Sunday, January 30, 2011

Memory Wire Glass Bead Bracelets (and More!)

What another fun week! In ATC class, we talked about how, often, organized trades revolve around a particular theme. Students brainstormed to come up with a variety of themes that we could use as inspiration for our little works of art. Following this session, the artists worked hard to create ATCs for the themed trade at the end of class.

Students may remember some of my own ATCs that I shared with the class on the first day and, in particular, some really cool cards that I received recently in the mail. WELL, those cards are the inspiration for a near future project! As soon as I get the "project samples" done up, the secret will be revealed!
In Jewelry Making, we experimented with "memory wire" to create some very beautiful glass bead memory wire bracelets! Wednesday students got a real treat because we started the class with a "show and tell" session led by Miss Rebecca, a very experienced jewelry maker! Needless to say, we were all very impressed. She has promised to share more of her creations in the future.

Students in Ceramics I spent the class period designing and making the "Artist Stamps" that they'll be using throughout the semester. The stamps were whisked off to Woodrow at the end of the week, and will hopefully be fired and returned soon. I'll be sure to post photos when they come back because they are truly works of art in themselves!
Ceramics II students continued work on their masks, and started work on tall vessels. More details on that later!

Artists taking Ceramics III began coiling over the slab portion of their Canopic Jars. The "rules" for this particular assignment:

1. The vessel must be at least 12" tall.
2. Each canopic jar must have a name.
3. Heiroglyphics must be included (may be of the student's own design, or "borrowed" from ancient Egypt).
4. The jar must represent a particular compass direction, and be "protected by" someone.
5. The jar must have a specific purpose.

The students are already coming up with some fantastic ideas! Remember kids: The above 5 "musts" are things you should be thinking about/making notes about at home. By the time your Canopic Jar is complete, you should be able to tell me all about its purpose, etc. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Second Semester Begins!

What a week! Second semester began this past week, and we have a fun lineup of classes to finish out the school year.
Jewelry Making students made simple stretchy-string bracelets. The "challenge" was for students to work within a limited color palette (or family), and some of the bracelets were inspired by the fabric on students' clothes. This low-pressure, laid back project gave students a chance to get to know each other, while honing their dexterity skills. Tying stretchy-string into a knot can be very challenging, and all students were encouraged to practice their knot-tying skills at home in the coming weeks.
Ceramics I students learned about the (sometimes temperamental!) qualities of clay, and spent quite a bit of time exploring the tools that they'll use in class. We discussed the handbuilding methods we'll use this semester, and looked at some project samples from each method. A reminder to students and parents: Every ceramic artist will need their own "work shirt" to use throughout the semester. This shirt will remain at HSC until we break for summer, and should be an old, over-sized T-shirt--one that you're okay with getting ruined. Clay will stain clothes, and a work shirt is necessary to protect school clothes. Please bring your shirt to class next week!
Ceramics II students began working with moulds this past week. Their first project will be a mask, and the challenge is to make the mask either a self-portrait, or an interesting, decorative mask that uses mixed media. Students rolled out slabs, cut to size, and then pressed them into moulds--a form that will be the starting off point for the project. The artists will significantly alter the moulded clay to create their own, original designs.
Ceramics III students will start the semester combining the methods of slab, coil, and pinch to make vessels inspired by the canopic jars of ancient Egypt. Students may decide to go with "authentic" looking jars, though they were encouraged to create a top (head) that holds meaning for them as individuals.
The photo (above) from Remodelista Daily shows an interesting and decorative way to display your artist trading cards.
Portfolios were the #1 project for students in ATCs, ACEOs, and Art in Miniature class. Each young artist created a portfolio to house their work (and their trades!) for second semester. Once this was done, students were given a stack of ATC blanks and they set about making their first set of Artist Trading Cards. We used the last 15 minutes of class for trading time, and I can testify that some serious trading was going on in class!
Detail of photo from Remodelista Daily: ATCs framed behind glass and displayed as one big art piece.
We talked about the "regulation size" of ATCs and ACEOs (they must be 2.5" x 3.5"), and about the difference between the two. Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) are ALWAYS traded. Art Cards, Editions and Originals (ACEOs) are sold.
We will sometimes mix things up this semester by doing the occasional miniature work (something 5" x 7" or smaller). These projects often take more time, and are not traded.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

1st Semester Art Show!

Following are some highlights from the end-of-semester Art Show. These photos show a sampling of work done in ATCs, ACEOs, and Art in Miniature; Explorations in Art (I and II); and Ceramics (I and II). If I can get some photos from Miss Heather from her Mixed Media classes, I'll be sure to post them here as well. Enjoy!
Above: Detail shot of some of the "mini mandalas" that students made in ATCs, ACEOs, and Art in Miniature.
When we studied TEXTURE in Explorations in Art, students went on a "field trip" around the school to find texture, and then took rubbings with crayon. Thanks, Alesia, for this beautiful work (above)!
Miss Elona saved the day when she drove over to WWA to pick up ceramics that were just coming out of the kiln. Thanks, E! You Rock! :)
Because of the number of students in the art program, the number of classes, and the limited display area, students were asked to pick their "one best work" for display in the show. First hour ATC students displayed their favorite ATCs on a sheet of paper, along with the "mini mandalas" they made earlier in the semester.
LIGHT AND SHADOW was just one of the topics we covered in Explorations in Art. Kaelyn demonstrates his mastery of this lesson (above). Great work, Kaelyn!
More mini mandalas. These little jewels measure about 3 inches in diameter, and my photos don't do them justice!
Emily beautifully illustrates her knowledge of PERSPECTIVE, another topic we covered in Explorations! Great work, Emily!
The calm before the proverbial storm (above). It must have been a record turnout this year!
Keith combined the lessons of SURREALISM and ABSTRACTION when he created the artwork above, which can be viewed from two different perspectives. The work is called 
Trees? Or Giant's Feet?
Brilliant, Keith!
More mini mandalas!
Ceramics I artist Matthew is more than ready for Ceramics II! Techniques shown (and mastered!) here include pinch, slab, and carving. Great work, Matthew!
PORTRAITS and SELF PORTRAITS, another lesson from Explorations in Art, was beautifully mastered by Elisabeth (self portrait above). Great work, Elisabeth!
Other topics covered in Explorations include LINE, COLOR, BALANCE, SYMMETRY, SHAPE, FORM . . .
Still more Mini Mandalas! :)
Student portfolios, works of art in themselves, were also displayed for the Art Show! 
During our study of MURALS, students worked together to create a class mural (detail above). They worked so well together! 
Great work, EVERYONE!
Ceramics II artist Forest appreciates the beauty of clay, and chose to use only clear glaze on his works (below). I agree, Forest, the natural color of clay is absolutely beautiful! Great work!
ATC artist Ben displayed five of his favorite Artist Trading Cards in the Art Show. Don't you just love his intense colors and sense of design? Great work, Ben! 
Okay, I have to admit: I'm really taken with the little mandalas:
Hence, the number of photos here! :)
Braden really plunged into the lesson on ABSTRACTS, and created Lone Turtle (above). Beautiful work, Braden!
More great work from the Tuesday Ceramics I students! I apologize to ALL of the students in the Wednesday Ceramics classes because, in my rush to set everything up, I neglected to get any photos of your work.  
However, I do have this photo of a work by Ike, a candle holder that he made for me (in my favorite color!), that I took here at home (above). Beautiful work, Isaac! And thank you again for this wonderful gift!
Above is Rylee's mastery of miniature collage and mixed media, called Best Buy (on left), and Alex's mini mandala (right), called Gum Ball Machine. Fantastic work, you two!
I'd like to thank all of the art students for a fantastic semester! The Art Show was a huge success. Thanks, also, to all the parents who turned out for the show. It was great to talk with you about your child's work. Enjoy your weekend, everyone, and get ready for another REALLY FUN semester filled with ART and creative activity! Next semester's line-up includes:
ATCs, ACEOs, and Art in Miniature
Jewelry Making
Ceramics I
Ceramics II (prerequisite = Ceramics I)
Ceramics III (prerequisite = Ceramics II)
Drawing and Painting (with Miss Heather)
Everyday Artists (with Miss Heather)