Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tapestry Weaving, 5th grade

***Update: I have a new weaving handout & planning sheet available on Teachers pay Teachers -***
We begin our project by looking at examples of woven tapestries from the Medieval and Renaissance periods of art history.  Weaving was at its pinnacle during these years, because tapestries provided warmth and insulation in a house made from cold stone walls.  They were often decorated with folkloric stories or historical scenes.  Tapestries fell out of favor after the Renaissance, when easel painting became a more popular medium and houses were being more efficiently built.
We begin by warping the cardboard loom - the warp acts like the "bones" of the weaving, holding things in place but invisible in the end

The warp ends on the back of the loom for easy removal when complete

A tabby weave uses a long piece of string that goes over and under the warp

We can make vertical or horizontal stripes, using shorter individual pieces of yarn amd following a pattern

A checkerboard is formed when alternating the order of vertical stripes

Make sure to push the yarn toward one end to keep it properly in place

Here's an example showing a number of different patterns, including dovetail weaving at the bottom
Using contrasting colors is a good idea to show off your patterns

A completed weaving, showing off many patterns and techniques

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Calder-esque Sculptures, 3rd grade

Alexander Calder was a sculptor who often worked in the abstract style

He usually used the primary colors plus black and white

He made mobiles that moved and stabiles that stood still

We used recycled yarn cones for the bases of our sculptures

We decorated them with organic shapes made from foam sheets

We thought about places like outer space or under the sea when creating our abstract sculptures

Monday, May 23, 2011

Face jugs, 5th grade

Face jugs are a great way to learn different ways of manipulating clay and also a great tie-in to Georgia history.  We start this lesson with a little history of face jugs, from their origination in Africa to the folk potters in the North Georgia mountains all the way to modern, current potters with more stylized faces.  After looking at all the examples, students can select an "ugly jug" style, a stylized or celebrity face, or an animal face.  Here's the step-by-step:

We begin by joining two pinch pots, then opening a hole at the top and carving away some parts

We add coils and small slabs for the features, always remembering to score, slip, and seal

Some added spouts and handles

this set is drying in the clay closet, waiting for the first firing

These pots have been fired in the kiln once and are ready for glazing

learning to draw forms with Thiebaud

Second graders studied Wayne Thiebaud's paintings to learn about FORM

We began by learning to turn shapes into forms on paper

We added watercolor paint

...and colored pencils for details

Don't forget to add the shadows

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mexico: Circle weavings and mosaics

Fourth graders are completing a unit on art from Mexico and Central America.  We looked at Aztec suns and Native American moon designs for our inspiration on the circle weavings.  We chose a color scheme for our sun or moon - warm, cool, neutral, analogous, monochromatic - and began our weaving on our paper looms.  For the background, we chose a day or night sky and filled the page with paper mosaic pieces.
A template is very helpful for making your loom correctly, with an odd number of slits

a cool, analogous color scheme

a warm, analogous color scheme

beginning the mosaic for a bright sun