Sunday, January 29, 2012

Fourth Grade Abstract Paintings

For this project, fourth grade artists experimented with stamping and painting. We looked at the work of Piet Mondrian and noticed how his work became increasingly abstract throughout his career. Students noticed that although his later paintings are not representational, he created interesting compositions using shape, line and color. Students worked from this idea when creating their own abstract compositions. Beginning with line, they used small pieces of cardboard to stamp short lines on a large sheet of paper. They were encouraged to create shapes and patterns as they worked, but were told to play with the material and see what happened.

The following class, we discussed color schemes. We looked at some abstract paintings where the artist selected a color scheme to use. We explored primary color schemes, complementary color schemes and analogous color schemes. Students were not required to choose one specific color scheme, but we discussed how being selective about the colors you choose can work better than just using every single color available. Here are two paintings by Sarah Morris that we looked at. Here, she used a complementary color scheme on the left and an analogous one on the right.

Fourth graders used tempera cakes to add color to their work. They came out so beautifully. Here are a few examples, but click here for many more.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Third Grade Coil Pots

Third graders are also creating coil pots. They have been exploring how you can use coils to create a unique design for their pottery. We learned about the importance of securely attaching each coil to the previous one. To do this. you "slip and score." Slip is very wet clay. It is almost used as a glue to fuse pieces together. Scoring is another word for making small scratches into the clay. When rough clay is attached to rough clay, it is much stronger than a smooth on smooth connection. Each pot came out great! They are all so different. I will post the finished pieces once they are glazed and fired.

First Grade Ceramics

First grade artists have been exploring ceramics. In social studies, first graders are learning about North America. They will soon be learning about native peoples, specifically the Pueblo. The Pueblo people are native to the southwest. To connect to their social studies unit, we learned about the importance of clay in Pueblo life. Students learned where clay comes from and many of its uses. Pueblo artists are famous for making coil pots.

Students learned about how coil pots are created by adding snakes of clay on top of one another to create the sides. Each first grade artist has created a coil pot. These will soon be fired in the kiln, glazed and then fired again. Check back in a month or so for completed coil pots!