As we reach the halfway mark for the 2014-15 school year both my 7th grade and 5th grade classes are ending. Before new groups begins their artistic journeys, we have a couple of projects to look at as the current classes bid farewell. A printmaking lesson by 7th graders and a ceramic piece by grade 5.
The 7th grade students used a method of printmaking called collagraph (using a layered paper or multimedia collage as the base plate from which to pull prints) to explore abstract expressionism. We discussed how to show emotion beyond “emoticons” and how shape, line and color could push and pull a viewer in different directions. The method itself can create many unexpected edges and patterns and even the artists were surprised with the results.
Meanwhile, the 5th grade practiced the ancient method of clay coiling to build pottery. Used by ancient Greeks as well as native tribes, coiling is a method that allows pots to be carefully built up with even sides and varying shapes. While traditional potters often smoothed their pots to hide the coils, we wanted to see the method and the pattern inherent in the process. Students then glazed their work , using another example of pattern in their design.