Thursday, March 31, 2011

Miniterm and the Illustrated Laws of Glass

The illustrated version of the "Laws of Glass" originally adapted from teacher Julie May Porter of Shelbyville, KY and freely interpreted here:
Law One: Thou shalt wear safety glasses at all times

Law Two: Thou shalt wear gloves 

Law Three: Thou shalt be extremely careful
 in using all glass tools and equipment

Law Four:  Thou shalt not waste glass

 Law Five: Thou shalt be aware of everything around you
(including behind you!)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Miniterm 2011 & the Art of the Question

By Tess

Artsonia Justin8273

Since education involves the art of the question, I thought I would distill miniterm  down to a list of actual queries posed throughout the week.

1.        Most frequent question:
When do we eat?

2.        Most gratifying question: 
        Can I take my project home today?

3.        Most annoying question:
         Is this good enough?

4.        Most heartwarming question:
         I don’t want to go home yet; can I work after school till you have to leave?

5.        Most sad question:
                Where are the Band-Aids?

6.        Most random question:
          Is it easier to break your neck if you don’t have tonsils?

7.        And, just so you know that we really did visit the realm of critical thinking, we entertained the   “EQ”, or essential question:

How is a stained glass panel a metaphor for one’s spiritual life? 

(I'll post more pictures throughout the next week).

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Stained Glass Miniterm: Ready, Set....Go

Mr. Lambright’s physics room, transformed into a stained glass studio for miniterm, waits for thirteen students this week and their art glass journey.  Everything stands at the ready, down to practice glass, cutting tools and safety glasses.  This weekend, cartloads of stuff shifted from art room storage to down the corridor so that other art classes can continue uninterrupted.   Needless to say, I’m grateful for Mr. Lambright's willingness to share his room with us.  His miniterm left for a camping and rafting trip down the Youghiogheny River in what looks to be snowy weather by the end of this week.   Between cutting glass, and slicing through frigid water, he’s a far braver person than I.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mural - Chapters Eight and Nine

Painting shapes of color in the foilage

Another student who enjoys applying paint with fingers!

Wednesday, Chapter Eight

Thursday, Chapter Nine

Two back -to- back painting sessions this week helped get us  on track.  We won’t paint for the next two weeks  due to mini-term and then spring break.  So, while would I normally experience a mild sense of panic  at not touching the mural for 14 days:  this year, no fear!  (At least that’s what I’m telling myself.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Uber and the art of a monoprint

Student using our new little Uber Mobile

Student beginning a monoprint

At the risk of sounding like one of those really bad infomercials - we just added a real printing press to our art room's repetoire called the "Uber Mobile" by Whelan.   I  liked using a full- sized Whelan press last spring during a workshop; however, it's drive wheel alone looked like it could've steered the Titanic.  Our new press easily moves from  storage closet to classroom and weighs just 50 pounds. I  don’t get sentimental about art equipment.  Well,... ok,  maybe some of our snappy little water color brushes make me happy; but this is my new favorite art room toy.   Advanced art students just finished putting it through its paces exploring monoprints.   

Here are samples of my students' work hot of the press, so to speak.

(by Artsonia Alex11999)

(by Artsonia Austin9517)

(by Artsonia Audrey1446)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Mostly loved

this makes me smile

this...not so much

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mural Chapter Seven

Mural Chapter Seven

A sea of pie tins

Our pie tin palettes multiplied; they literally covered the floor this week.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

School mascots and the psychology of scale

Our new logo

I wonder what percentage of art teachers have painted their school mascot onto a prominent school surface.  When our mascot and logo received a much needed facelift this year, I intuited that one way or another; my trusty paint brushes would get involved.  I wasn’t disappointed when the vice principal, Mr. Beun, requested adding the mascot’s visage to the athletic office’s walls.  Then, in addition to that location, several advanced art students wanted to paint our new tiger near the gym as a service project.  So, amid mural madness, we’re adding mascot madness to the month of March. 

 For scale, I thought the athletic office’s proposed image too big for the small space, so I asked Mr. Beun to eye ball a projection before I physically transferred it to the wall.  When I mentioned that sometimes “less is more,” he replied with a wide smile, “bigger is better.”    Psychologically speaking, perhaps the proposed large size metaphorically represents athletic power and strength.  I’ll be watching to see if by dint of sheer design size, we empower our athletes and prove more daunting to our opponents.  Go Tigers!

Thank goodness I still have my overhead projector!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mural Chapter Six

Mural Chapter Six

Pie tins make excellent palettes

Let us not forget hydration and sustenance when painting

Seventh grader giving pthalo blue a workout

Victory smile - an exact match!

Beginning to look like smurfs

 Most art club students now have one painting rotation under their belts, and it shows in their ability to move forward.  I  don't have to remind them anymore to add  gloss medium to their paints and use  palette knives for mixing.  They're looking with keener eyes at color and brush technique resulting in good solutions.  All in all, we had a great session today even though my ears were assaulted by a random screamo song quietly slipped into the end of the music queue - hmmm, I really need to re-examine my playlist.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tim Gunn and the art of teaching

The inimitable Tim Gunn
Mrs. B
Say what you will about drama queens, prima donnas, and Heidi Klum, I really like Tim Gunn of Project Runway.   The man knows design, and just as importantly, how to critique the fashion works set before him.  I love the way he exudes personal warmth while illuminating potentially disastrous design decisions to contestants.  Anyone can affirm good work or, conversely, rip it apart.   It takes a superb teacher to ask just the right questions prompting a person to find the solution themselves.   I need to get better at asking more questions, not giving answers.   In the words of Mark van Doren, “The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery."  I need to channel Tim's teaching style more, and maybe I can improve my fashion sense as well.