Wednesday, May 25, 2011


My Art 1 & Art 2 students are creating mandalas. I first heard of mandalas from a friend a few years ago. I was searching for an end of year project that would allow the students to relax a bit, but still challenge them. Most important, I needed a project that would continue until the end of the year.

I did some research and learned quite a bit about mandalas. I found the information very interesting. I changed a few things to fit into the time span and the kid's technical abilities. We have been working on them for two weeks now, the pictures show the progress at the end of the first week.
I was relaxing in bed and happened on a documentary called " Lost Caves of Tibet". It was very interesting, the documentary showed cave paintings that could possibly be 500+ years old. Also in the caves were manuscripts and small offerings. The reason I'm bringing this up is because during the documentary the explorers show an abandoned temple that is being restored. Guess what was painted inside. A mandala! I can't wait to tell my students about it tomorrow.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Collage Paintings

These are some paintings that my Art 1 students created before the puppets. I had forgotten to post these. The kids weent through different magazines and created a collage. I asked them to think about composition and to add graphics. After creating the collage the kids created these paintings. I think they did a great job with these.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Paper Puppets

My Art 1 students completed their paper puppets a few weeks ago and I think these are the best I've ever seen. I first saw this project with a friend of mine (thanks Elisa) and did it when I was a middle school teacher. Later, when I became a high school teacher, I decided to do this project with my new students. I wasn't sure how this project would be recieved, wouldn't you know it, it became a class favorite. I have done it every year since then and it never fails to please.The kids first look for images on the computer or can create their own characters. Once they have figured out the character they have to sketch 30 pieces into the puppet. It is hard to believe but the puppets you are looking at have no pencil or pen markings, they are constructed completely out of paper, even the fine lines are made out of paper.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Finished Pots

Here are the finished pots. They were actually completed a while back, just havn't had time to post. I will post pictures of the work in progress soon.

Three more weeks!!!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How To

Here's how to create container pots using newspaper. In the previous post I posted some pictures of students creating their pots. I took a couple of pictures of the process, but I have not finished firing all of the pots, once they are done I will post the finished pictures of the finished pieces. I learned this process through a good friend of mine. Thanks Dolores!

First you create a shape using wet sheets of newspaper. I usually use a 1/2 a sheet of a page of newspaper. The kids wet the sheets using spray bottles. You "ball" up a sheet and begin adding layers. Once the students reach the size they are happy with they cover it with clay. Between a 1/4"-1/2" thick. The kids then add a handle.

Before opening, the pots should "sit" uncovered for a 20-30 minutes (preferably an hour), they make for easier handling. I usually set aside one class period for opening of the pots. The kids have to score around the pot with a wavy line. This allows for proper closing after firing. Carefully remove the top. Using pliers, students pull at the top of the newspaper.. The goal is to get to the center of the newspaper ball. Once you reach that initial "ball", the rest of the newspaper comes out easily. One warning, this project should be done quickly, the longer the newspaper stays within the pot the more prone it is to become moldy and smelly.

After removing the newspaper, smooth out the edges.

Realign the top with the bottom to ensure proper closing after firing. Add a few strips of dry newspaper in between to keep the two from sticking (not shown).
The following pictures show pots ready for glaze firing.
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