We have been so busy, it’s been a while since our last post. I would like to showcase some of the amazing work the students have created at a few different venues with traditional and non-traditional materials. We have everything from giant food to insects.
Bacon and Eggs
Exploring line and textures with PK and K. Printing, color, sand, glitter, paint and more.
Cardboard, paint and wire create our own version of Calder’s mobiles.
Paper bag hand sculptures capture the student’s personalities using symbols and color.
Hand soft sculpture
Handmade paper using tissue paper scraps
Handmade paper using tissue paper scraps and Mod Podge.
The best thing about inheriting someone’s classroom is what they leave behind in the closet. I have had these cut pieces of thin rubber strings sitting, waiting for some inspiration. We started creating a “printing block” using longish strands of yarn but the printing plate needed something extra. A little masking tape, paint and voila, a new use for those rubber “spaghetti” strips!
We used the same technique of painting the printing block, burnishing and lifting the print from the plate. The result can be hit or miss but after all, exploring and understanding what doesn’t work is an important part of the process as well.
Printing is a great technique to explore with young children. There are so many different ways to create prints and the opportunity for many “happy accidents”. We started our printing unit with a simple monoprint. A monoprint is a print that can only be made once, as opposed to most other printing techniques which allow for multiples.little ones.
As always, we chose re purposed materials in the form of a plastic serving tray and white scrap paper. Using tempera paint, we spread a thin application of blue paint directly on the serving tray. This can be done with a brush or a brayer, we used a 2″ foam brush. make sure there is enough paint to cover the size paper you are using and the application is thick enough to make marks in, but not too thick that you will lose the image. You may want to practice this before you start the project with your little ones.
To make their design, I supplied the kiddos with Q-tips, which they used to “draw” their image in the paint. It’s interesting when they realize they are “drawing” by removing paint instead of adding it. Once their image is created, we place the paper on top of the image and very gently, this was the hardest part, burnish or smooth down the paper to lift the image onto the paper. We just used our hands instead of a brayer or other tool because I wanted to make sure the entire image was transferred and make it more of a tactile experience as well. Don’t press too hard and don’t move the paper. You can see the image faintly once there is enough paint transferred onto the paper. At this point, life the paper gently and slowly from one end and voila! A lovely print of their original drawing.
One thing to keep in mind, it will be a reverse image so keep it simple and stay away from words or letters. The lovely examples below are all from my Kindergarten class.
The look of wonder on their faces when they see their print is priceless 🙂
You CAN make art out of literally anything! Painting on aluminum foil creates texture and a visually stimulating palette. Just remember to add a little dish washing liquid to your tempera paint to help it stick to the shiny surface.
This week my little ones used Puncinello aka Honeycomb ribbon, to begin creating texture for their “bricks”.
This is what happens when you stumble into the huge roles of metallic ribbon on the floor of your classroom closet! My PreK classes have begun their Building unit, so what to do in art class? Make bricks of course.
Here they are using Bingo markers to create a textured pattern on poster board, using the holes in the ribbon. The challenge was not to bang the markers (usually their favorite part) but instead to apply the color as evenly as possible and combine colors without ending up with a shade of PreK Rainbow mud. If you are an early childhood teacher, you are familiar with this color 🙂
Once dry, I will remove the taped on ribbon and cut the decorated poster board into brick shapes which they can then use to create their 2D houses. I love the melange of colors they were able to put together. Thirty-six 4 year olds did a great job, can’t wait to see what kinds of houses they come up with.
Musical accompaniment – Parachute Express playlist on Spotify. Ended class with a singalong to “When I Build My House”.
Patty Eljaiek is an artist, teaching artist, mom, abuela and arts activist. As chair of planning and programming for Westbury Arts, she has helped to establish a diverse portfolio of programs and events that incorporate visual arts, dance, music, poetry, and spoken word. Whether teaching in a traditional classroom setting, a Gymboree play space or a professional development workshop, Patty has always encouraged her students to make connections by exploring concepts and participating in animated, entertaining conversations. Her motto is – “Work with what you have”.