Student Teacher Blog
The unit for Ceramics 1 revolved around the handbuilding technique of pinching. Students were encouraged to address a prompt to come up with several habits that they observe within themselves and create a creature head around that habit. During the initial sketch discussion students shared many interesting ideas and habits such as procrastination, eating poorly or eating healthy. There was a mix of good and bad habits all around. Students were assessed on pinching technique with a number of samples to develop their skillset in pinching an even thickness in the walls of open and closed forms. Students then worked on forming their own ideas and habits with clay.
This was my first lesson with my secondary students and we really dove right in from the start. Applying plaster directly to each others faces is certainly a great way to build trust among your students! For this lesson we demonstrated applying plaster strips to make a face mask on my cooperating teacher Ms. Durrette and I along with each student in the class helped. Then students partnered up and applied plaster strips to each others faces to make their own molds. Students that did not want the plaster on their face were given the option of making a mold of their hand.Once the molds dried we poured ceramic slip into the face masks and hand molds and allowed them to firm up and harden to then be removed and bisque fired. This was a fun first unit with the secondary students that certainly pushed some to their (comfortable) limits.
Ceramics 2 worked on a self-portrait project. Mr. Brownell cited examples from Robert Arneson (sculptor and figure ceramacist), Duane Hanson (sculptor, hyper-realistic American post-modernism), Andrea Keys-Connell (local ceramacist, artist-as-story teller), Carren Clarke (ceramacist from Richmond, VA and work is about cultural identity), and Mac McClusker (transgender rights activist and professional ceramacist) to provide examples of artists and ceramicists that deal specifically with the figure. As a class we discussed how interpretive or representative a self-portrait is capable of being. Students shared about themselves and their ideas in a sketch discussion and got right to work on their own self-portraits. Observing the differences in each students work was amazing to watch in real time as some students chose to represent themselves by literally constructing how they look or use objects that appear entirely different from a human form.
Students looked at a variety of paper quilled works from Colonial book covers to the contemporary work of paper artist Yulia Brodskaya. Together we went through nine different quilling techniques and each student made a sampler that they could refer to when working on the final project. We talked about warm and cool colors then students traced the first letter of their first name on a piece of colored paper. Then they filled in the letter with coils of the opposite colors (cool paper, warm coils/ warm paper, cool coils).
Fifth grade began their lesson by watching a short video about the traditional Medieval papermaking process that is still used in by some paper mills. After learning the steps the students made their own paper with paper pulp made from blending together recycled paper and water. Once dried, the students experimented with different mediums on the paper and combined it with other materials, such as fabric or tissue paper, to make a collage inspired by nature.
In this lesson Kindergarten students learned about visual and tactile textures. They used the actual texture of leaves to create visual texture on their paper by creating a rubbing. Students then explored the wonders of the primary colors and how they mix as they painted with watercolor over their rubbings.
This unit introduced sixth grade students to printmaking. They researched the different printmaking techniques then created their own relief printing plate with foam and cardboard. Students made multiple prints before selecting their favorite and learning how to mat it. The second part of this unit was for each class also layered their prints on one large sheet of paper to create a collaborative print. They turned out wonderfully and the students really enjoyed the process. The final lesson was an Experimental Collage Print. Using the remainder of their relief prints along with markers, colored pencils, and scrap paper the students discovered how they could transform an ordinary print into a more expressive work of art.
Third grade students used bubble wrap to create pop art prints, simulating Ben-Day dots. They learned about Benjamin Day, and his method of using tiny dots to trick the eye into seeing a gradation of color. Artist Roy Lichtenstein served as our inspiration as he too simulated Ben-Day dots in his artwork. Students caught on quickly to the identifying features of pop art, including bold (often primary) colors and thick black lines. Students sponge painted onto the bubble wrap, and created prints from that to achieve the evenly spaced dots.
Students we’re asked to consider what they are grateful for this assignment, to celebrate the school’s initiate towards a positive attitude. They then used tissue paper, tinted glue and watercolor paints to create these stunning faux stained glass panels. This fifth grade project was quite challenging for this group, especially with the tissue paper being so delicate. The results were fantastic. I can definitely see the influence of some of the artist reference we talked about like Kehinde Wiley and Franklin Lloyd Wright n some of the pieces