Welcome to Lines, Dots, and Doodles. This is the place for students, parents, and teachers to find out what has been going on in my art class. I have included pictures of my student's artwork and basic explanations of the projects. I hope when you leave this blog, you feel inspired to create. Feel free to browse this blog and borrow any of my art lessons.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Wall Mosaics?

As an art teacher, people constantly come to me for help with their artistic ventures. There is a teacher at one of my schools who really thinks we should create a mosaic wall on the outside of the school. Yes, this sounds awesome, but I know all of the work will fall on me. I have never made a large mosaic before and really don't know where to start. I know I would have to apply for a grant to even begin this project. Before applying for a grant though, I want to make sure this is actually a feisable venture.

If I did a mosaic wall, I would want it to be a collaborative school project. Perhaps have the children make their own ceramic tiles which we would glaze and fire. However, this is where I get stuck. I know how to make the tiles, but am unsure how to put the mosaic together. Is it best to put cement directly to the wall, or is it best to make the mosaic on a piece of wood and then hang it up? Also, I would like the children to actually help to put the mosaic together. How would I go about this? I would love any suggestions. Has anyone out there ever created anything like this?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My Awesome Art Room

I finally have an art room! After spending two years teaching on a cart, it is great to have all of this space. This room is great. I have closets, tables, and even a Smart Board. My life could not be any better!It is wonderful to have an art room for the first time.

Friday, August 20, 2010

I have an art room!!!

(These paper mache mushrooms really have little to do with this post, but I hate posting something without pictures. Plus, they are just fun!)

I have an Art Room!!! Teachers went back to school this week, and I had a surprise. I now have an actual room in one of my three schools. For the past couple years, I have been traveling between three schools, and have been Art on a Cart. Finally, one of my schools gave me a room.

Since I began teaching, I have always been jealous of all those teachers out there who had the luxury of having shelves, tables, cabinets, and bulletin boards. In my imagination when I pictured my art room, I have always pictured a magical land of large paper mache mushrooms, a life size suit of armor, maybe even a castle. Unfortunately these grand ideas won't work, because I have to share the room with the PE teacher. All of my decorations need to stay on the walls, I can't have little kids breaking my paper mache mushrooms during PE class. However, I am incredibly excited about having a room.

I have been working hard this week trying to decorate and arrange the room the way I want it. I have it mostly decorated, but there is still one large blank wall in the back that currently has nothing on it. I need ideas. Does anyone have any suggestions for good art bulletin boards or decorations? I don't want to just randomly put up artwork, I want it to have a point.

When I get a chance to take photos of the room, I will post them.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Clay Bowls, Summer Art

My summer clay class has been lots of fun, and my students have created a lot of cool things. Yesterday was the last day of the summer session, and unfortunately, we ran out of time to glaze a few things. Even though these are only bisque fired, I just had to post a few pictures, because I just think they are awesome!.

The greatest thing about these bowls is that they are super simple. I started by giving each child a plastic bowl. The plastic bowls become our molds. We flattened a piece of clay until it is fairly thin. Then we slowly drape the clay into the bowls. Slowly push the clay until it fits inside the bowl completely. Students then cut off any extra clay around the bowl. After this is done, students are free to decorate their bowls. You could have them use stamps or texture tools to create cool designs. They could also draw designs with a toothpick. Some of my students decided to use cookie cutters to cut out hearts, flowers, stars, etc to add to their bowls. (If they do decide to add shapes to their bowls, they need to remember to score and slip, or it may fall apart later). Let these bowls dry for a few days before taking them out of the molds. Clay shrinks as it dries, so once it is bone dry, it will come right out of the mold with no effort at all.
I absolutely LOVE these! I just wish they would have had time to glaze. Next time I teach a clay class, I will do this project earlier in the session, so we can completely finish them.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Clay Wizards, Summer Art

Last week, I had my students create these clay wizards. I found this really awesome clay project on Deep Space Sparkle. I think this was my student's favorite clay lesson this summer. They were extremely excited and proud of these when they finally came out of the kiln. Basically, these were made with slabs of clay. The body was a long rectangle, which we rolled to look like the robe. For the arms, we used triangles, which were also rolled. The head is just a ball of clay that we poked a big hole through to keep from exploding. The hat is just a rolled up triangle. Lastly, we added a cape to the back, which not only looked nice, but also helped keep the head more stable. There are more detailed instructions on Deep Space Sparkle, so check it out for more details.
These wizards remind me of Harry Potter! I just love them.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Random Clay Creations, Summer Art

This summer, during my clay class, I have given students quite a bit of free time with the clay. I always remind students that things made with clay need to be either hollow or flat. Really thick clay pieces will blow up in the kiln. I tell students that their clay creation has to pass my inspection before going into the kiln. My students have come up with some great creations, and I just thought I would share some of them with you.
I really like how my students have taken the skills I have taught them and applied it to their own clay creations.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Clay Rattles, Summer Art

Last week, I had my summer clay students create clay rattles. We began by making two small pinch pots. Then students made about 8 tiny balls of clay. Each ball of clay gets a small piece of newspaper wrapped around it. (This will keep the clay balls from sticking together when firing). These tiny balls with newspaper were put inside one of the pinch pots. The second pinch pot was put on top and attached. After this was assembled, students were free to decorate their rattles. Some students made their rattles look like animals. Before firing, put a small hole in the rattle. This will keep it from blowing up in the kiln.
When these came out of the kiln, students were extremely excited to shake their rattles. They were fascinated to find out that each rattle had a different sound depending on the size of the balls inside.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Clay Shoes, Summer Art

Last week, I had my summer art students make these really cool clay shoes. We made these shoes using slabs of clay. Since my students are still very young, I gave my students stencils of the bottom, sides, and tongue of the shoe. The stencils were used to cut each slab to the right shape and size. (If you teach older kids, you could have them actually draw each side of the shoe, and make their own stencils.)
Then, I had the students assemble their shoe. First we attached the sides of the shoe. Remind students to score and slip. Then we put the tongue of the shoe in. Make sure they put the tongue in low enough, so there is room for shoe laces. Lastly, have them poke holes for shoe laces and decorate the shoes.
After the shoes had been bisque fired, I had the students use glazes to add color. When it had been fired a second time, I let students use yarn to lace the shoes with. I just love the results of this project!