The end of the year always seems to be a flash of events. Although I try and be my best teacher self year round, sometimes I make compromises as time runs out. One of the compromises this semester was glazing our clay creatures. The amount of firing time would not work with the amount of days left in the semester, so we used other methods to color the little creative critters. Here are three alternatives to glaze you can use if you run out of firing time, too:
Tempera paint is a great stand-by for students and teachers alike. This paint comes in a variety of colors and absorbs into the bisque wonderfully. You know exactly what you are going to get because the colors dry the color they look and you do not have to worry about ruining brushes or mishaps on clothes because it is a water-based non-permanent solution. I usually buy the large Gallon Tempera paints and then pour them into smaller bottles (like these from Blick I just purchased and LOVE) for students to distribute on their pallets. I try to give them the rule of pouring "three colors at a time, the size of dime" as to not waste paint.
Watercolor is the paint that solves so many problems! Like tempera, it is a water-based material that will not destroy brushes or clothing and it ends up looking exactly how you view it. Because of the play on opacity, you can layer colors and create so many effects with this material. I use Prang watercolor pallets that are at least a decade old because I like how easy it is to replace colors once they have been used.
This method is relatively new to me. I first learned of this technique on the Art Teacher Facebook group. A generous teacher shared the results of using oil pastel on clay with a watercolor/tempera wash and I was immediately intrigued. I find that this works best on textured clay, like the creature above (the student used a bright blue oil pastel and then used a darker watercolor over). When you use oil pastel on clay, it acts as a resist to the water-based paint, resulting in a beautiful effect.
In order to make the finishes selected by students permanent, we used a clear-gloss acrylic paint and dabbed it over top. it is important to dab, rather than paint, to prevent smearing. The gloss goes on white, but dries clear and gives the pieces a nice shine while locking in the color.
You can see the full gallery of results on our Artsonia page. Here is an example of each:
Like a Blur
So many things have happened this week, it is kind of like the semester is just blurring right past me! First, I am excited to say that Empty Bowls is only three weeks away. We finished the big bowl to be auctioned off at the event to the highest bidder this week with signatures from the BCWMS team.
Students are also finally glazing their bowls, which will be given away at the event as a reminder of those we are helping.
Students also finished their videos and animations this week, in preparation for the Meijer Great Choices Film Festival and Digital ID PSA competitions. This project was funded as a result of a MACUL grant. Here are some of the student pieces:
7th grade students also worked on the computer this week, learning more about how to use Photoshop as they shared their interests and likes in their profile collages (see a full gallery of images here):
Nick: I used more than one brush tool with different colors because I thought that by doing that, I would make it unique. I tried to make my background different from anybody else's. I also used the stroke tool so I could make the outline of my face more prominent and so you could make it out better. I choose the things I did because they represent things that I like. I put some teams that I like, some foods that I like, and some things that I like to do. For example, I put a MSU logo because that's my favorite college and I put Kentucky because I know a kid on their boy's basketball team.
Nichole: I used a couple tools while working on this project. One of those tools is the quick select tool. You use this tool to select the background of an object. After you have selected want you need you can either change the background or delete the background. Another tool I used was the fill bucket tool. You use this tool to fill large empty spaces with a color of some sort in stead of taking a long time to use the paint brush tool to color it in. Ok so I put a lot of things in well "myself". First I put a picture of Nik Stauskas because he is my idol. I put a cross in me because I love going to church and learning about god. Then of corse I put a maroon 5 thing because they are my favorite band. Then my last one I put the quote "Teamwork makes the dream work" because this quote always keeps me going and It is so true too.
8th grade students started planning out their first major project on Identity this week by learning about artists who employ this theme, seeing past student work, and sketching out their own ideas. We also worked on some drawing methods that they could use, too.
Students started glazing their projects today. It is always fun to see these bright white pieces of bisque transform through the application of colorful glazes. Students will be glazing through class tomorrow and we will be firing them soon after.
Today students got to see what happens when we glaze our bisque in the kiln. It is always fun to see the reaction on students' faces as they amaze over their once dull pieces of ceramic. Both the leaves and bowls students made will be available for purchase as the result of various events like Empty Bowls and the Byron Center Fine Arts Boosters Craft Fair.
Moodle and more
Students finished uploading their work onto Moodle today before moving onto glazing their bowls and working on their abstract drawings. I am really enjoying the progress of assignments and demonstration of skill as students not only show me their work, but use their owns words to describe how they feel about it. You can check out our latest assignments on our Artsonia gallery.
Thanks to Kids in Need Foundation, LOFT, and Donors Choose, students are finishing up their clay projects today with a variety of glazes.
glazing and comics
From creating comics, to finishing up glaze, students are working hard to get their various ideas and concepts communicated through the use of visuals. Students will be done glazing tomorrow and drawing comics by the end of this week and ready to move onto perspective drawing.
7th and 8th grade students got to see and take home their finished clay pieces last week. It is always amazing to see the transformation that takes place from the planning process, to building the form, to finishing it with glaze.
The Antrhopomorphic bottle project was made possible by funding provided by BCFAB, Arstonia.com, and a grant awarded from the Arts Council of Greater Grand Rapids through the generous support of Amway, Ted and Brenda Frey, Keller Foundation, Mercantile Bank of Michigan, and Porter Foundation.
Check out the finished products on our class gallery.
7th grade students are going to be starting their portrait projects today.
Using the document provided below, students use digital cameras to take pictures of themselves in expressive ways before editing them in Photoshop and transfering the image into a drawing.
Next week, students will add value and tissue paper to these portraits. These mixed-media masterpieces are always successful and I look forward to seeing their creation!
clay, glazing, and more
Students are working on finishing up projects as we move into the middle of the week.
8th grade students are finishing the faces on their bottles, extracting the armetures, and putting on bottoms while the 7th graders are also finishing their clay forms, glazing their bowls for Empty Bowls, and reading about artists like David Gilhooly who use clay to express their interests and explore ideas.
Teaching Visual Arts since 2004 and making images since picking up a crayon.