Wednesday, October 31, 2012

But it's not perfect...or pretty...

I am currently really struggling with getting my students to understand that artwork doesn't always have to be pretty and perfect. It's ok for it to be organic and messy and have some character! I don't understand where this desire for perfection comes from. Is it just our district because these kids strive for perfection in everything they do? Or is it coming from their elementary art teachers? I just don't get it. 
So I ended up in a pickle this past weekend. Hurricane Sandy put a damper on our 8th grade DC trip so the trip was canceled and rescheduled in a few weeks. Great! I get my kids for an extra week this 6 weeks (when I thought I was only getting them for 5 weeks). However, last Friday, I made my ceramics class finish their projects so they could dry out during DC and they would be fired and ready to go when they came back on Monday. So now that they weren't going, what was I going to do with them for a whole week with only 2 weeks left in the 6 weeks. After collaborating with some other art teacher friends, I decided to do slab vessels...something like this...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Art club- ceiling tiles

When I started this project with art club, I had no idea it would take off the way it did. The kids are painting ceiling tiles for the classrooms. I wanted to get one for each classroom over the next few years but the teachers love them so much, we pretty much have to do one for each teacher within the next few weeks. Teachers were stopping me in the hallway and emailing me to ask if they could get one. I am glad something as simple as a painted ceiling tile can have such a positive effect on the atmosphere of the school and can make people so happy.
Here are the kids at work...

8th Grade Ceramics- "Piggy" Banks

I decided to switch things up with my 8th grade ceramics class this 6 weeks. We decided to give piggy banks a shot. The kids have had a lot of fun making these. 
To make them, start with 2 similar sized balls of clay and make 2 pinch pots. Attach the 2 pinch pots together. Next, add the facial features, a head if desired, and any other important objects to give the "piggy" bank life and character. To add legs, we rolled some fat coils and scored and slipped them to the bottom. Finally, we cut out the coin slot and a hole for the cork (make sure the cork is big enough for a coin to fit through. 
Here are the projects in progress. I can't wait to fire them and get them glazed!

8th Grade Drawing- Self-Portrait

All of the middle school's in our district do an 8th grade portrait drawing. We all agree that it's important for the kids to understand how to draw portraits when they get to high school. Many of the schools do a Barbara Kruger inspired portrait with text. The images are often very compelling. This year, I wanted to incorporate text with the portrait but wanted to do something different. My school just finished Rachel's Challenge and I wanted to do something that would reinforce the messages from that presentation.
Here is what my kids have done so far...

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

8th grade ceramics- Monster Planters

This is the second time I have tried the monster planters with my 8th graders. This group of 8th graders this year are incredible. They are so creative and love to take ideas and run with it. Here are some examples (in progress)...