Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Hot Tub - Why I Love Student Choice in the Studio

This pot began toward the end of the spring after school session. A nice example of the clay skills this young artist developed over the course of her classes. Notice the scoring marks on the bottom slab, ready for attachment of a second side to complete the pot. Also, there is a coil of clay worked into the space between the two attached slabs, adding strength to the joint of the piece.
Here, she carefully adds the second side, supporting the inside and outside with her hands as she joins the fragile sides together. Behind her are cut off pieces from shaping the slab to be just the right size to complete the pot.
The completed and smoothed slab pot...or what I thought was a pot based on her original intention. The artist seemed a bit dissatisfied, saying she thougth that it was too deep to be a pot. As an observer, I felt a bit disappointed that she did not see and relish in the growth in her hand building skills that I was seeing.
I returned some time later to find this addition, also built with slabs - as well as another transformation. "It was too deep to be a pot so I added a ladder and now it's a hot tub." Watching this unfold was a wonderful experience of developing clay and sculpting skills along with the delight of imagination and creative problem solving.

Visit the Teaching for Artistic Behavior page to read more about Choice-based art making.

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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Silly Bands in Art

Like many parents, my initial response to silly bands was a bit skeptical. As I found myself increasingly surrounded by them at home and in the studio, I am fascinated by the conversations begun by asking about these simple objects. They are a form of fashion and fashion is part of art. I heard of one child who wore hers in the order of the colors of the rainbow. Their design is also unique...each animal is represented by a single continuous line or contour. This alone could be an interesting would you represent your favorite animal using a single continuous line? Finally, their flexibility makes them interesting; pinch, pull and bend to transform the basic animal outline fatter, thinner, stranger...what stories might they tell?
Silly bands have of course made their way into the art studio; here are a few of my favorites:
Silly band rubbings created with oil pastel on paper. The bands were placed under the paper; notice the one in the upper right was twisted and made a unique design.
Silly band rubbing and a child's drawing inspired by the outline. These first two images were done by Savannah.
Here the silly band is used as a stamp when applying glaze to a pinch pot. The band was carefully painted and pressed onto the pot, the flexibility made it a good stamp for a curved surface.
The impression left by the guitar silly band.
The finished pot (upside down) after the glaze firing. Here we can see how the artist combined the stamps in her overall design. Turned upright, this is a basketball pencil holder created by Andie for her sister and fellow artist, Liz.