CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio

CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio
CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio

Monday, January 17, 2011

Stop Action Animation

These two 6th graders teamed up to make a stop-action animation of two drawings being made step by step. They used our Draw 50 Famous Cartoons as their reference and inspiration and shot frame-by-frame as they made the drawings. The result looks like drawings making themselves.

More Papermaking

"Family Portrait" by "H," and "Green Suite," by "I," Grade 5 (see video below)

To wrap up the 2nd quarter in Art, CBMS students have been exploring possibilities in papermaking. Starting with hall passes, gum wrappers, old homework and all sorts of scraps of paper, students learn the process of deconstructing reclaimed materials to reconstruct art papers. Can we make paper out of tea bags or green beans from lunch? What happens if you add aluminum foil? What if you use too much stuff and the paper is too thick or there is not enough material and the paper is too thin? How thin can we make it? How thick is too thick?
"Green Suite" - 13 shades of green by "I," Grade 5

Learning the process of papermaking is one thing, finding a purpose for the resulting papers is another. Some students work as alchemists, blending custom pulp and crafting unusual papers. Some are colorists who focus on one shade, building a monochromatic portfolio of papers in subtle tones. Some students are innovators, testing materials and processes never before attempted. Others see possibilities for collaboration.

The Four Seasons by "M'" Grade 7
And what of meaning-making? Can young artists use the papers they make to create meaning? Is the meaning formed with the paper or does it emerge later when the paper is transformed into a book, a collage, a sculpture or a painting.

Click to view video!
One young papermaker custom-made 6 pieces of paper - one to represent each member of his family. Dad was made from pages of a discarded boo, because he is "always working," Mom was made of different shades of blue, her favorite color, brothers were thoughtfully made with colors and scraps that represented their interests and activities - the artist blended his paper from orange (his favorite color) and musical notes, since he loves music. Even the family dog was represented. Once the papers were finished, the artist cut them into five human figure shapes and one dog shape, arranged them in order, and strung them together to create a family portrait. (See photo at top of post)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Biggest Clay Whistle in the World

6th Graders Collaborate on the Giant Whistle Project
It started innocently enough – Some boys were interested in learning how to make clay whistles. I warned them: Clay whistles are hard. It takes a while to get the knack of making a fipple that produces sound (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fipple ).

(Click to view video!)
These boys were game. Several small whistles were carefully constructed, one even had four legs and a head. They produced various tones after great determination and practice.
Then it happened. While the whistle-makers were engrossed in their work, a student started making a large hollow bank by draping clay into 2 large wooden salad bowls (not the bowls you eat the salad out of, the ones you SERVE the salad from). It was a huge bank. The whistle-makers got one look at this bank and knew instantly that their NEXT whistle would be a world record-winner.

Testing the fipple and hoping for a sound

It wasn’t easy, of course. It took persistence, daring, physics and the willingness to get clay on your lips. In fact, it took a team of experts to collaboratively produce not one, but TWO giant clay whistles with two distinct sounds.
If anyone knows of a clay-whistle band in need of a couple of bass whistles, let us know…

Monday, January 3, 2011

Gift as Motivation

What motivates an artist to produce quality work? In this case, the motivation was the desire to make a special gift. "O" (7th grade) worked for several periods on this watercolor painting for her horse-loving sister. She worked with care and determination to produce an exceptionally well composed, well executed painting.
"O" has a very lucky sister!

Tools of the Trade

Sometimes, artists need specialized tools to bring their ideas and intentions to life. The 5th grader in the above picture is glazing a bowl (that he made on the potter's wheel) in a very specific way: he was intent on applying black glaze so it would drip down the inside edge in thin lines, and STOP when the lines reached the floor of the pot.
"H" made several false starts with brush and drip methods and determined that he needed a straw to blow the glaze in the direction he wanted, for the duration that was needed. Voila! A new glaze tool and glazing technique is born!

The artists thinks the resulting pattern looks like an eye.

Click to view video!

This video shows the "eye" pot being thrown on the potter's wheel.