Thursday, December 29, 2011

CD Printmaking

So I posted a while ago about learning to do printmaking on old CDs.  In November, I decided to experiment with my HS students after I tried it myself.
What a crazy mess!  I knew printmaking was messy with ink and papers and the printing press, but my room was a disaster!  Why?  Well I decided that it would be more productive if my students worked on 2 projects at a time, half doing one and the other half doing the other.  This would prevent students waiting around for the press, etc.  I decided to do a plaster project, which was also a mess and therefore for about 3 weeks my room was a disaster!  I don't think I will ever do that again!
Anyway back to the printmaking, I'll post about the plaster projects later...
I explained the concept of printmaking, hatching and crosshatching, and how the whole process would work.  I then allowed students to come up with their own idea for subject matter.  Many of my students didn't use crosshatching like I wanted them to, but they turned out ok.  We used push-pins to scratch the CD to make the design, which wasn't too difficult of a task but you have to work at it to get the lines kind of deep.  The deeper the lines, the easier it will print.  Several of my students complained about their hands hurting and the push-pins being too small but I had no other solution so I basically told them to suck it up!  It wasn't that bad and those few are my "dramatic" "complainer" few.
When it came to printing, I demonstrated several times to each group and helped them troubleshoot.  Some went back and re-scratched their lines while others seemed to do pretty well.  The prints seemed to be pretty inconsistent and the kids got frustrated easily.  But when I watched them do it and even did some of theirs myself, it seemed to work ok.  I had several students that just gave up on it all together which was pretty disappointing to me that they didn't have much energy to try.

This was definitely a project that needs some fine-tuning before I do it again.  The results were a variety and here are some of the better ones.

K-State Wildcat

Tiger/Dragon Yin Yang

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Clay Wonderings...

My high school students want to make large ceramic sculptures.  Have you done any large clay work before? 
I'm wondering about structure and weight issues in the firing process that may be problematic. 

Do you have any ideas to share?

Do you think making a sculpture in pieces and assembling it would be better?  What would you use to hold the pieces together?

I'm not sure if this can be done, but I definitely think it would be cool if it could be!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas/Holiday Happenings

So the countdown is on...2 more days until Christmas break!!!  That is if we don't get hit by this freak "blizzard" that's on its way.  Supposedly we are due for 6-10 inches by tomorrow night.  It has yet to snow; however it has rained heavily all day which we need.  Here in Kansas, I've learned to not really believe the forecast until I can see it with my own eyes.  Everyone is excited/predicting a snow day tomorrow, but I'm not holding my breath quite yet...we shall see!

Anyhow back to being productive in school...

I've thrown in some random holiday inspired projects and have a few photos to share:

My examples for ornaments that my 4th graders made
My example for 2 point perspective boxes/presents done by JH

Kindergarten Christmas "Palm" Trees - used their hands to create the tree/branches
and fingerprint ornaments - so much fun!

3rd grade - Fingerprint Christmas Lights - I saw this idea on Pinterest

My HS students had a few days to spare before semester finals, so I thought making clay ornaments would be fun!
The above photo is mine I made for a friend, below are just a few of the ones my students made.  We didn't
have time to glaze and fire again, so we painted them with acrylic.  They had so much fun making them!

My 4th graders did a group mural project that just went up in the hallway today and will stay until mid-January.
I love doing these and have never done it with a younger group of students but they had a blast!  It takes a little
prep work but the end result is always pretty cool!
There is an element of mystery/surprise for the students because I disclose a lot of information
as they color the squares and an added bonus of group/teamwork to put the "puzzle" together. 
Below are some closer detailed photos.

I also did penguin projects with Kindergarten, snowman snow globes and Christmas trees with 1st grade, and polar bears with 2nd grade.  I enjoy doing Holiday and Seasonal projects within the classroom.  The kids always seem to enjoy them!

Monday, December 5, 2011

HS Observation Drawings

Several weeks ago I was gone for 2 days to go home for my sister's wedding.  I've struggled with sub plans when I've been gone, so knowing in advance I would be away for 2 days in a row I tried to come up with something I knew would be successful!  And it worked!  Plus the sub I got is AMAZING with the kids!

One day of the days I was gone I had an observational drawing rotation set up and ready to go.  Basically all my sub had to do was to divide my students into groups and keep time.  I had directions written out for her but also for my students on a handout because they are used to my format and what I am looking for.  Plus they are in high school, so they can read and understand, right?...well most of the time ;)

I had 3 tables set up with different fruits/veggies.  The first 10 minutes, no matter where students were sitting, they drew in pencil focusing on contour lines/shapes.  The second 10 minute group students used charcoal focusing on line/shape and now considering value.  The third 10 minute group students used oil pastels to add in color while still focusing on line/shape.  Students had the rest of the class period which was probably about 5-7 minutes to go back and finish anything they needed.

I think forcing students to break items down into lines and shapes helps make them successful.  In some cases, limiting the time also helps so they aren't so focused on the drawing as a whole. 
I was very pleased with the outcome of these drawings, especially for only having 10 minutes to complete them.  Here are some results:

Red and Green Bell Peppers

Red onion and leftover "mini pumpkin" gourds I had left from Halloween projects at the elementary school.
Funny how all of my drawings submitted that had color had red onions that were red, not purple...didn't think they would choose red because I thought purple would be closer in color, but I guess they are technically called red onions :)

Lemon and Lime - I didn't take any photos of them in color for some reason
While in the produce section of the grocery store I considered color combos, creating a variety of shapes, textures, etc.  I think all students can easily identify with time I might consider things like a pie slice, doughnuts, cookies, etc.  I think that would be a fun idea!  Overall I thought this sub lesson was a great success!