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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Batiks

5th Grade Batiks

5th Grade Gel Glue Batik Art Lesson
I absolutely love batiks and even have one hanging in my classroom that my sister had brought me back from Tanzania.  So when I learned that you could make batik-esque artwork using gel glue instead of hot wax, I couldn't wait (seriously, I made it my very lesson plan) to put it to the test with my fifth graders!

I started by asking students if they knew what batiks were.  None of them did, but they did a great job of using context clues by taking guesses based on the photo I had up as the cover slide in my PowerPoint.  I explained a little bit about them and how, traditionally, they are made and where they are most commonly made in the world.  I then explained how we would be doing our own variation of batiks and they could choose whatever subject matter they wanted (whether they made a scene, a pattern/design or just a fun little picture).

We started by drawing our designs out on paper with pencil.  Once students liked their drawing, they traced it in marker (we used permanent marker which I will not use in the future, just because it isn't necessary.  I will just use washable markers next time).  The purpose of the marker is so that we can lay fabric (we used muslin) over our drawing and still be able to see the drawing.  We then used Gel Glue (from what I read, it must be gel glue, not regular white school glue) to trace the drawing onto the fabric.  Then set them on the drying rack.  I made the mistake of leaving the fabric on the paper and when the glue dried, the paper glued to the back of our fabrics...so lesson learned, be sure to lay the fabric on the drying rack by its lonesome!

5th Grade Gel Glue Batik Art Lesson

5th Grade Gel Glue Batik Art Lesson

Once the glue was dry, each student was able to paint their batik (well, first, we had to peel off the paper that glued itself to the fabric).  We used watered down acrylics and I reminded them to paint the entire piece of fabric (even over the top of the glue) and that later we would wash away the glue, and those lines/designs/drawings would be white.  We discussed how they did not need to "color inside the lines" with the paint, that the colors could mix and spread however they wanted them to.  The students painted their batiks to their liking and once again, they were on the drying rack.

5th Grade Gel Glue Batik Art Lesson

5th Grade Gel Glue Batik Art Lesson

5th Grade Gel Glue Batik Art Lesson

5th Grade Gel Glue Batik Art Lesson

Once the paintings were dry, I placed them in some tubs of warm water to let them soak (this helps with the removal of glue).  I tried washing the glue off directly under the sink at first; it worked but took much longer than the ones I soaked.  Personally, I let them soak overnight and in the morning, I washed each batik under the sink to remove the glue (at this point it was more like slime) and whatever paper crumbles had clung onto the backs of our fabrics.  I placed them on the drying rack (yet again) and let them dry for the last time!  They dry a little crinkled, which doesn't bother me, but I'm sure they could be ironed too.  The paint faded just a bit in the washing process, but all in all, I am in love with the results!  The kids were so excited to see their work in the hallway, almost as excited as I am!  This is a lesson I cannot wait to repeat (in fact, I introduced it to my middle school art club)

5th Grade Gel Glue Batik Art Lesson
Star Design


5th Grade Gel Glue Batik Art Lesson


5th Grade Gel Glue Batik Art Lesson
Pattern and Design

5th Grade Gel Glue Batik Art Lesson
Weeping Willow Tree

5th Grade Gel Glue Batik Art Lesson

5th Grade Gel Glue Batik Art Lesson
Turtle

5th Grade Gel Glue Batik Art Lesson

5th Grade Gel Glue Batik Art Lesson
Line Design