Monday, September 10, 2012

White Paper Sculpture

For a bit of a change, we started our 3-D Design Class with paper sculpture, drawing on the works of  Canadian paper artist Calvin Nicholls and Japanese American paper artist, Jeff Nishinaka.  The students were quite impressed and went to work.  They were instructed on exacto knife safety and some scoring and folding techniques, but they were free to use any method of constructing or deconstructing the paper to form their sculpture.  We used white tagboard and white glue.  On some the the more heavily folded structures we needed to use heavier glues such as wood glue and hot glue.  

This was an inherited class and prior to this year, the class was called "Ceramics".  The students were instructed in various clay construction methods and were required to complete 13 projects.  The previous teacher prided himself in developing a self-running class.  After a few years of teaching to this curriculum, I noticed that after about project number five, the quality started to diminish.  I suggested that we change the name to 3-D Design, Sculpture and Ceramics, hoping to introduce other media and techniques to the students.  

I am quite pleased with this first project!  Some of the students certainly went above and beyond.  They were supposed to observe an actual flower or animal  for this study.  Some did.  Others did not.  The posted results were among the better ones.  I thought I also uploaded a cool toucan, but I think he flew away.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

PDD Banyan Trees

A great resources for Art Teachers is the Pinterest Sight!  As a high school teacher who is constantly searching for new and exciting ideas, I find Pinterest amazing.

Two years ago, I took on the task of teaching two special needs classes.  One class of students have multiple handicaps, are wheelchair bound, and cannot speak.

The PDD class is for students with a Pervasive Developmental Disability.  Most are considered somewhere on the Autistic Spectrum.

As a high school teacher, most of my lessons involve things like perspsective, value, line, sculpture, composition, art history and the like.  To find material for these classes, I frequently look for elementary lessons.   I found this lesson on Pinterest from the website of  I thought it was a wonderful exercise in negative space.  I taught the students how to draw the tree trunk and add branches in pencil.  Then they were to color the negative space behind the tree in very bright colors.
It was a difficult concept for many of these PDD students not to color in the trunk.  Some did outline around the trunk.  I would have preferred that they not outline but I think they still look wonderful!  Enjoy!