Showing posts with label art teacher. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art teacher. Show all posts

Sunday, April 30, 2017

DIY: Intro to Sculptural Felting!

Hey, y'all! I'm sad to say that last Wednesday was our last #creatingwithcassie Facebook LIVE craft night for felting. I chatted about Fashion Felting and will share a blog post about that super soon (I'm a pinch behind...as per usual). The previous week, we ventured into Sculptural Felting and I shared the basics on how to needle felt little creations...while creating this penguin whom I've named Pepe le Paint...or something. Here's the video from our live creating session:
I've done a ton of needle felting but I've never taken it to the third dimension. Sue sent me a bunch of samples to share with y'all to serve as both ideas and examples of what can be created by needle felting. 
Sue created the cardinal, the penguin and the cat. I'm currently working on a ton of felted cacti which I'll share with you real soon (if you follow me here, you can catch some one-minute how-to videos). By the way, Sue has a great YouTube channel with a ton of felting videos. Check it out here

Now, I mentioned that this past Wednesday was our last craft night for felting. For the month of May, we are moving on to CLAY! We'll spend the first half of our craft nights as we used to do: sharing tips and tricks. So come prepared to talk shop about clay, both kiln and no kiln fire. Then...we'll create! You can use ANY clay you have on hand or you can purchase your clay kit right here. You can also find out more details on what we'll be up to right here
Now, let's check out this gallery of awesome folks who have been felting along with me. Seeing the work of other folks has really made this experience the best for me...it's one thing to share your love of a craft with someone via a blog post or a video. But it's entirely something else to create live along with people...and see what variety of creatives there are out there. THANK YOU AND HUGS to everyone who participated either live or after the fact, shared their creations and their enthusiasm. Y'all are the best. 

And a BIG shout out to Sue at Back to Back Fiber for helping to make this possible. She's still selling felting kits if you are interested! 
This van Gogh makes me so happy! Love this creation by Heather @the_doodle_birds.
Who doesn't love a purple penguin? This one is by Sepi @sepi.gol.
This Frida was made by Mariana @parkesphoto 8 year old daughter! Isn't it incredible? I love how the flowers in the crown are three dimensional. 
Deborah @visualpraisestudio has been felting the cutest hats. I see an etsy shop in her future. I love these! 
I am loving Jen @jtheen palette hat complete with three dimensional paint brush. So adorable! 
And who doesn't love a needle felted pet?! I love everything about this creation and photo by @swells17
Merrill @merrillguinn made a happy little penguin...I love how the beak looks like he's chatting up a storm. 
Heather's sweet unicorn...I love this so much! That mane is perfection.
Growing up in the '80's, I have a soft spot for Gremlins! I can't get enough of this one created by @art.teach.at.the.beach.
Love this tie-dye penguin, it's so groovy, baby. This one is by Emily @emily_clonts.
Check out how PERFECT Dana's @daynahbaynah felted beads are...that is no small feat. Kudos, gurl! 
Alison's @alison.m.klein colorful creature makes me so happy. I think the big eyes are my favorite. 
Angela's @nachtule felted succulents are so pretty. I'm totally diggin the purple one. 
Look at how productive Mary @mary5409 has been. I am loving the owl. 
Angela's narwhal is so much fabulous. The horn is just the best.
Check out this precious little dude! This one is by Desiree @mrsmillsartfromtheheart
I love two things: the color pink and otters. So when I saw Chapin's @chapin.schnick creation, I was so excited. The cuteness!
Rachel's @mrsp_art penguin with it's little waving flipper is so fun. What a great idea! 
This rainbow bird by @echopaitsel looks so cute on display in this Easter grass. 
Y'all. Heather's felting game is STRONG. I think this would be a fabulous project for kids! 
BB8 for the win, kids! How is this our first Star Wars felted creation? Ima need more where this came from. Megan @mrs.dunstan you get a slow clap and a hats off from me, sister! 
Amber @amberakes created the next two felted pieces. I really love how she blends the roving. It gives her pieces a painterly effect. 
I could see this on the back of a clutch, couldn't you? So pretty. 

Stay tuned for one more needle felting wrap up from our craft nights. If you'd like to be featured here, just use #creatingwithcassie on your preferred social media outlet. Now, go stab something, y'all! 
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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

DIY: Folk Art Fish UPDATE!

My sweet second graders had to push the pause button on this project last week to tend to painting and bedazzling their exotic birds. But now that those are done, we were able to bring back our Sandra Silberzweig-inspired folk art fish and work on them a bit more today. Almost all of the kids finished them off in 30 minutes (which is pretty awesome, considering these are 12" X 18"!) and they were so thrilled with themselves...as was I!
You can check out (and feel free to use!) the complete lesson right here: 
My students did this project in three 30 minute classes. On the first day, we chatted about Sandra, her work and the use of line and black glue. We drew our fish and went over our lines in glue. If you go to this post, I share how I make black glue. 
 The following art class, we began working with the chalk. This project is perfect for my second graders as they are about to embark on their chalked ceiling tile project super soon. You can check out what my second graders have chalked in the past both here and here. I'm not sure what they'll be chalking this year...but I need to figure it out soon! I'll be sure to share with you right here. 
The key to working with chalk is getting the kids the right stuff. So much chalk is filler and junk. The end result is usually very light in color. I love Koss Brand Chalk, even it if is hard to find. We purchase ours through Amazon. I love the subtle colors in this artist's work. 
 Compared to how bold and vibrant this one is!
 I seal all of our chalked projects with Aqua Net. I have noticed that the nozzle on the 'Net has changed and it now does not come out in a nice stream but speckled. However, if you hold the can far enough away from the work and spray, it's fine...and the speckles (mostly) disappear. It's much cheaper than fixatives.
This is usually how I lay them out to spray. Take 'em off the drying rack, spread 'em out and spray away!
They are going to look stunning at our art show!
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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

In the Art Room: Clay Chameleons, Update Part 2

Y'all. When I opened the kiln this morning (which I had no right doing as that big ole lug was still flashing 600 degrees), I let out a squeal. Who snuck into the art room and put a bunch of cute-ified chameleons in my kiln?! I mean, really. Can you even handle...THIS?
 I know I can't. I'm so excited to share these with the kids next week. Their hard work sculpting and glazing paid off. Here's the video that I created to teach my sweet third graders this fun lesson:
The kids have loved this lesson! Having taught art (and clay!) for nearly 20 years, I've learned a thing or two along the way. My biggest tip for those working with kiln-fire clay: LET THE FINISHED PIECES DRY FOR LONGER THAN YOU'D EVER IMAGINE.
I was always led to believe that the reason clay exploded in the kiln (and I've had my share of 'splosions) was because of air bubbles. I call baloney on that theory. The reason there are explosions is: the clay is still WET. I allow my clay projects to dry in the kiln room which is both hot (due to the kiln) and well ventilated (as they should be) for TWO WEEKS. That's right, you heard me. Here's the deal: if there are any water molecules in the clay, as they are heated up in the kiln, they begin to move, faster and faster, until they cause an explosion. However, if you wait...every last one of those water molecules will evaporate and diminish your chance of breakage. One way to test and see if greenware (unfired clay) is ready to be fired? Touch it. If it feels damp, even slightly, it is still holding water and needs to dry.

The problem is...if your students' clay projects are thick (and some of these chameleons were very thick!) there might be water trapped within the clay project that you cannot feel with touch. My suggestion? Fire on the slowest setting possible. This will help air out the clay before ramping up to firing mode. 

In other words: When in doubt, DRY IT OUT. 

Can someone please help me off this firing soap box?! It's hot up here!
Now, when it comes to glazing, that's a whole 'nother story. Glazed pieces can be fired on the fastest setting as they have already been fired once and are not going to explode. In case you are curious, I use Cone 06 clay and glaze. 
 I don't always glaze with my students. After all, two firings is super time consuming. However, I do think that the glazing experience is important for kids to be exposed to at least once. It's truly magical. Imagine: little pieces of glass that are going to transform your dull clay project into a shining, sparkling masterpiece!
My favorite glazes are Mayco's Stroke and Coat. I love their color variety. I did order some of their Jungle Gems to add a bit of spots and sparkle to their projects...and I was a touch disappointed. I don't think I shook the bottles up enough because I don't see too much of the spotted and speckled effect. Perhaps my next crop of chameleons will be more speckled as their glaze is near the bottom of the bottle where all the glass has settled. 
 Oh! And if you follow me here...you might have seen that I received a copy of my book
This lesson is NOT featured in my book...which is why I can share it and the video for free with you here. Many of the project directions from last year's art show were not shared here...because I was under contract with the book publisher. Little known fact: when you are writing a book, they "own" the rights to your ideas! All that to say...all of the lessons I share in the book have not been released here. So 52 NEW art projects for you and your kiddos...that can be used with both no-kiln and kiln-fired clays! 
 ALSO...in case you didn't know, I've been hosting weekly #creatingwithcassie craft nights right here. Currently, we are felting but next month, we are exploring clay! 
If you'd like to join the fun and explore some fun new materials, pick up your clay kit here...no kiln required! 
 Now...this is just the beginning of clay themed posts as I've declared the month of May, the month of CLAY! So brace yourself...lots of clay posts ahead!
Until then!

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Friday, April 14, 2017

Chalked Folk Art Fish

Need a happy and colorful project for your kiddos that reviews the elements of art, introduces the artist Sandra Silberzweig and allows them to explore the messy and fun medium of chalk? Well have I got a project for you! Here's the lesson video...
Please forgive the quality. I filmed this video at school using my iPad (I normally use my camera) and the iMovie app. I really love filming short clips this way as it's lightning fast! However, when I watched the video back on my laptop, I noticed the quality was not what I had hoped. 
I get asked often about making a video for the art room. I created this video last year at about this time when I was just starting to get my feet wet with filming. I use almost all of these techniques still so if you are interested in creating filmed content for your kids, you might find this helpful!
Back to the lesson: I'm doing this project with my second grade kiddos. This will probably be the last project for the year as they still have a couple of their clay projects, hot outta the kiln, to paint. We are going with a Pet Shop theme and my students created these birds:
They have all come out of the kiln so cute! I purchased some florescent paint, feathers, beads and wire for us to embellish them. I noticed on the bottle of paint I purchased that it says it works in black light...so now I'm on the hunt for a black light for the art show. How fun would that be?
 All that to say, since we are going with a Pet Shop theme, any final projects created will feature animals or fish! My students are using 12" X 18" paper (I used half that in the video) because I wanted big, bold and colorful art. On the first day, we traced the template and did the glue drawing, all in 30 minutes. 
I am going to rethink my black glue recipe for next year. I use tempera paint and Elmer's Glue All...but I think the paint is too thick as the bottles sometimes get clogged. Next year, I'm going to try using India ink as my buddy Ginger uses. That being said, I do kind of like the variety of thick and think lines that the glue produces. 

Y'all know I've caught the Black Glue Bug this year. Check out what third grade created: 

And fourth grade: 

 What I love about chalk work is how vibrant it is. 
We have a couple more days of work left on these lovelies so I'll keep you posted on what happens next. Until then, enjoy your long weekend!
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