October 29, 2014

African Inspired Found Object Masks

Let me say...I thought this project was going to be the death of me after yesterdays attempt.  First, we were short a special area teacher...so all our classes the whole day were about 6 students larger(yes..all our classes are setting between 20 & 25 students).  This was the first time I used found objects in such a way to create a mask armature.  This was the first time I had used plaster strips in a full class size setting.  This was the first time I though...the men with the white coats are coming to get me!!!!  Let me share the idealized version of this project with you!  However, please know...it wasn't a pretty picture yesterday!?!?!?! ha ha

This nine weeks 4th grade has a "found object" sculpture.  I thought that this would be a perfect time for an African inspired mask!  We watched a YouTube video about African masks the first week.  We then discussed the purpose & functions of masks.  Students had to decide on a "purpose/theme" for their mask.  They then drew a sketch to prepare themselves for creating it the following week.  I also had them write at least three sentences telling me about their masks meaning and purpose.  

For the next class time, I had students bring in supplies/found objects for the project.  That went so-so....lucky I had a bunch stored up in an empty room next to mine!!  I made a "BUFFET" of supplies they could select from.

Before students were allowed up to the "BUFFET"...they had to look at their mask sketch and think about the shapes to forms aspect...and decide what would be best for creating that. 
They had scissors & tape to work with back at their tables.  With it being plaster wrapped...securing the pieces onto the cereal box board was important, but did not have to be "overdone".  The first day's group really struggled with building up and out with their mask.  They were still thinking 2-D/Flat.  I had not used the plaster strips in this setting....so when I cut them...I cut them too small.  This caused the students to struggle.  They had a difficult time covering their forms completely.  The plaster wrap would get smooshed up and they weren't able to flatten it out again.  There was plaster EVERYWHERE!  Floor, tables, students...and some on their masks.  After they left...I had a planning period..so I tried to cover the spots they did not....and I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. UGH!  I really questioned if I would be able to carry on with this project the rest of the week.

These are pretty sweet...right?!?!!!  This was today's group(the second class to try them).  The whole class time went amazingly well!!!!  I had to do nothing else to ANYONE'S mask!!  The students did all the clean up.  It was a totally different experience.  I'm now excited about this project....though...we'll see how tomorrow goes?!!?!? ha ha  Can't wait to paint them and add embellishments.  Will post more pictures as this project progresses.  

October 27, 2014

National Leave A Comment On A Blog Day


Never heard of it?  Well...I made it up this morning! Hahaha!!  Many bloggers have shared that people hardly ever leave comments anymore.  I'm not sure why?  Maybe Pinterest has made blogger/reader relationships more distant?  Maybe people are "too busy".  These places where you get great ideas....there is a person on the other side of the screen!!!   It really encourages bloggers to keep doing what they are doing when they hear from YOU! It doesn't have to be much...just a quick comment to share you like the project/idea....how you are using it in your room...or questions concerning the project.  That will fuel your favorite bloggers to keep sharing!!!!!  So today...go leave a comment on at least 2 of your favorite blogs!!! What are you waiting for...go...comment!  


October 25, 2014


Cassie Stephens taught a felting workshop at our state conference.  I have always wanted to try it...but didn't want to buy all the supplies and then not care for it.  I LOVED IT!!  Cassie informed us the "needles/pokey thing" could make you bleed like the Julia Child's skit from SNL! It is good to have a healthy fear of your art supplies!!  So thankful to have the chance to experience this at TAEA!!!

                                           Here is my humble offering in the felting world. 
                                              Yes...he has one large eye...don't judge!!


October 23, 2014

Visiting Africa In The Art Room

This 9 weeks we are focusing on Africa. My 2nd graders did a tints & shades lesson creating an African  landscape. I've found some great short videos that showcase the landscapes, animals, and masks. I will keep looking, & a list to share with you.  If you know of any short videos on Africa..let me know!  

October 16, 2014

Kindinsky Fence Project: ALMOST DONE!

I'm so excited to have this project almost wrapped up!!!  Not because it has been a pain, but because I've been so excited to see it finished and in its new home!!!!!! I have to put the end boards on...polyurethane it...throw on some sparkles...and make sure all the pieces are secure!!!  

October 12, 2014

?Homemade Texture Plates?


My best bud, partner in crime, little sister I never wanted, general handy (wo)man, and a super cool aunt to my kiddos....Janet Malone....made this.  She use to blog ( go to http://www.msmalonesartroom.blogspot.com and leave comments about her lack of blogging ...maybe we can guilt her into starting back up! ).  Anyways?!? I wanted to share this project she worked on over fall break. She wanted to make texture plates for upcoming clay lessons.  First she drew out the designs...then hot glued along the lines...last she sprayed them with an acrylic sealer.  I am really excited to see how this works out!  Someone recommended she paint over them with a polyurethane to seal them better...but she is going to give them a try as is.  Yes...you can buy texture plates, but they can be pricey.  If this works well....I will post
 about the results & my take on them!!  

October 08, 2014

Kandinsky Shoes


So I wanted to have a bit of fun with Artober Nashville: Kandinsky Inspired.  I was going to make a "vest" that was Kandinsky Inspired...but haven't finished it yet.  The shoes weren't even on the radar...until I found a $5 pair of canvas shoes that actually fit my big feet!!!!  So last night during the big storm that was rolling through....
I was watching the second Thor...and making these!!  

I tried to take images from different parts of Kandinsky's career to show the diversity of his work.  Some are pretty literal takes on his work...and some have been "modified".  

I used Crayola Fabric Markers, Sharpie Fabric Markers, and regular Sharpies. It needs heat set...which I'll do a combination of iron & drier.  Since I just made them...I'm not sure how long it will last...how much it will fade...or if it will bleed through onto my socks. 
 I'll keep ya posted on that!!!

If I get the vest done...I'll post some pictures!  

October 06, 2014

The Gift of Mr. E

Before you think I'm an ego maniac....read the post!!

See if you can follow this....My wife's best friend's cousin is an art teacher in a county south of Nashville.  Said person...from hence on being referred to as Amy...told her cousin (my wife's best friend) that she wanted to meet up with me as her birthday present.  Weird, eh? ha ha I could think of a million gift ideas better than time with me?!??!?!   Actually, her request was to meet up with me and discuss the new arts portfolio evaluation system that many counties in TN are adopting. I'm one of the trainers/evaluators for the district/state....so I was more than happy to do so!!!  Plus, I love meeting art peeps from all over!!!  I always feel like I learn something from hearing their stories/situations.   Anyways, Amy and I had a great time hanging out & talking shop.  She's going to take the information back to the other teachers in her district....and hopefully ease their fears & encourage them in the process!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMY!!!  

October 04, 2014

More After Fall Break..

                            Excited for fall break, but can't wait to get back and put the 
                                              Kandinsky Fence Sculpture together!!  

October 02, 2014

Kandinsky Fence Progress


So close to being done with the painting portion of the Kandinsky Inspired Fence!  I will do a full post with details beginning to end after fall break when we get it "installed" in 
the front of my school! 

AND THE WINNER IS...........

I know this was a long wait.......but the winner of our Pout Pout Fish
 contest is K Hyman!!!