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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Earth Day

Happy (Belated) Earth Day!

As my 6th graders finished up their Andy Warhol Inspired Portraits I had them use their free time to honor Earth Day.  We've all seen the paper pinwheels on pencils and I saw this as the perfect occassion to make them!  Since it was a "finished early" activity, I simply explained why we were making them and allowed students to decorate them however they wished.  Not everyone had time to make one, so I only have about 40 pinwheels in total.  We used the template shown below, a thumbtack and none other than the infamous No. 2 pencil.  Unfortunately my template was rather large compared to the pencil so they can't actually spin/move with the wind...Oops!  But that didn't stop me from planting them firmly in the ground outside my classroom window.  While they might not be spinning as planned, they are still a beautiful accent and a glorious reminder of how beautiful our planet is!

I think if I were to redo this, I would use longer sticks (rather than pencils) and use papers left behind at the school printer so that we could recycle the unwanted copies into something beautiful!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Smoke Fired Warriors

Terra Cotta Warrior Update-They're Finished!

6th Grade Terra Cotta Warrior Clay Army Art Display
 This is two photos of the display merged together, so I apologize for anywhere that it doesn't quite merge correctly in the middle!

My terra cotta warriors have been smoke fired (or sawdust fired, as some people like to call it)! 
Last week, myself and a former art teacher at Ballard loaded up the kiln aka trash can that I drilled holes into with bisque warriors, sawdust, sticks, pinecones and anything dried up and burnable that I could find.  We started with a bedding of sawdust, added some warriors, more sawdust and burnables, more warriors, etc.

My school let me lock it up in the batting cages so that no one would disturb it and so that once it was running and hot, no one would accidentally touch it out of curiosity  So after it was all loaded, I left it locked up overnight and returned to it bright and early the next morning... 
 And I set it on fire!  Actually, I just tucked a few newspapers underneath a few of the sticks and lit them on fire.
I let it burn for a few minutes and put the lid back on the garbage can so that the flames would become smolders and the sawdust and such would burn down slowly while giving awesome effects to our clay army
I let it burn all day and let it cool for a day before unloading the warriors.  I rinsed them off and could finally show off the finished product!  We had a few casualties (a few heads and feet fell off due to inadequate slipping and scoring) but we managed to doctor all of the warriors up so that they appeared to be intact!  I love our clay army and couldn't be more proud of the work my 6th graders put in and how their army turned out!
 I had to brag to my fellow art teachers in the district of how well the warriors turned out so I took them to the "kiln" for a show and tell session

Some more photos worth bragging about:

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Ballerina's Serenity

This is one of my new favorite surrealism images (lesson here) one of my 8th graders has made. Something about it just puts me at ease. Enjoy!