink into the scratch marks, burnish it with a spoon and print them on a damp piece of paper.
Students rubbing off the aquacolor crayons and burnishing their prints with a wooden spoon.
Practice drawings, students trying to get the proportions of their faces correct.
Finished student prints!
They printed their image multiple times and worked in a trial and error method until they got a print that came out clear.
At Atlee High School, Photo 1 students are now being introduced to depth of field, shooting properly exposed film, developing negatives, and enlarging prints in the darkroom. A large part of this assignment is independent shooting outside of school in order to proceed to the next step in the assignment.
Students were given 1-2 weeks to shoot film for this assignment before bringing it into class to develop. They would spend class time developing film and working with the negatives they shot. Some students were not able to meet those deadlines, so in order to receive participation points I created worksheets that were relevant to the information taught in class.
I managed to create a month worth of worksheets for students who were falling behind, needed to catch up or were having difficulty with a certain aspect of the assignment. As much as I was having fun making the assignments, the regular “alternate assignment students” were not learning the hands on process of photography.
I tried to mix it up by presenting worksheets, artist research, online depth of field simulator games, drawing, and having students make darkroom tools.
Art 2 has been learning about the difference between VISUAL texture and ACTUAL texture. After talking about various examples of visual and actual texture in art, students completed a sketchbook assignment in which they glued actual textures in their sketchbooks and drew them visually on the opposite page. Next, we talked about printmaking, with a focus on collagraph printmaking. We discussed the importance of the invention of the printing press. I showed them examples of collagraphs, including some by Glen Alps, the artist who popularized this type of printmaking. We talked about how printmaking involves making an impression onto paper with a printing plate. Therefore, the prompt for the assignment was IMPRESSION! Students were asked to come up with an image based on a person/place/experience that has made some sort of impression on their lives and shaped who they are. We did a couple of brainstorming activities and then the students made sketches. While they worked on sketches, I demonstrated a couple of different ways to build a collagraph plate, including building up, cutting away negative space, using modeling paste, and layering from bottom to top.
A student building up her plate.
Once the students were ready to start building their plates, they were able to search through bags of fabric, textured wallpaper, cardboard, yarn, and other materials. Their plates have a variety of actual textures and are all meaningful interpretations of the theme, “Impressions.”
This student (above) used a linen-like fabric, denim, and textured wallpaper.
This student (above) used cut manila folder.
This student (above) used textured wallpaper, elmers glue, and layers of cut thin cardboard.
This student used leather and cut cardboard.
This student used textured wallpaper, manila folder, and thin foam.
After the students created their collagraph plates and coated them with a gloss varnish, I demonstrated how to ink and print a plate. Throughout the next week, the students each got an opportunity to print their plates.
The final prints turned out beautifully! I was a printmaking major in college, so I loved the opportunity to share the joy of printmaking. They clearly loved the process and seeing how their prints turned out. Their artist statements were extremely thoughtful and meaningful.