Thursday, February 22, 2018

#Crush on the Medium Fibers

FIBERS!!! I can't wait to #Crush on Fibers!! It's one of my passions in my personal art. I would like to share some of the ways to use fibers in  your class, but also some of the ways I have shared my personal work using fibers in the past as well. 

This is a simple way to get wet felting into your classroom.  Trolls are so last year... but this project doesn't have to be.  I have three different ways to make trolls and one involve wet felting at on this post

These fiber sushi rolls were a blast for the kids to make! They used up a lot of scraps as well. The students then played games with the rolls such as picking up and passing them with chopsticks.

Sew-a-Softie was a fun blog post challenge that I took part in this summer. When I started thinking about these softies, I couldn't stop.  Instead of one post, I made two. Here are the posts for the Softie Owls and the post for the Softie Fish. There were many others who participated in the Sew a Softie event this summer... I have their post on this Padlet. You want inspiration... look here...

Made with Padlet

I love bringing in fibers to our Artist Trading Cards. Here is a lesson using plastic mesh and yarn.  It's a bit challenging for a whole class but perfect for choice work or small group. Click here for many images and directions on how to create this fiber landscape.

Here is another lesson for choice-based learning. This crafty project allows student so to develop their fine motor skills.  I have provided this to students as young as 1st-grade with success.  Click here for the Fiber Web Lesson and here to see the Crochet Chain self-pace lesson.  I also have a yarn braiding lesson here.

And then there is weaving... So many weaving lessons.  I adore weaving with paper but it is to get to the next level, weaving with fibers.  Click here to see multiple weaving lessons from the MiniMatisse Art Studio, including one lesson with instructional videos, images of students works, and tons of tips and tricks to have a successful loom weaving.

Admittedly, I'm a little behind in bringing fibers into my classroom being I ADORE fibers in my personal work.  Here is a post about how to 'stitch a memory', or make a triangle bag.  I love hand sewing and machine work as well.  Felting is a blast, especially dry felting. I love it all... and really like sharing the skill but find it challenging in a large group.

This year I'm proud of myself for braving a dream I have had for a long time.  I have always wanted to have students design and create their own recorder case for their 3/4/5 grade musical instrument.  I have invited several volunteers to come help me.  This has been a wonderful experience and I'm VERY excited to share it with you upon completion.  We are in the thick of it right now.

Monday, February 19, 2018

#Crush on the Medium Clay

Clay... Wow, this is a love/hate relationship with this Art Teacher.  Many of you know that I have developed an allergy to clay over the years. It is such a bummer because I have LOVED to work with clay in the past. When I was pregnant with my second child I started getting sick when working with clay. I would get cold-like symptoms and then a swollen face. This got worse and worse every year until I one day could not open my eyes because they were so swollen and when they were healing they started to crack and bleed... yep, it wasn't pretty.  

I have created with clay several years before the issues and I have had Artist in Residence and Art Teacher Swaps since so I'm excited to share some SOLID clay ideas in this post. 

I adore this bug project that I did back in the day. The kids loved it because it was created with their handprints and... get this... They created the texture with a shoe print. Yep, this is such a fun project here is this previous post

This next lesson I have done several times with kindergarteners. Each time I changed my practice just a little. I love this clay nest lesson and I love sharing it because it's often successful! Here is one post about this lesson that requires no/little finishing touches. This other past post has some finishing touches, like paint, but gives a very different look to the similar lesson.

Moving up to 1st grade...  After learning how to make a pinch pot in Kindergarten, this concept is brought to the next level with a 'Clay-D-Bug'. Students make a pinch pot and add a head.  Embellishments to this project have been wire, clay tiles, paint, and glaze.  Again this project is one that I have done several different ways. There is some GREAT videos tutorial teaching students about clay and creating a clay bug by Sue Davies. 

When finished we have done a couple of extensions such as 'clay bug terrarium'. I also have some ways to reflect on their artwork using Seesaw, click here.

Here is a more advanced pinch pot done by a student teacher, Amanda Loidolt. This was a sgraffito finishing and I thought these pots turned out amazing! Check out more examples here

Still, on the pinch pot theme, we did these adorable 'not so angry birds'. That is when Angry Birds were hot so it was fun to jump on the popular culture bandwagon at the time. My posts have definitely developed over the years but here are a couple more images in this previous post.

Here are two ways to bring the pinch pot to a new level! Talking Rocks are so much fun!! I have some great instructions on this previous post. Using a similar method, I have made these piggy banks with my personal kids.  They are treasures in our household. 


Here are some slab projects I have done in the past as well. Click here for the post for the pine cone relief project. Here is a short project post on the mosaic heart.  I really loved the sushi plates the 3rd graders did a couple of years ago. I have three posts about the sushi dishes; clay plates, fiber sushi rolls, and games we played with the rolls

I can't teach raw clay anymore, but I can do the finishing work with my class. I have a few ideas of how to finish clay with glaze alternatives in this post.  Take a look at some of these end results to pick out your next finishing technique might be. 

We are lucky to have a kiln in every school in our district.  I adore the medium and the kids to too... That is why I work so hard to give students the opportunity to work with clay at least once every year.  I'm excited to announce that this year we will be having Tracy Hare, a local Art Teacher come teach my students for a digital week this year. We call it clay week and you bet you will be hearing about it right here in the near future. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

#Crush on the Medium Chalk

I ADORE getting outside whenever the sun is out... for Minnesota... it's rare. We love the sun and the warmth because it's a precious commodity. Below is one of my favorite lessons we did outside. The kids LOVED it. It's where you mirror a partner and use your whole body to create. 

Another fun lesson for outside chalk enjoyment is this Kandinsky project. 

Super proud to be a Minnesota member when we have projects like Kindness in Chalk. Every fall there is a celebration worldwide for participating families and schools to write words of kindness on the sidewalks. Join us next October. 

When I'm working with chalk I often put a request out there for parents to donate to the classroom.  Here is an example of how I have proposed the need to the families of my school. (click here)

Chalk is a blast, but chalk paint is even better. If you have never played with chalk paint, as soon as it's nice outside, you HAVE to make some up.  Take a look at my favorite recipes from a previous post

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Art Ed Blogger Network- Artist that Inspire Us

I am so excited to announce my involvement with a new Art Education Blogging Group called Art Ed Blogger Network.  Each month we will be posting on a similar subject. I'm very excited about this post because it's going to allow me to celebrate the latest Artist soon to be in my #WelcomeWall

Images found on Amazon
Two years ago I made a commitment to myself to collect Artwork to display in my house. I wanted this art to be original pieces.  I have created a uniformed size and I common color of blue, but my goal is to collect many different kinds of Art to display in my home. I call it the #WelcomeWall and have posted a bit more about the project here.

I have a piece that is coming my way in the mail and I'm so excited to celebrate the Artist who created the work. I think this Artist is one that we can all incorporate in our classrooms as a living, working Artist. I'm excited to share her work with you.  Allow me to introduce you to Clare Youngs. 

I first found Clare on Instagram posting her amazing collage work.  I fell in love the textures of the papers, the color palette, and the energy of her characters. This find led me to her beautiful website where I learned that Clare also has several books and many that look quite interesting to an Art Education Teacher.  

What is great about Clare Youngs is that you can learn a lot about this humble Artist with a couple social network searches.  It was quite a find to run across Handmade Home YouTube Channel where Clare Youngs was interviewed. It makes her so real and it's always amazing to listen to someone talk about their passion, whatever it may be (video above).

Explore Clare Youngs Instagram and Website... You'll fall in love! I know I will be overjoyed when her artwork created for our family arrives... should be any day now.  You better believe this project will bring joy to our house and my #WelcomeWall. Her work already is inspiring to me and my work so it will only be a short time until I bring that inspiration into my classroom as well. I love the paper created by her as well as the subject matter. I think Clare Youngs work would inspire many of us in the classroom and in our personal work.

Check out the whole list of participating blogs below to find out what each one of us wrote about in our first post as an Art Ed Blogging Network.


Monday, February 12, 2018

#Crush on the Medium Oil Pastel

Oil pastels are such a hit with the kids. They cheer... I mean really cheer when I say we are going to get them out.  They love the bold bright colors and the smooth texture. I have several past posts that I will be sharing with you in this write-up but also this post works as a bit of a tease because I have had my students working with oil pastel in the past couple weeks and have not had a chance to share the lessons quite yet. 

Well, it's still really, really, really cold here in Minnesota. It's only appropriate that I start this post with a snowman. Oil Pastel is a GREAT way to teach shadow and form in Art. Here is a collaborative project featuring form, oil pastel, and snowmen

I love this Hockney inspired Landscape lesson. Students are very successful with this project and researching oil pastels reminded me of that.  I have a complete video lesson ready to show the students and it is a perfect project for this time of the year. 

I have two posts on oil pastel transfer prints. One is a lesson on balance. I have done this butterfly lesson with students as young as Kindergarten. Again, full student ready video and lot's of student samples can be found on this previous post about the Butterfly Prints. I also have the same method of transferring oil pastel with a game, an image shown below. I used it for review of shapes and lines but I would imagine you could use the method for countless activities. 

I have used oil pastel for glaze alternatives in the past as well. Students can color onto clay and then use a paint wash on the service that was not covered by pastel and it creates a stunning outcome. There are three different ways I share to use nonglazed finishing for clay. Click here to see all three

For my older students, I like to give a little exploration of the materials before asking them to use it on their final project. In this post, I talk about the 7 way I ask my students to experiment with oil pastel. 

The rest of these images are simply ways that I have used oil pastel in the very recent past. I do not have a post for them, but you can count on them being an upcoming post. Sometimes we just need an image anyway for inspiration.  Take a look at these three. 

Bears in a Blanket

Sea Turtles