Friday, March 28, 2014

Final shots

So my residency at Latrobe Junior High School came a to close yesterday.  We spent the day finishing murals and hanging them proudly in the hallway.  The mosaic boxes are complete and with a little linseed oil and polyeurethene added to the grout line, look pretty fantastic.  So invigorated for my next teaching job and so happy this one went so well.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Many things happening as my residency comes to a close

So many things to do before I finish my residency at the Junior High School!  We are working on mosaic tiling our clay works and also painting our mural projects.  We have a series of work stations set up and the students are happily working in pairs and teams to help get the artwork finished up.  I can only hope they are enjoying this as much as I am.  Seriously though, grouting comes next and I hope the kids embrace this rather tedious part as I will attempt to do also.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Let the chaos begin

So, Mrs. Page and I are attempting to fire 150 tiles, bisqued, glazed and fired again after being completely hand made by the students.  We are then taking said tiles (75 of them) and hand mosaic tiling these to the wooden boxes on which they will be displayed.

In the meantime, we are also designing, creating and painting and in some cases building 5 other murals on canvas for Music, Tech Ed, Art, Science and English.  Each class was asked to select a quote and then as a collaborative group create a piece of artwork that will eventually hang in the halls of the school.  This is made a bit difficult with the sizes of the classes varying from huge to small and keeping up with getting all our clay work accomplished.  Still, I think I am pleased so far with the progress and enthusiasm of the students.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Thoughts about clay in an easy way

We had to fill in a little bit of time today as the kiln was too hot to unload after our bisque fire.  Our discussion in class began as a simple format for creating some simple poetry.  After our writing was over, each table of students chose the poem they felt was good.  One student from each table then read the piece of work out loud.  The results were some expressive thoughts about clay, music and generally..... art:

creative, fun
concentrating, drawing, brainstorming
art is expressing your feelings

fun, messy
painting, creating, drawing
art is always my favorite

fun, messy
painting, drawing, coloring
being creative is fun

loud, different
relaxing, calming. relieving
music clears my mind

loud, relaxant
exciting, amusing, relaxing
music fixes all problems

fun, delightful
singing, dancing, beating
music brings out the blues

creative, unique
painting, drawing, expressing
art shows who you are

different, colorful
painting, creating, imagining
art is everywhere, everyday

expressive, creative
learning, living. loving
art is different for everyone

creative, unique
painting, drawing, creating
using your own imagination

colorful, creative
painting, drawing, designing
a doodle a day

soft, smooth
molding, making, carving
using clay is fun

fun, large
painting, drawing, creating
art starts my day

neat, creative
painting, cutting, drawing
art is my stress reliever

creative, fun
writing, singing, dancing
art can be anything

Monday, March 10, 2014

Recycled Steel and Pallet Lumber Art in the Making

With our move to Shallotte, NC, we are hoping to start incorporating more recycled elements into our artwork at Waking Bear Studio.  Some of our new concepts revolve around taking any of the scrap steel that Rick cuts parts from and welding together some simple designs.  We have also been collecting pallet lumber and creating some new pieces with the wood and metal as well.

Below are some examples and we are also working on some furniture concepts too:)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Clay, clay and more wonderful clay

Here I am at a new school and happily playing in clay!  I will be at Latrobe Junior High for the next 20 days and our projects will include clay tile sculpture and large murals for the hallway.  As always, I am overwhelmed with the positive influence of the arts in a school system that still values the art department.  In this residency one of my primary goals is in setting up each student for the success of an art project in which they take personal pride in a job well done.

Communication between Lindsey Page (the art teacher) and me has been really a positive experience.  She does these wonderful presentations at the beginning of class that revolve around a little history of art, questions and even little mini sketches the students keep in their sketch pads.  These are 9th grade students and their interest level in this Art Exploration class seems evident to me after just a few short days.

So, I donated some stoneware clay (it has been in my basement not being used) and used my slab roller to roll out clay tiles for 75 students.  Each student will make two tiles, one to remain as part of a larger scale mosaic and one they can choose to keep.  I initiated the subject matter by asking them to select 5 adjectives (positive ones only:) to describe themselves.  I have a really cool worksheet with related bird, animals, flower, insect and tree imagery that can then related back to symbolize themselves.  For instance, Maple leaf means "courage......" etc

Our process this week involved a day to create two 4 by 4 inch sketches related to the images they chose to represent self.  We then looked at some wonderful artwork on a large screen visible to all students to show Low Relief clay sculpture both past and present day work.  Lindsey provided little tidbits of information about the history of sculpture as a way to show different cultures and how they represented themselves through clay works.

In this first week, we have accomplished one clay tile completed by most of the students along with a few thoughtful writing responses to their clay tiles.  Problem solving has been so great to see as they learn the process of Additive and Subtractive Sculpture (a requirement) of each piece.  They are learning to use tools and to self critique this first sculpture piece.  Here are some students thoughts about what they like about clay, what they might change or improve on their second tile etc.:  (these responses are a mix of two classes)

"  Getting the right shape or take the right form....I would like more detail in my next tile."

"using the clay calms me"

" the clay was easily altered and you have to be extremely careful."

"  Trying to get a good shape with the clay.  Sometimes it won't go as planned."

"  working in clay is relaxing."

"  Putting what you drew with detail into the clay because it is not as easy to add as much detail to clay.  Working with clay makes me feel kind of frustrated because it is difficult to get it how you want it."

" I think the most challenging thing about working with clay is not doing it for so long and then to forget what to do.  It is very relaxing."

"What I like about the project is that I can take an image that is in my head and turn it into a work of art.  Also it is is a good way to express myself.  What I would like to change is to make it look more real."

"  My clay sculpture of an otter shows the playfulness of an otter.  With the otter on top of the huge  stone it sits and waits to play in the water.  For my next clay sculpture I would like to make more detail."

"  I like my first tile because it shows who I am and we got a lot of free way with the design.  Bur for my my second tile I'm gonna try and make my object and  everything in general smoother."

These are just a few of the written responses of the students to this residency and art project so far!