Sunday, 25 August 2013

Paper Mache Rocking/Shaking Owls - Part 1

My final homework task for my ecourse Beyond the Basics was to produce something in Paper Mache. I've had paper mache on our "to do" list for a while so the timing was great. 

I decided on OWLS as I love them and I wanted an easy form that my 5 year old's could do.  I choose water balloons as they are small and the children wouldn't loose interest.  I decided to add some rice in the bottom of them so they could be used as shakers and it meant the owl "rocks" if you tap him. 

We are still in the middle of making these in my art classes yet I decided to do a "Part One" post now so that the other lovely people on the ecourse could learn the process.  Someone asked me the other day why I have this blog if it doesn't earn me money.  I do it as I want to contribute back to the wonderful blog world and share my ideas, successes and failures.  I am so grateful to all those people who share their ideas and post great tutorials, hopefully I can give a little back.....

This lesson is probably best for Grade 2 to 4.

What you need:
  • Newspaper (two pieces per child)
  • White Paper Strips
  • Paper Mache Paste (see note below)
  • Water Balloons
  • Paint (either tempura or acrylic)
  • Mod Podge
  • Rice
  • Wooden Skewer
  • Funnel
  • Plastic cups or bowls with children's names on them (if more than one child)
How To:
  • Blow up the balloons (I found this easiest using a balloon pump).
  • Pass out the newspaper to the children and ask them to tear it into strips.  I asked them to do this task as I worked out earlier it took about 2 pieces of newspaper to cover the balloon 4 times with strips and this ensured they actually did 4 coats (they had to use up all their newspaper).
  • Demonstrate how to use the paste and strips (we just used fingers to smear paste on balloon and then over each strip)
  • Cover entire balloon leaving a small hole in the top with the knot poking out
  • Once each child has completed 4 coats we left them to dry in plastic cups with their name written on it

  • Once dry (for us the following week) ask the children to pop their balloons using the wooden skewer.
  • Insert a funnel into the top of the balloon shape and add rice to bottom (approx 3-4 tablespoons)
  • Hand out white paper strips and paste and ask them to cover the hole and add at least one layer of white paper to their shape. 
  • :Leave to dry in marked cups

  • Once dry (for us the following week) ask the children to paint their shapes as owls. You may wish to do this over two weeks to allow one week to paint the base coat and another week to add details. I also created a simple step by step sheet on how to paint an owl which I will attach to Part 2 (we have computer issues at the moment).
  • Paint on a layer of Mod Podge before they take them home (optional).
The Results - coming in Part 2 when they are finally finished!

Here is my teacher example again....

I did this lesson with children aged 5 to 10 years.  Some of the younger children's shapes did tend to collapse a bit when adding the white paper.  I think this was due to them not distributing the paper evenly over their form in the first week so some places were rather thin and got soggy.

I couldn't find Elmers Paper Mache Paste in Australia.  Actually I had problems finding any paper mache paste.  In the end I used a homemade recipe using cornflour (cornstarch) and water.  It did end up gel like and didn't smell bad so all good so far...I gave it to the children warm and they loved this!

This lesson does take 3 weeks.  I run classes for 1.5hrs so I always had another art activity as well. Each step took approximately half an hour so you could easily do this in three 45 min lessons with something for early finishers (we also had yarn weaving and finger knitting going on for early finishers, watch out for my post on this coming up soon....).

Feel free to ask any questions..


Thursday, 22 August 2013

Happy Penguins

 Last week we had a lovely time creating these cute penguin pictures.  As usual I got this fabulous idea from Patty at Deep Space Sparkle.  We are having a bit of a yarn frenzy here at the moment and many of the children are learning to finger knit.  Therefore some penguins are now the lucky owners of a finger knitted scarf.

What you need:
  • A3 piece of white paper
  • Block Tempura Paints
  • Black & White Paper
  • Material, buttons, ribbons, wool, feathers etc to decorate
  • White paint

How to:
  • Paint the background with the Tempura Paints (we did this week 1)
  • Make Penguins & icebergs, glue on, add accessories (week 2)
  • Add white snow with fingertips or cotton tips (week 2)
The Results:


Thursday, 15 August 2013

Weaving with Paper

Our household has gone crazy with yarn knitting and weaving over the past few weeks.  It must be all of this cold weather!

Painted Paper Weaving (6 year old)

Our class theme this week was WEAVING. 

We started with paper weaving to master the basics.  After searching the web, I decided to base the lesson on this pin as I loved the colour and simplicity of this paper weaving.  After the paper weaving we moved onto yarn weaving which I will post about next.

What you need:
  • painted paper (I used up all of the extra paint from the previous two weeks to make this paper)
  • Black markers
  • Scissors
  • Glue sticks
  • Oil pastels
  • Sheet of A3 black paper
How to:
  • Ask the children to draw lines on their painted paper with a black marker. I said they didn't have to be exactly straight and they could make them interesting if they wanted.  
  • Ask the children to cut out the strips of paper
  • Once they have at least 5 strips of paper they can glue one end down onto a black piece of paper
  • They then wove the other strips through
  • Once the weaving was complete they glued down all the loose ends
  • The final step was to decorate with oil pastels
The Results:

Paper Weaving (5 to 9 years)

Our artist of the week is Murray Walker.  Murray was the artist responsible for planning, designing and coordinating the "The Federation Tapestry" which was commissioned to mark the centenary of Australia's Federation in 2001.  It is displayed at the Melbourne Museum.  It took over 2 years to produce (20,000 hours) and 22 artist-weavers were involved.  Its is 41 metres in length.

Part of the Federation Tapestry


Monday, 12 August 2013

Colourful Pinch Pots and Pinch Pot Creations

Last week the children finally got to take home their pottery work.  Its been a long process for them yet the wait as been worth it.  Aren't they gorgeous???  There were so many lovely pieces it was hard to decide which photos to include.  I think every piece is special.  For most of the children this was their first ever piece of pottery.  The majority of the pieces were made by 5 & 7 year olds.

I posted about the pinch pots back in February click here for that post.  And I don't think I ever posted about the pinch pot creations.  Each child was asked to make a pinch pot and then turn it into something. We had an elephant, a turtle, a helmet, a hat, a ladybird, a cat, a few monsters (my suggestion as I'd seen this done on Deep Space Sparkle) and a fish.

This was my first time teaching children to make and glaze pottery so I was a little nervous about how they would turn out.  The glazes & underglazes were also new and untested.  I have to say I'm chuffed with the results - well done kids!  And a special thanks to my pottery teacher, Penny who offered advice and fired all the pieces for me.  Penny knows everything there is to know about pottery - click here for her website.


Thursday, 8 August 2013

Sewing on Hessian (Burlap)

Its been rather cold here in Melbourne (being the middle of winter), so I thought what a great opportunity to spend some creative time on those winter favourites; knitting, weaving and sewing.

Hessian sewing & gluing (7 year old)
This week we spent the lesson creating lovely sewing on hessian (burlap for those of you in the US).  This lovely idea was inspired by this pin.  Thank you Imagine Explore Create!  Since I have children as young as 5 years old, I also provided glue so some items could be stuck on.  I also used iron on hemming tape to stick on some of the larger pieces of material / felt.  I suggested a nature or jungle theme for these yet I always have children who want to do something different and I don't want to stop their creativity so I usually end up with some a bit different to the others.  Or sometimes one child goes in a certain direction and others follow and that's fine too (I always show all of children's work on my blog so you can see the variation in results).  At the end of the lesson we did some finger knitting and weaving which I will talk about in a later post.

Hessian Sewing and gluing (7 year old)

Hessian Sewing and gluing (7 year old)

What you need:
  • Hessian (I just used some hessian sacks from Bunnings cut into squares)
  • Bias tape for edges (optional)
  • Felt in various colours
  • Buttons
  • Wool
  • Plastic needles
  • Scraps of material
  • Feathers, pom poms and anything else you can think of to add
  • Glue (I used weldbond, yet any fabric or PVA would be fine)
  • Hemming tape (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Black Markers
How to:
  • I was lucky to have a friend who donated the bias tape (thank you Julia) and a friend who offered to sew the bias tape around the edges of these for me (thank you Ali).
  • Once I had passed out the hessian squares to the children I explained some basic sewing techniques and how they could use the various materials.
  • Then just let the children get to it and use their creativity.  
  • I walked around the room tying knots, threading needles and demonstrating stitches as we went.
  • I also had the iron set up and ironed on large pieces for them using the hemming tape
  • I tried to get most of them to sew something onto their hessian square (stitches or some buttons)
The Results:

Hessian Sewing (5 years to 12 years)
If you are wondering what to do with your hessian sewing.  I framed my childrens (they matched as they were both button trees) in IKEA frames.  You could also add some string and hang it on a stick.

I thought this was a great opportunity to talk about yarn art (including knitting, tapestry, weaving and crochet) which is very different to other art we have looked at so far.  Often we think of art as paintings and drawings yet there is so much more to art and people can express their creativity in so many ways.  We talked about "yarn bombing" and how it has become really popular as a form of beautiful, colourful, yet removable graffiti.   Our artist of the week was Magda Sayeg who has been attributed to starting the movement of yarn bombing. Below is a lovely example of yarn bombing.

Cheers Fiona

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Still Life Paintings

Still Life (7 year old)

This week we studied still life paintings.  The art table looked lovely filled with fruit, vegetables, obects and vases of flowers.  We started the lesson by discussing aspects of drawing and painting a still life (shading, colour, deciding what to include) and then we looked at various still life artworks (including Van Goghs sunflowers which influenced some young painters). 

Still Life (7 year old)

Some of the children in my class tend to finish their art very quickly looking for something new to do after about 20 minutes.  For this lesson I asked them to try and work on the one piece of work for the whole lesson and to go as slow as they could.  This was quite a challenge for some yet I was really impressed with how hard they tried.  These paintings were all produced in one session (approx 1.5 hrs).

Still LIfe (8 year old)

What you need:
  • Pieces of Canvas from a Pad (I used this as I had some.  It added a lovely quality to the work and the children enjoyed painting on a new medium)
  • Tempura or Acrylic Paints in Primary colours plus black and white.
  • Various sized Paintbrushes
  • Masking tape

Still Life (7 year old)
 How To:
  • Canvas tends to curl when it is painted on so I taped the pieces to the table prior to the children arriving.  When the tape was removed it left a lovely white frame.
  • First the children drew their picture on the canvas with a pencil
  • Once this was finished I handed out the paints, encouraging them to use the double loading technique I taught them the previous week.
  • The children were instructed to cover their canvas so there was no white showing (if they wanted white they had to paint that part white)
The Results:
Still Life Paintings (5 years to 12 years)

Our artist of the week was Paul Cezanne as he painted many still life's.

Paul Cezanne - Basket of Apples