Student Teacher Blog

Visualizing Steps

posted on May 8, 2018 in Spring 2018, Student Teacher Blog

A bulletin board I made to help keep students on task when it came to completing assignments. There were a lot of steps for this particular project, so having it visually planned out helped.

Large Scale Drawing

posted on May 8, 2018 in Spring 2018, Student Teacher Blog

The students will tackle the beast of drawing large by producing a larger than life 6 foot drawing which incorporates foreshortening, high contrast values, and a self portait covering at least 3/4 of the page. This artistic problem is free and open as well. A balance of abstraction and realism is pushed with this assignment. Initially the students will be required to sketch out the basis of their drawing with an extended 36 inch art wand to minimize observational distortion. This also allows the students to draw with their body rather than their fingers which is essential in the making of large scale artwork.

Gridded Collages

posted on May 8, 2018 in Spring 2018, Student Teacher Blog

The students were  told to bring in 30 objects which they enjoy and dislike. They
will create a collage of the items. I will then photograph their gridded collages. After covering their photo with a custom organic or geometric design, they will use observational tools to draw the image onto a final piece of paper containing a traced line drawing of their custom stencil.

Mixed Media Fishtanks

posted on May 8, 2018 in Spring 2018, Student Teacher Blog

The students created fish tanks using different mediums to talk about what they were making. For example, watercolors were used to paint the water, and oil pastels were used to draw plants. Pictures of water animals, as well as environments were shown to inspire them.

Student got distracted and wanted to go to free time so she just wrote “I wil pat the rest” at the top instead of making it purple.

Narrative Ceramic Vessels

posted on May 8, 2018 in Spring 2018, Student Teacher Blog


This was the first project I started teaching at my middle school. I started with a large presentation about ancient vessels from Greece, China, Egypt and Pre-Colombian Peru. We discussed form and design and how you could use those things on the surface of an object like a vessel to tell a story/narrative.


To make their vessels I taught the students coilbuilding. This was a really tricky technique to teach because the students couldnt comprehend the fact that they weren’t supposed to pinch and stretch the clay. Many student got the hang of it overtime but several could never get enough height to theirs so the shape/function of their vessel changed from their original plans. Many students ended up making bowls. Many others however managed to come up with some really interesting shapes. 

Adding Narrative

After their forms were built, the students used slabs to make their imagery that would tell their vessel’s narrative. Students cut their shapes out of slabs and slipped and scored them onto the surface of their vessels as well as the interior. After adding slabs, the students used carving techniques with other clay tool to add details and embellishments.


Lastly, the students glazed their vessels after the first firing. The students were extremely excited for this process. They started by covering their large areas and interiors with glaze first and glazed details/images after. Students needed quite a bit of redirection to make sure they used thick enough coats of glaze and that they covered every spot, not leaving any white spaces.

Artist Research Ideas

posted on May 8, 2018 in Spring 2018, Student Teacher Blog

I wanted to do an artist research project with my high schoolers, but I wanted to make it more interesting for both me and them. Research is a word that high schoolers hear all the time and groan loudly about, and I wanted this situation to be different.


I think artist research is incredibly important, especially for young artists developing their style and techniques. Since I was teaching a Craft class, I decided to have them research contemporary Craft artists. I find that Craft is often forgotten about in the public-school system, and even when it is included there doesn’t seem to be a lot of talk about the artists working in the field. I think its crucial that these Crafts 3 students know about artists who are working in the same materials they are learning.


I compiled a list (attached here) of 45 contemporary Craft artists that ranged in all five Craft mediums. I let students choose the artist they wanted to work with and had them fill out some information about them in a little booklet. Once they finished their research, I wanted an “art object” to be the visual representation of this research. I decided to have them design and create 3D paper shoes that were inspired by the work of the Craft artist they chose.

I bounced around a lot of ideas for a “product” that could come from the artist research.

Here are a few:

-Paper shoe design

-Paper dolls with 1 casual, 1 formal, and 1 athletic outfit

-Room diorama with décor inspired by the artist

-Matchbox book

-Sculptural Hats

-Pop-up Books

Craft Artists

Mug Aesthetics

posted on May 8, 2018 in Spring 2018, Student Teacher Blog

When you are working in the realm of functional art, you have more to think about than just visual aesthetic. You have to consider the user instead of just the viewer.

My Crafts 3 class was starting a wheel-thrown mug unit. Before they started throwing, I thought it would be nice for them to interact with some handmade mugs. I brought in 14 handmade mugs, varying greatly, and let them explore them. After we talked about them as a class, I pulled out a sheet of eight categories that they would rank each mug in (Mug Aesthetics).

The categories were separated into visual aesthetics and ergonomics. We talked about how the different mugs looked, which ones were interesting and cool, which forms were nice to look at, how the handles looked, etc. We also looked at and discussed ergonomics. Was the handle comfortable to hold? Was the mug too heavy? Did the lip look user friendly?

We ranked the mugs and then took the averages of each mug in each category. We then looked at mugs that scored very high and had a discussion about why. Students used this information to make decisions about the mugs they were throwing.

Reuse and Recycle- Glass

posted on May 8, 2018 in Spring 2018, Student Teacher Blog

Ms. Agnew did a big Stained Glass unit with her Crafts 2 classes last school year. They all created patterns and cut and ground the glass pieces to fit the pattern, then soldered them into stained glass pictures. This project created A LOT of glass scraps. She had 6 bins of scrap glass in her glass cabinet!

I wanted to do a stained glass project with Crafts 3, and decided to do something with all of the scrap pieces instead of having students cut up new glass. Since these students all did 2D stained glass last year, I thought a 3d glass sculpture could be interesting.

I pulled out all of the scrap bins and let the students create these magnificent 3D stained glass sculptures out of the scraps left over from last year. It was a great way to use up old materials, and the learning process was AMAZING!

Recycled Material Quilts

posted on May 8, 2018 in Spring 2018, Student Teacher Blog

For both of my placements I have created quilts. The materials I used for secondary are different but encouraged the same teamwork that a collaborative quilt calls for. With this project I brought it a ton of things that were going to get thrown away like magazines, outdated cookbooks, and old posters. I also had the help of the National Gallery of Art, who provided me with these quilt templates they had used for a quilting project. These came with pre-cut construction paper squares made to fit the tiles on the paper perfectly. Having this helped the kids a lot because they could use these squares as stencils to cut out the perfect square from magazines for their quilts. This project had them practice self control and focusing because there were bins all around the room that they could rummage through. It is a great project to talk about recycling, repurposing, collaboration, theme (in color, visuals, etc), and craftsmanship. towards the end the students wanted to make one huge class quilt. So I figured out a way they could be nicely tied together to create on giant quilt out of many mini quilts


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