Showing posts with label clay projects for kids. Show all posts
Showing posts with label clay projects for kids. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Field Trip! A Visit with Audry Deal-McEver

Last year, I started a series of videos titled Field Trip! The purpose of these videos was to take all of my students on a virtual adventure to meet contemporary artists, see their creative spaces and witness them creating. You can check out my playlist of Field Trip! videos here. If you subscribe, you can also stay up-to-date as to when I post a video. I actually have three more Field Trip! videos recorded that I need to edit and upload before sharing them with you and my students. Please feel free to use these (and any of my videos) in your art room...I think all students can benefit from learning about these unique, creative and current working artists. 

I admit, I fell off the wagon HARD last spring when it came to searching out artists, contacting them and filming them. I was starting to feel super overwhelmed with all things art teacherin': the national conference where I presented a couple of times; our school-wide art show which is a beast of an undertaking and our clay unit which we always kick off in the spring. I will also admit this to you...I am very lazy, not consistent, a procrastinator and, did I mention lazy? I'm lazy. One look at Mount Laundry and you would agree.

But knowing just how much my students benefited from these videos, I knew I had to continue creating them. So during the spring, I attended an artisan fair and picked up just about every business card that I saw sitting out. Once home, I researched the artist, looked into their location (Nashville and just a little beyond is ideal) and sent them an email. I got a great response...artists are so giving with their time and willingness to share! The first artist I scheduled to visit is the one and only Audry Deal-McEver
Look at her beautiful home! Audry's studio is right behind her home and it is absolutely stunning, check it out:
When I arrived at Audry's home, she reminded me that we actually met many years ago (we are thinking about 10-12). My brother, who is 10 years my junior, was in a very bad car accident and was in a coma for several weeks. During that time, my administration allowed me to be with him and my family. Audry's mom, an art teacher, stepped in for me. She taught my classes, kept the students creating and made it so I could focus on what was most important. Her daughter, Audry, came in one day and did a wheel throwing demonstration for the students. I still have the photos of that day and share them with the kids when we chat about clay. What a crazy turn of events, right? My brother, by the way, pulled out of the a coma that they said he would not and is now an English teacher on a Native American reservation. 

I'm rambling...here's the video!
I have to tell you...Audry is an INCREDIBLE teacher...because she IS a teacher. She's taught ceramics and photography for the past five years at a local school. She is now taking time off from teaching to focus on her work. However, she does such a wonderful job explaining every element of working with clay that I feel this video would benefit all students, upper elementary on up to college. 
At the start of the video, you'll find her wedging clay. She explains the reasoning behind that and how to do it. Then she moves on to throwing on the wheel...which she makes look incredibly simple. I could only dream to throw a pot on the wheel that didn't end up looking like Patrick from SpongeBob Square Pantalones. 
I love how Audry shares her inspiration...and the origin of paisley! I had to include that in the video, it was new to me. Also, watching an artist work is always hypnotizing and she does her clay carving so quickly. It was fun to watch.
I was thrilled when she explained how a kiln works and the different types of kilns. I know that can help even us art teachers who might not understand how to operate a kiln.
Audry mixes up her own glazes to create the desired color. Her application process was interesting to see. 
And I loved the results so much, I had to have one of her vases in my home. She also gave me a beautiful mug...I know the kids will love to see me gettin' my coffee on with one of her pieces. 
A big THANK YOU! to Audry for allowing me to visit. Be sure to follow her Instagram as she shares videos and photos of her process.
I hope you enjoyed this visit to Audry's studio as much as I did! Until next time...
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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

In the Art Room: Clay Tacos!

Hey, friends! I thought I'd share with you a fun clay project that you can do with either kiln fire or air dry clay: Clay Tacos! I did this project with my kindergarten kiddos and it was a huge hit. It also taught them a ton: clay can capture texture; how to create a sphere, coil and a slab, the holy trinity of clay sculpture; how to adhere clay with an alternative slip and score method. So here you go: Clay Tacos!
One thing I love when working with clay and kiddos is introducing them to texture and clay. We step on the clay, pound it into textures, you name it, we try it. My favorite thing is to have a variety of lace, doilies and burlap for them to experiment with. 
With a class of 20 kids pounding clay flat, it is going to sound like a crazy roll of thunder (with echoes of lots of laughs from the kids) but I have found it to be the quickest and easiest way to introduce the kids to creating a slab. 
With a beautiful textured piece of clay, the possibilities are endless! In fact, I'll be sharing EIGHT of my favorite air dry clay projects using this method and more at the Art Ed NOW conference
Have y'all signed up? You really should, it's a ton of fun. 
I explored EVERY air dry clay on the market (seriously) when working on my clay book which is now available for sale here! Many of the air dry clays have the look and feel of kiln fire so it's a great way to introduce kids to the magic of clay even if you are kiln-less. So get you some clay and make you a clay taco today! 
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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 37 GLAZE!

If you have a kiln, then you probably have glaze...and you are more than likely well aware of how freakishly expensive glaze is. I swear, it eats about a quarter of my budget. But I just can't give the stuff up: glaze really does give my students the ultimate ceramic experience. So today, I thought I'd share my very favorite glaze brand as well as how I distribute glaze and conserve it...so that I don't waste a single precious (read: pricey!) drop. Here you go:
My dog dishes, ice cube trays and just about everything else were purchased at the Dollar Tree. I love the Dollar Tree, y'all. If I could marry it, I totally would. Cassie Lane Dollar Tree. Has a nice ring to it, no?
Once our glazing days were done, I tossed the press and seal I was using to keep the glaze fresh and let them dry out. Just a crack of the tray works to pop them out. Then put them in the glaze bottles, add water and shake. Clean trays + conserved glaze = happy art teacher!
This is a messy task...and one that you will only want to do once. So get all your glaze bottles and trays out and knock it out in one fell swoop. 
You'll be happy you did. Clean (ish) glaze/ice cube trays and fresh glaze for the win, kids! 

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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

In the Art Room: Salt Dough Sunflowers!

Here's a way to introduce your kiddos to clay even if you don't have a kiln: Salt Dough Clay! Last summer, when I was writing my book Clay Lab for Kids, I had to come up with kid-friendly clay recipes. You see, the book is divided into three parts: projects created with air dry clays available at craft stores; polymer clay projects and clay projects created with homemade clays. There are several clay recipes in my book (including an edible clay!) and this salt dough clay is one of my favorites. Here's how to make it and create a Salt Dough Sunflower (a project not found in my book, just for you!):
Here's the recipe which would be enough clay to create a half dozen flowers:
(Allergy warning! If you are allergic to gluten, this is not the project for you.)

* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup salt
* 3/4 cup water

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Dump out ingredients onto wax paper or plastic and continue to knead until a soft dough forms. When creating, be sure to work on a plastic covered surface as this stuff is sticky! Also, when making this flower, use a styrofoam bowl or a bowl covered in plastic wrap so that the flower pops out easily when dry. 

Also, any clay not used, simply wrap in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for later use. 
I placed my flower in front of a fan to dry overnight. Just so you know: this is a dough so it will rise a bit! Don't be surprised if your flower looks a little fluffy once dry. 

Salt dough can also be cured by baking in the oven at 200. Keep an eye on it as the goal is simply to dry it out, not burn it. I have cooked mine for 15-30 minutes depending on the dampness of the clay. 

I painted my flower with acrylic paint but tempra could also be used. Be sure to cover with a coat of ModPodge to insure that it will not break. 
If you don't subscribe already, I update my YouTube channel with videos like this and all things art teachery pretty frequently. You are always welcome to use my videos and lessons...I just always appreciate a shout out. 

In other news, I'll be presenting at Art Ed NOW on August 3rd on...you guessed it, all things clay! I'll be sharing a TON of no-kiln clay projects for the elementary and middle school set. 

And if you've picked up my clay book and you have a spare moment, a review here would be so very much appreciated. Thank you so much, y'all!

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Spotlight on Today in Nashville!

I hope y'all had a wonderfully relaxing weekend! I spent mine trying to snap out of a funky spell that left me weak and tired. I did get to see my best buddy Mallory and hit the flea market, celebrate the birthday of my sweet friend Jennifer and hit the movies and dinner with the hubs and friends (Bay Watch: it was pretty good; Alien: no bueno). Oh, and I also started on a broccoli dress! So, now that I think about it, I can see why I'm a little tired...too much fun for this gal!

Speaking of fun, I got to spend my Friday with Kelly and Carol over on Today in Nashville! I'm not exaggerating when I say it was a good time, it was like a fun party over there at the Channel 4 studio. You can catch the full four minute clip of my segment here
 Y'all might remember that I was on Talk of the Town the previous week which was also a ton of fun. One thing I have learned from doing these super short clips: these hosts are PROS. I mean, I knew that going in...but, what I'm trying to say is, they only have moments to meet you beforehand, chat with you, ask you a few questions to get your "story" and be able to share it in such a way that it seems we are old friends. And it truly felt like we were. These ladies were so fun, funny and the scene in the studio was like that of a party. 
I snapped a couple of photos to give you a little behind the scenes tour. This is a show that airs daily and is an hour long. It's a talk show that features folks around town. There's a kitchen for the cooking segments, an area that looks like a little living room for relaxed interviews, two demo areas, which is where I was recorded, and a stage made to look like the Ryman Auditorium
Country singer Tara Thompson performed a couple of songs live which was so super fun to see. I cannot imagine singing or playing an instrument live and she nailed it as did her bandmates!
I really had the best time on the set. Thank you to those of you who caught the clip and sent me sweet texts and Facebook messages. When you are in front of the camera, you really have NO IDEA how you are sounding or looking...in fact, I'm still afraid to watch the clip! What was funny is that afterward, I went grocery shopping and a woman ran up to me at the grocery and said, "I just saw you on T.V.! You did a good job!" I thought that was very sweet...and everyone else around us was trying to figure out who I just who I was. Just a crazy art teacher, y'all! 
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Sunday, May 21, 2017

In the Art Room: Art Show 2017, 3-D Displays

Welcome to the 3-Dimensional display of the Johnson Elementary Art Show! Our annual art show showcases all of the artwork that each of our young artists create throughout the school year. In this blog post, I'll be sharing all of the 3-D work that was displayed in my room...but stay tuned! A post about the incredible 2-D display is up next. This art show is a HUGE undertaking as we share all of the efforts of every student. An art show like this would not be possible without the help of some truly AMAZING moms that spend more hours than you could imagine making the art show a memorable one for our artists. I cannot thank them enough...y'all are truly incredible!

All of the projects you'll see here are ones that were created by my students while viewing the how-to videos I created for them. I'll be adding those videos for you here. Feel free to use them in your art room! I'll be adding more videos like these over the summer so you might want to subscribe to stay tuned. But enough about that, let's take a tour of the Johnson Elementary Art Show 2017, 3-D Displays!
I hope you liked the tour. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments! 
This project was a hit with the kids...and one that my current third graders are asking if they will get to do next year. I had several kiddos sewing at home and bringing in the pillows and monsters they had created there. It was so fun to teach them this life skill. Here is the video they viewed:
Their creativity really blew me away. By the way, if you teach a fourth grader how to make a pom-pom, it can be a dangerous thing.
By the way, y'all know that big bunned monster is my #lifegoals, right?!
This display is one of my faves. It showcased the sculptural work of my kindergarten, second and third grade students. My kindergarten kids created the monarch butterflies:
That was a one-day project that the kids really enjoyed. 
 My P.E. buddy Ali Starkweather painted the rainforest backdrop that you see. Isn't it amazing? It went so well with the theme of our exotic birds and reptiles! 
 Let's talk about these clay projects. The third graders created these clay chameleons which were one of my faves. 
We used a combo of Mayco's Stroke and Coat glazes and their Jungle Gems for a speckled look. 
 I really stressed a three coat minimum for glazing and I think that's why the kids were so successful in having such beautifully glazed pieces. They take so much pride in their clay work that I usually don't have to ask them to redo...they are dedicated to making them awesome!
Also on display were these birds. Y'all, these were the comedic hit at the show, they are so fun and funny. They really came to life when the kids painted them and added the feathers and beads. Here is the video lesson:

A couple of my kindergarten classes had extra days with clay so we made a second clay project: these turtles! Their other project was hung in the hallway, I'll be sure to share that with you in the following blog post. 
Those turtles were super fun to create...I loved seeing the glaze effects on the texture. 
The first graders created the most incredible fish so they needed a sweet display to show them off. The kids created the painted bubble paper hat covered the tables. 
 For these, the fish were glazed but the bases were painted with metallic watercolor. Here's the lesson video:
My second graders had just completed their ceiling tile project and had traced templates for that project. I had 65 templates...so, instead of throwing them away, I had the kids paint them as their last project.  
We hung them above the first grade fish! Here's the video used for the ceiling tile project:
These might be my favorite ceiling tiles to date! 
For the fourth grade bobble heads, these were displayed on my counter. I covered my cabinets with white paper and works of art by both kindergarten and second grade. 
Um, that one has a top hat, a bowtie and a monocle. Perfection. Video here:
This is another project I think my younger kids are gonna wanna create. These were so fun! 
I love all the extra cat bowls for this one!
On the cabinets, the kinders created the Arlo Needs Glasses paintings and the second graders did the black glue and chalk fish. Here are the videos:
The kids loved this project!
Sandra Silberzweig is a favorite artist of mine...and my students. 
On another set of tables covered in pink, my fourth graders had their plaster candy hearts on display. 
Also featured on the pink paper were the plaster candies that my third graders created...they really looked good enough to eat!
 Puffy paint for the win, y'all. 
The days following the art show, I invite the classroom teachers to bring their students during my planning time. Together, we teachers work in an assembly line wrapping clay projects, stuffing them into the bags and stapling the labels on top while the kids wait on the floor. It usually takes about 7 minutes to get a class done. The kids then take their 3-D work home safely. 

Stay tuned for the what's up next: a post and video of our 2-D work...until then, here's a tour of last year's 3-D display, enjoy!

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