Rainbow Footprint Tile Mural

16 Aug

rainbow footprint tile mural

Thinking about a mural project? If you want a mural that is engaging, beautiful and enduring, consider this rainbow footprint tile mural. I used Craig Hinshaw’s Rainbow Footprint Mural lesson from Pottery Making Illustrated July/August 2004.

Whole school mural project made from individual clay tiles, each imprinted with a shoe sole.

Whole school mural project made from individual clay tiles, each imprinted with a shoe sole.

Materials for the tiles:

  • Low fire white clay
  • square viewfinders
  • pin tool or opened paperclip
  • underglaze in colors of the rainbow
  • small brushes
  • clear glaze
  • your shoes!
  • optional – for lettering: magnetic letters (refrigerator magnets), alphabet pasta

Creating the footprint tiles

We followed all the directions in the magazine article. The students were THRILLED to stomp their foot down onto a ball of clay.

Cutting the tile though the viewfinder opening was a bit of the challenge for the younger students. Instead of neat squares, we had a lot of irregular shapes. These tiles had to be remade, but it only took a few extra minutes. I had extra sixth grade volunteers on hand to help cut out the tiles for the kindergarteners.

 Creating Text

We created text two ways: 1) large text was created by pressing magnetic letters into clay, and 2) small text was created by pressing alphabet pasta into clay.  (Don’t worry – the pasta burns out in firing).

For the large letters, we pressed magnetic letters into the clay tiles.

For the large letters, we pressed magnetic letters into the clay tiles.

For the small text, we pressed alphabet pasta into the clay tiles.

For the small text, we pressed alphabet pasta into the clay tiles.

I did this mural with the students of Solana Santa Fe School. We prepared all the tiles and had them professionally installed on an exterior stucco wall.  Eight years later, it is still standing and looking great!

Another school in our district did a twist on the same mural project. Artist (and parent) Christie Beniston create a rainbow footprint mural with the students of Skyline School. Click here to see this mural. Note the rectangular and circular tiles.

If you are planning a whole-school mural, consider this project. The kids LOVED making the tiles. Each tile is uniques, just like our students. They mural is beautiful to look it and fun to touch. After it is installed, kids will look for their shoe prints. It is a permanent reminder of unity in the school community.

Enjoy!

Tags: , , , , , , ,

First Week of Art: Rules Project

10 Aug

I have struggled with the most effective way to present the art room rules. This fall I plan to try something new – an engaging rules project like the one Elizabeth Stroud uses in her art room.

Ms. Stroud’s rules lesson is an example of project based learning. I love how Ms. Stroud’s students work as teams, and come up with so many ways to demonstrate the art room rules. Even very young students were able to articulate examples of the rules!

Enjoy!

Do you have a creative way of teaching the rules in your art room?

Tags: , , , ,

Japanese Marbled Paper

29 Jul

Looking for a fun printing project? Want to try a Japanese technique? We made suminagashi marbled paper mono prints at my Japan-themed art camp this summer. The project was easy and very successful. No two prints were alike, and my campers loved the process.

Please see the Blick video tutorial at the end of the post – it shows the entire process.

You will need a special marbling kit for this project. It costs about $15. You can use it to marble paper or fabric.


Aitoh Boku-Undo Suminagashi Marbling Kit – $14.98

from: Blick Art Materials

Materials

  • Basins for water
  • Suminagashi Marble Print kit (available at Amazonand Blick)
  • paper** to fit basins
  • small brushes
  • palette with wells
  • thread
  • newspaper to project tables and skim surface of water after printing
  • horizontal drying space
  • smocks or aprons

(**Note: The best paper has little sizing. I didn’t want to buy expensive paper for art camp. We experimented printing with different types of paper. We tried copy paper, recycled drawing paper, and thin Japanese calligraphy paper (ugh – too thin. It ripped).

We tried two types of printing: alternating concentric colors (I call them ‘tree rings’) prints, and float paper prints (intense colors).

Concentric ‘tree rings’ prints

I was inspired by this EXCELLENT post from Julie Voight’s  Art for Small Hands blog. Julie has ALL the instructions and lovely student examples for creating the beautiful concentric prints. You will need the palette and tiny, thin paintbrushes for this. Dip the brush in dye, and barely touch the water with the brush tips. Alternate colors. (NOTE: SEE THE BLICK VIDEO AT THE END OF THE POST). This is a very neat process, and you only use a little bit of color (your $15 kit will last a very long time).

We created single and double prints.

‘Float paper’ prints.

Bold! You need the reusable coated paper circles that come with the kit. You float the circles on the water, then aim drops of color at them straight out of the bottle.

To swirl and marble the ink, we experimented with blowing the floating ink, and dragging a single thread through it. We also tried second ‘ghost prints’ after our initial prints.

We also printed onto some yellow paper stars I had left over from another project. The colored background looks great!

This used more dye than the concentric ring project. It can be a messier option. The kids had to squeeze the dye straight from the bottle, then recap the colors and put them down. Soon there was bright color on the outside of the tubes. Next time I will arrange some sort of stand so the tubes can stay upright (and uncapped) for the printing process.

Video tutorial

Here is a great 10 minute tutorial from Blick.

Give suminagashi a try. It truly is a no-fail project.

Enjoy!

This project was part of my ‘Let’s Go To Japan’ art + cooking camp. Here are our other art and cooking projects:

Plus tons of kids books about Japan!

Thanks to Dahra and Ilana, our fabulous teenage helpers for all their assistance at camp.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Art Activities from MoMA

20 Jul

20140723-071701.jpg

I’m taking an online class from New York’s Museum of Modern Art. The class is called Art & Activity: Interactive Activities for Engaging with Art. I’m learning some really good techniques that I just have to share with you.

Check out these art activities from MoMA Learning

  • Turn and Talk
  • Whip Around
  • Visual Inventory
  • Memory

The class is offered FREE via Coursera. The class is a MOOC (massive open online course): I’m taking it with 23,000 others!! Class began on July 7 and ends on August 4, 2014. You can join in late. Click here to learn more.

 

Enjoy!

Tags: , , , ,

Japanese Fish Kites (Koinobori)

20 Jul

Koinobori fish kites

What are koinobori?

Koinobori are carp (koi) kites that are flown in Japan on Children’s Day (May 5th). The koi fish embodies the qualities that parents want for their children: courage, strength and determination. The holiday was formerly known as Boy’s Day, but now celebrates all children.

I Live in Tokyo by Mari Takabayashi covers the Japanese holidays and life in Japan month-by-month.

We learned about Children’s Day in the book I Live in Tokyo by Mari Takabayashi. The book covers Japanese holidays month-by-month. In Japan, families display koinobori on a flagpole: the top black fish is the father, the red fish is the mother, and the smaller fish are the children.

Koinobori are also flown in large group displays, as in this video. I love when the wind hits and koinobori actually look like they are swimming upstream.

The Art Project:

I saw this fabulous, simple koinobori project on Cassie Stephens blog. Click here for Cassie’s detailed instructions and gorgeous photos.

Materials:

  • Roylco Japanese Carp Windsock kit
  • colored Sharpies
  • oil pastels (especially white)
  • watercolor markers (we used Crayola markers) and/or
  • watercolors
  • Ziploc bags, two per fish, taped together to create a long rectangle
  • tape
  • spray bottle
  • white glue or hot glue
  • clothespins (to clamp the mouth until glue sets)
  • hole punch
  • ribbon or yarn for hanging

Instructions:

Decorate paper kites with colored Sharpies and oil pastel

Kids drew patterns, outlined eyes and scales, and created a border with oil pastels and colored Sharpies. To create white areas, color with white oil pastel to create a resist.

Color selectively with marker and watercolor

 

Next they added a some color with Crayola markers and watercolors. I emphasized they didn’t have to color in the whole fish as the markers and watercolors would diffuse when sprayed with water.

Kids colored paper koinobori with colored Sharpie, watercolor markers, and oil pastels.

Kids colored paper koinobori with colored Sharpie, watercolor markers, and oil pastels.

Spray with water

Then the kids placed their kites on the long Ziploc ‘placemats’ and sprayed them with water. Some carefully tilted the setup so the colors would diffuse in a certain direction. Let dry on mats.

20140714-223703.jpg

Koinobori paper fish kite drying on its double-Ziploc ‘placemat’. When sprayed with water, the Sharpie and oil pastel lines stayed crisp, while the watercolor marker diffused.

Glue and hang

After drying, I used hot glue to assemble the kites. I attached the cardboard strips that support the kites open mouth, and clipped each with a clothespin until set. I also used hot glue to close the back and part of the tail. Finally, we added three single hole punches to the cardboard mouth, and strung the kites with ribbon. All the instructions are included in the Roylco kit.

Enjoy!

This project was part of my ‘Let’s Go To Japan’ art + cooking camp. Here are our other art and cooking projects:

Plus tons of kids books about Japan!

Thanks to Dahra and Ilana, our fabulous teenage helpers for all their assistance at camp

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,