Showing posts with label legacy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label legacy. Show all posts

Monday, May 15, 2017

In the Art Room: A Legacy Mosaic Mural

So one day before the art show, we managed to pull together and pull off one of our biggest collaboratives to date: our Legacy Mosaic Mural!
This big honkin' mama-jama was created by my first thru third grade students. I knew that my kindergarten and fourths would need two weeks for their clay projects...and that my other kiddos would only need one. But when we work with clay, we ALL work with clay so I knew I'd need a project for that group which would carry us thru the second week. And that's when I got the idea for this big ole project. Here's the video I created months ago for the kids. Feel free to use in your art teacherin' world!
I'm a big fan of the artist and illustrator Galia Bernstein and this project was inspired both by her and by the book Who is the Beast? by Keith Baker. 
I know you can totally see the influence, can't you? I've always loved this book. When I came to my school so many years ago, I loved that a tiger was the mascot. It meant I could share this book even more with the kids!
So, who did we do it? Lemme tell ya.
First grade made the flowers, second grade made the butterflies and third grade made the birds. Everyone who finished their small piece then created a leaf or two. Before each piece was placed in the kiln, I placed the alphabet noodles of the kid's initials into the clay. These noodles burned off in the kiln and left behind the impression of the initials. 
Once each piece was out of the kiln, I created a diluted black glaze. Then I dunked just the surface of each piece in the glaze and then gave them a quick wipe on a damp sponge. This part was time-consuming (the entire thing was, honestly). But I just sat one day after school and dunked, swiped, dunked swiped until they were complete. 
These pieces were then returned to the students where they were tasked with glazing just the raised surface. I did limit the palette so that it wouldn't be too much of a sea of color. Flowers were yellow, pink and red, birds were blues, butterflies were purple, orange and yellow. Leaves were a variety of green. 
 After these were fired the second time, the workload was on me. I had acquired this huge frame last year and I'd been dreaming of a mosaic project since. I measured the inside of the frame which is 3' X 4'. I went to the local hardware store where they cut me a piece to size. I also picked up a jumbo bottle of Gorilla Glue and high gloss paint. My P.E. teacher buddy painted the board for me. From there my custodian friend glued and drilled the board into the frame.  
 I created the tiger. This literally took me 45 minutes to draw out, cut and texture-ize. With the art show looming, I was short on time which meant I was in hustle mode. That dried a matter of days. This past Sunday, I came in, laid out and glued each piece, glazed and fired the tiger. 
 In other news, does anyone know how to get Gorilla Glue off of skin? I've had it on my hands FOR DAYS now!
The tiger came out of the kiln this morning and was glued into place. This massive masterpiece will not be grouted. Before hanging it, it weighed in at 70 lbs. Grout would have only made it heavier.
 There were small empty spaces that were driving me nuts. I remembered I had a stash of decorative marbles and glued them in place. I LOVE them as they add a bit of sparkle to the piece. 
Stroke and Coat by Mayco is the best, y'all!
 This afternoon, my custodian friends worked tirelessly to get this beast up on the wall. It's drilled into the wall as well as supported by both a hanger and a beam underneath. 
 And the pieces are rock solid with that glue.
With the art show tomorrow, I'm so excited that we were able to pull this one off! It is my favorite collaborative to date!
 We do a lot of collaboratives and legacy projects. You can find out more about our chalked ceiling tiles, our You Be You mural and our JES selfies too! 
Because we do so many collaboratives, my students rarely are upset if they don't get to "take it home". I emphasize that this is their beautiful mark they are leaving behind...and for real, look how beautiful it is! I'm so happy with my sweet artists and this beast of a creation. Love to hear of any mosaics y'all have done like this! 
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Sunday, April 24, 2016

In the Art Room: Chalked Flower Ceiling Tiles

It all started last year, when we had a visiting artist who is a street painter (aka a sidewalk chalk artist). The kids were supposed to go outside and work on their own taped off portion of sidewalk. And then...rain. With my small brain frantically searching for ideas where the kids could still work on a sidewalk-esque surface but remain indoors, the Chalked Ceiling Tile project was born! 
My super awesome administration had been asking me for a while to do some artwork on ceiling tiles. I'd put the project off as I just didn't know how to go about it. But when rain was predicted the eve before our sidewalk chalk event, the idea to have students chalk tiles came to me. After toying around a bit, I found that the reverse side of the tiles actually worked much better than the front!
Last year, second graders create these butterfly ceiling tiles as it was apart of their curriculum. This year, it isn't. So I decided to have them create something that would look nice with the butterflies: flowers! 
This year, I decided to try something a little different. I've been showing demo videos on the regular in my art room and the kids have responded really well. Because I was going to be teaching an entire grade level of second graders in a loud multi-purpose room, I thought this would be the perfect time to use a filmed lesson. I've been adding videos regularly so feel free to subscribe to my channel if you wanna. Here's the video the kids watched:
You'll notice that the video is broken down into four sections: drawing out the flowers, coloring in the flowers, adding a background, outlining and autographing. I had the students work on these from roughly 9:30 to 11am. They are used to 30 minute art classes! So, I would show a small snippet of the video and allow them to work. They knew to gather back on the floor when they were finished. Of course, they all finish at different rates. When I had about a dozen or more students gathered on the floor, I would ring my chime (yes, that was a shameless plug for my husband's company) which would signal ALL students, finished or not, to gather on the floor to hear the next snippet. I do this in my art room when we have several steps, so the kids are kinda used to this routine.
Not gonna lie, this was no small undertaking but it is so totally worth it. If you wanna do a chalked ceiling tile project with your students, you'll need the following:

* Chalk. I love KOSS brand. It's not cheap but it is rich in color. I bought 20 boxes last year and we were able to use them again this year. I will probably only need to purchase 10 more boxes for next year's tiles. We've also used them for other projects throughout the year.  
* Bowls. I had a sweet high school student shadow me the other day and I put her on the task of making a bowl of warm color chalk and cool per every two students. 
* Ceiling Tiles. One per kiddo. Ask your friendly custodian for access to his/her stash.
* Foam Brush Thingies. Get them in the variety pack at your fave hardware store. These are perfect for blending chalk.
* Bulletin Board Paper. To cover the floors. We worked in the multi-purpose room which was great for a large group of kids. Once we were finished and the tiles were stacked on a dolly, we simply rolled up the paper and recycled it!
* Baby wipes. We only used these at the very end. I mean, your hands are just gonna get dirty again, right?! Don't clean 'em til you are finished. 
* Cheap Hairspray. Get the good stuff. You know, like AquaNet.
* Fabulous Parent Volunteers. These folks are the backbone to my art program. They hang the art show. They help with clay projects. They get things done. Y'all gotta get you some. And special thanks to mine, I love y'all!
To organize this event, I simply messaged second grade and special area teachers to give them some dates. Once we landed on one that worked, I asked if they'd kindly pop in the multi-purpose room in 30 minute shifts to help the kids if needed. During that hour and a half time slot, I usually have second grade classes and a none of my other kids missed their regularly scheduled art classes, which was great! 
Once floral designs were drawn, the kids moved on to the next phase which was adding color. 
For some, this took some time as they drew their flowers small. This was fine with me! However, I did notice some having the kids stop, move and watch the next step via video was good. It meant they went back to their work spot with renewed energy.
I think I would like to do a different theme with the students each year. Because these tiles will remain in the ceiling for a long time, a different theme would mean they could easily find their tiles and remember their classes theme! I had thought of taking down last year's tiles and returning them to the current 3rd grade...but I quickly changed my mind when some of those children said, "you aren't taking down OUR tiles, are you?!" I might be fun to build on this idea and add more tiles each year. So that's the plan, for now.
About an hour in, and most kids were finishing their flowers and ready for the background. 
 Our last phase was outlining and signing our name with black. At this point, students were finishing at different speeds and getting a wee bit squirrelly. To remedy that, I had them baby wipe their hands and go to the floor where we watched an art education video. 
Once the majority of children were finished, a teacher took them outside for recess. This left me and parent volunteers to clean up and allowed those kids who were still working to continue creating. Those are usually my pokey-lil-perfectionists. I'm never gonna ask them to hurry up! 
Once these lovelies were complete, we busted out the Aqua Net and commenced spraying them like it was 1985.
Personal fave back in the day. Mostly because of the Mondrian design!
After cleaning up and cleaning the tiles outta the multi-purpose room, I loaded them onto a cart and wheeled them down to my room. Our fabulous custodian Mr. Scruggs will hang them next week...I'll be sure to share a pic! If you follow me here, you'll see it real soon! 
 Love the composition of this one!
Check out the knees of the kid on the right. Next year, we should just take them outside and hose them down!
 After the kids, before the clean up. So much colorful happiness!
 My buddy the music teachers suggested that each year, for our theme, we have the kids decorate tiles that correlate to the location in the hallway. For example, outside of the gym, the kids chalk sports equipment. And outside of the music room, music-themed designs. I love that idea!
Now that this massive undertaking is complete, I can focus on Art Show Land. 
Have y'all done ceiling tile projects? What did you do? I'd love to hear about it in the comments. xo!
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