Aug 8, 2016

Self Portrait Pinch Pots

This is one of those grade one projects that nearly made me die of cuteness! As a twist on the usual introduction to ceramics, I was inspired by this adorable project from 'Handmade Charlotte'. After students learned to create a pinch pot, I had them make a lid for their pot by rolling out a small slab of clay and tracing the top of their pot to cut a circle to fit as a lid. They rolled and stuck on a small ball of clay to act as a handle for the lid/nose for their face. 

After discussing portraiture and self portraits, students were asked to use ceramic glazes to paint their skin colour, hair colour and facial features in very basic detail using a very small brush. 

Aug 3, 2016

The Red Tree

Image from Shaun Tan's 'The Red Tree'.
Australian Book Week is coming up with the theme this year being 'Australian Stories'. 

These grade three artworks are inspired by the children's book 'The Red Tree', written and illustrated by West Australian author and artist Shaun Tan.

The story is inspired by the experience of depression. The main character is a lonely little girl. Almost unnoticed in each illustration, a red leaf follows the girl throughout her day. On the book's last page, the girl stands smiling at a beautiful red tree, growing in her bedroom. 
 The students and I discussed the symbolism in the book before they created their own artwork showing the contrast between despair and hope.

Students were asked to create a dark background inspired by the book's images of confusing cityscapes. They used pieces of card and found objects such as plastic lids dipped into paint. I then asked students to add a red tree of any size somewhere in their picture. They were given their choice of medium, choosing collage, pastels, paint, glitter, markers and more. 

I have included so many images of the children's work as I find each one inspiring in its originality. 

Jul 28, 2016

Aboriginal Inspired "Bark" Paintings

Bark painting images via

Aboriginal bark painting is an art form that has existed in Australia for hundreds of years and is still practiced by indigenous peoples in Western Australia's Kimberley region. My grade three students recently celebrated NAIDOC Week by creating aboriginal inspired paintings.
Students scrunched and creased a piece of brown paper to create a surface imitating the texture and softness of bark. They were then asked to draw an Australian animal for the focus of their design and to create line and pattern in their work inspired by images of various examples of traditional Aboriginal artwork. We discussed the innovative practices of the aboriginal peoples who used crushed rock and clay pieces, charcoal and mixtures of blood, feathers, fat and other organic material to create their paints, resulting in a variety of earthy colours. Students were asked to use a similar colour range when painting their design and were offered small paintbrushes as well as various sticks to use as painting tools.
The work was completed by gluing sticks collected from the school grounds to the edges of the painting and tying string to the top of each piece for display.

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