Today marks the beginning of a new and exciting year in the BCWMS Art Classroom! If we have half of the fun we did last year, it will be an amazing time creating, competing, sharing, and learning new ways of expressing ourselves. I had so much fun today working with students as we painted and sculpted community-related projects to improve our school and community.
8th grade students spent the day painting canvases that will be displayed on the other side of the building by the STEM and Music classrooms. We learned about circle painting and talked about the book "The Dot" by Peter H. Reynolds. It was awesome to hear students encourage each other to make their mark as they rotated around the room and painted each of the canvases. We will finish up the work tomorrow and they will be on display soon.
Here is what students made last year doing this same process:
7th grade students worked with clay as they created slab formed bowls for the Empty Bowls event, scheduled March 19th. This is the 8th year we have put on this event and it is something that showcases our entire Fine Arts program as well as the generous spirit of the community in Byron Center. Tomorrow we will work on the bowls before getting them ready for a first firing.
If today indicates anything about the upcoming school year, then I know it is going to be great!
7th and 8th grade students finished up their clay projects this week. 8th grade students made Anthropomorphic Pottery pieces, while 7th grade created clay balloon creatures. It was awesome to see them all transform from shapes on a page to 3D form as they went through the planning process to actual creation. Thanks to our latest DonorsChoose project, we have more than enough glazes to give students a full spectrum when deciding how to finish their works!
In addition to the successful end of another clay project, we have some updated news about Empty Bowls. Due to some generous donations that have come in over the weekend and early this week, our new total amount raised is $828! Thank you to all who helped make this possible, especially our local Subway and Rodney Brush, the Weider Family, Mr. Takens, and Empty Bowl recipient Teagan (shown below) who made this event such a success!
8th grade students started out the term with collaborative painting. Students worked collaboratively to create circles on paper and canvases that will eventually end up as the sign for our hallway. Students will continue to fill the space tomorrow as well as get started on the lettering for their portfolios.
7th grade students worked on bowls for Empty Bowls. It was a great way to celebrating doing something for others and it is always fun to work with clay on the first day of art class!
Students worked on clay projects this week, transforming rather dull gray lumps into lively creatures and figures. We discussed the various stages of clay as they transformed their pieces based on the planning work they completed through a series of thumbnail sketches.
7th grade students based their creatures around the transformation of a hollow clay balloon (that some decided to turn into a rattle by adding additional clay pellets before enclosing it). 8th grade students reused old water bottles as armatures to create anthropomorphic pottery pieces that represent their personalities.
While doing the demonstration for the 7th grade project process, I always ask students to tell me what to make and they vote on the final creature/sketched pose from my thumbnails. In the past I have made monkeys, chickens, fish, unicorns, and more. This year they wanted me to make a shark - you can check out the progress below (not too bad for a first try):
7th grade students finished their projects on Friday and 8th grade will be done on Monday. We will be adding color to the pieces once they have been fired!
We had a great first week in the art room. We worked with clay, got to go outside, did some dancing, and even played a few games - it was a very eventful and fun way to start out the school year.
Students also created their social contract to help set the rules for the class and took their pre-test and survey to help me get a better sense of what they know and why they signed up for the class.
Some feedback I got from students in the Art Survey included the following comments along with what they want to learn in the class:
I like this class a lot. I didn't think I would because I signed up for it only to take STEM, and I have never liked art before. This class has been very fun for me.
7th and 8th grade students are continuing a tradition that was started several years ago in the Art classroom - CLAY ON THE FIRST DAY!
It is really fun to get started with art projects that allow students to get their hands dirty and also help our local community. 7th grade students are making bowls for the Annual Empty Bowls event to help our local food bank and 8th grade students are making ceramic leaves to be sold at the BCFAB craft table for the November craft fair that benefits our Arts programs at BCPS.
To see how we are making the bowls this year, check out the video below:
7th grade students uploaded their sculptures to Moodle today before putting them out for display in the library. 8th grade students will be doing the same as soon as we get them out of the kiln. It is always fun to see how these clay creatures transform from lumps of clay to shining sculptures. You can find more clay sculptures on our Artsonia gallery!
Even though it is Spring Break, I spent a good chunk of this afternoon loading the kiln with the creatures and wheel-thrown attempts captured in the slideshows above and below. I am excited for students to start glazing all of these ceramic pieces once we get back to school in a week. Again, I cannot express how thankful I am to the Byron Center Fine Arts Boosters (BCFAB), DonorsChoose, and all of the parents/students/friends who helped us get the potter's wheel (which also came with $70 in free glazes). BCFAB is also responsible for purchasing all of the clay for students k-12 at BCPS - so without their help, all of these creative clay creations would not have been possible.
If you are interested in knowing more about BCFAB, you can check out how to get involved by visiting their website here and like them on Facebook. They are a great organization for our Arts students at BCPS and I am so thankful for their support over the years!
Working with clay is one of my favorite things. Both 7th and 8th grade students started their clay projects this week. We are using basic hand-building techniques to construct sculptures that represent our interests.
I am so excited for our new classroom wheel! Thanks again to all of the friends and families who helped fund this project through DonorsChoose, especially the Byron Center Fine Arts Boosters who matched donations and sent the project over the edge in funding!
I am excited to share this resource with my students, but made sure to give it a go for myself first! After not touching a wheel for a few years, my little bowl is not too shabby!
Teaching Visual Arts since 2004 and making images since picking up a crayon.