Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Comment Gifts!

The Crayon Lab is probably the third or fourth blog I have started over the years. It is hands down the one that sees the most traffic and is therefore most successful ?????? What makes a blog successful?

I am honestly not sure. I know my audience for this blog is other art teachers. I can tell from looking at my statistics that over 5,000 people come to my blog each month. FIVE THOUSAND! That seems like a lot to me since I am just over here chugging along doing what I do.

I am sure that is nothing compared to some of the very popular art teacher blogs we know that are out there! Yet - I still go back to wondering why I write it and if it is successful?!?!?! It seems like a burden sometimes - why keep doing it?????????  Well - In the end I know it's because I enjoy sharing and I love how technology helps to make that possible. I think the one thing that is missing for me is the joy of getting to know more art teachers through blogging! So - in the spirit of the holiday season I ask you to leave me a gift if you are here :)  Please leave me a comment and tell me something! Who are you? Where do you teach? Just say "hi!" so I know you are out there! Leave me the link to your blog while you are at it so that some of these 5,000 visitors can visit you too! I would love to create more of a community of sharing so let's get to know each other!  Happy Holidays - Jenn

Art Room Bulletin Boards

It's that time again! Time to change my bulletin board. Oh! many hours I have spent looking for some fun and inspiring ideas! I used to love doing boards when I first started teaching but for awhile the excitment has waned. Last year started off with a bang when my team art teacher and I made our Facebook board.

The excitiment continued this year with two new ones....Ms. Elfers has been busy! What does this remind you of??????????????????????????????????????????
A little video look at some of the current artists we are both studying with our students!

I think a Pinterest board is in order next....if anyone has done it successfully yet I have not been able to find pictures other than this one:

So....stay tuned! Maybe some QR codes will make it onto the board as well! What do you think we should pin????????????  Have any other fun board ideas? Please share!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Georgia O'Keeffe Flower Bowls

I still vividly remember the Georgia O'Keeffe show I went to at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC in 1988. I remember it so profoundly because O'Keeffe was someone who's paintings I had admired for years but had never seen in real life. They were always so big, grand, and bold to me that I imagined they would be the same when I saw them in person. Taken back by their demure size and the intimacy that came with some of her smaller pieces, the memory remains with me.

Although she is not the first woman artist I think of these days when I begin lesson planning I still find myself teaching about her life and work on occasion. As I began to plan for clay lessons with my 4th graders I decided to use her flower paintings as our inspiration.

Wow! Wow! Wow! I had no idea how fabulous they would come out and how much my students would enjoy making them. Our standards require us to teach many parts of hand building with the 4th graders so they used pinch, coil, bonding techniques and surface techniques to create these masterpieces!

Here is a brief tutorial on how we made them!

Roll a slab (I use PVC pipe that I cut up - cheap!)

Pick from an assortment of round bowls to create a slump mold.

Cut around your mold.

Place your slab in your mold and gently let it slump!

Start subracting and adding to create the details of your flower bowl.

Don't forget to score, slip, and bond!

Keep going until you get a form that you are happy with.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Sculpture Hats

Non-clay sculpture is one of the objectives that we cover in every grade level. As I am planning for future Kindergarten units I always come back to one of my favorites - Sculpture Hats!

Students start out with an 12 x 18 sheet of construction paper.  They cut on the lines to create the base of the hat. The side points are staples together to create the front and back of the hats. The middle points are used as a part of the sculpture. There are lots of different solutions for "the wings" on your hat and the students LOVE coming up with ideas.

Art students use 1 X 12 strips of colored construction paper to create the lines in their sculputure hats. It is a great review of the different kinds of lines we used at the beginning of the year.  We focus on looking at ALL sides of the sculpture as we create our new forms.

Little hands glue, pinch, fold and hold!

Polka-dot Pumpkins

My first graders and I have really been enjoying exploring the work of Yayoi Kusama again this year. While we wait for our pumpkins to dry and be fired we decided to make some Kusama inspired polka-dot pumpkin paintings!

Painting away carefully and trying to keep our paintbrushes vertical!


Terracotta Pumpkins????

As I set out our clay pumpkins to dry I cannot help but think they look just like little terracotta soldiers pumpkins all lined up just waiting to be excavated! I know....I know....but it makes me giggle!

Happy Pumpkin Day!

I hope the Great Pumpkin was extra special good to you this year!