Thursday, November 5, 2015

In-Progress Relief Sculpture Plates with 3rd Grade

These plates are turning out so great that I just couldn't wait until they were completely finished to post about them!  I was inspired by the awesome ceramic plate projects over at Fun Art 4 Kids, and adapted it to be more open ended.  The students were challenged to create a plate design of their choosing (lots picked Christmas themes because I told them these would be completed and ready to go home before break) that had both high and low areas.  They created two different design ideas on manila paper and chose the strongest one to sculpt.

To make the plates, I rolled slabs of clay on our slab roller and then the kids used Dixie paper dessert plates to use as a pattern to cut around.  Then they molded the cut-out circle onto their paper plate with a paper towel in between the plate and the clay.  From there I showed them how to attach clay and how to press down into it without poking all the way through.  I'm so proud of their different ideas and how well they are coming out!  I will post an update when they're finished!


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Dot Day with First and Second Grade!

Not familiar with Dot Day?  Learn about it here

For our Dot Day celebration, the second and first graders worked in groups of 3 or 4 and responded to the prompt: Make an artwork with dots.  They had lots of media choices and we just spent one classtime on this.  It was a really fun and quick project!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Suffield Art is on Instagram!

     We are off and running with our new school year!  Suffield Elementary Art is now on Instagram!  You can follow us:


   I will still be updating this blog from time to time with new lessons, but I will be sharing much more of our amazing art through Instagram.  Come find us!!!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Garden Markers

     In my Clay Kids group (students ranging from grades K-5) we just finished these sweet garden markers.  Each student started with a slab that I had rolled with our slab roller.  They then cut out their markers using clay tools and stencils made from manila paper.  Each student made at least 4, and a few of them were even able to get one or two more markers out of their slab.  They wrote the names of plants or herbs that their families plant, and then we decorated them mostly by using larger beads as stamps.  After we made them, I realized I didn't get any photos of the kids using the beads as stamps, but here is a photo of the type of bead we used!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

"What Does Your Hair Say About You?" Portraits

I love portraits!  I usually try to do at least one form of a portrait with each grade level each year.  Sometimes it doesn't completely work out for every grade level, but I try because I think they are wonderful snapshots of what the students were like in that moment.  These ones are really neat because they are so expressive.

We started with learning about the super neat artworks of Guiseppe Arcimboldo.  The kids were fascinated (I am too!!!!) by his portraits of people composed of many smaller objects.  In his work, the small objects always have a theme or are related to the concept of the piece in some way.  

These portraits started with classic facial proportioning guided drawing (I draw on the board, students draw on their papers).  When it was time to do the hair, the students answered the question: What does your hair say about you?  They drew all kinds of things and words in their hair and backgrounds.  I encouraged them to make artwork unlike any one else's.

They traced their pencil drawing with Sharpies, and then colored with a selection of watercolor crayons, watercolor pencils, and washable markers.  After they were done coloring with these mediums, they painted over their work with water.  This helped to get rid of white spaces and to maybe mix colors if the students wanted.  The only student that didn't paint with water made the portrait right below this paragraph.  He absolutely loves markers and didn't have any white spaces to fix in the end!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Portrait Weaving Inspired by Chuck Close

     The fourth graders just finished these cool portraits that we have worked on FOREVER!  We started them when the weather was bad and we missed a lot of school, and then we missed some classes because the kids had rehearsals for their spring program, and we have FINALLY finished!  I am proud of the kids' dedication to these artworks that took so long to make.

    We were inspired by the amazing paintings of Chuck Close and his awesome grid work.  To start, I took photos of the kids and then made them into posters on Picasa.  The kids glued the pieces of their photos to 18" x 24" paper, we folded them in half, and then drew lines every 2 inches apart.  The kids cut on the lines to create warps to weave through.
    They then wove 2" strips of paper through their portraits, and drew the missing parts of their faces.  From here, they traced with Sharpies, colored and made patterns in the background with crayons, and finished by painting with watercolors.  In the photos you can see that I also printed a smaller copy of each kid's portrait for them to use as reference.