Friday, 20 June 2014

Recycled Art - Tin can robots, wind socks and more...

This lesson was again to do with the environment and reusing old materials.  At the end of the lesson we planted some seeds into a toilet roll pot to enable the children to watch a seed grow.

Tin Can Robots

These were inspired by this pin.

HOW:  Place masking tape on inside of recycled can to ensure the children can't cut themselves.  Put out plates of odds and ends (think bolts, nails, old jewellery, washers, utensils, keys, steel wool, old bits of scrubbers, bottle caps, old bent pipe cleaners, feathers, old pie cases, old door handles, bits of foil).  I also put out strips of magnetic tape (with a sticky side) so they could make any of these things magnetic and magnetic paper so they could draw their own decorations as well.  The idea was to make a robot / creature with the recycled materials available.  Since everything was magnetic their robot / creature could have removable accessories and change their appearance.  Accessories not in use were stored inside the tin can.

This was a big hit with the kids and some worked on their robots all lesson or made more than one.

Tin Can Wind Socks

HOW:  Paint tin cans.  When paint is dry hot glue on lengths of ribbon.  Punch hole in top with nail punch and then thread through some florists wire (or fishing wire) attach a bead to inside to keep wire in place.  Form a loop at the top.

Bottle Top Snakes

HOW:  Thread a pony bead to the end of a piece of florists wire.  Bend wire to keep bead on. Add a few more beads for a tongue.  Thread remainder of wire with bottle caps (punch holes in these first with a nail punch).  Add another bead to end to hold bottle caps on.  Hot glue on eyes.

Bottle Top Circles

HOW: Glue bottle tops to a plate, large round lid or other round object (we used some round boxes I had).

Toilet Roll Plant Pots

HOW:  Simply cut four slits in the bottom of the roll, bend in to form a bottom, fill with potting mix and add your seeds (we used Snow Peas).  Decorate toilet roll if you wish.

Keep on creating and look after the environment!



Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Clay Mini Doors (and Door Plaques)

The children always get really excited when I announce its pottery in art this week.  It has to be their favourite lesson.  I always have the wheel going and they all get a go at that.  Then there is the mess factor, the water sprayers and the fact that what they make usually comes out looking pretty good!

I attend pottery classes myself and I've just made some little fairies and a fairy door for our garden (not pictured).  The idea is to glue the door to a tree or skirting board / cupboard (if using inside) so it looks as if its a door to something.   It got me thinking that this wouldn't be too hard for the children to make so that's what we did!  Since there are a few boys and I didn't want to scare them off by calling them fairy doors we named this lesson "Mini doors" as these could be a door to anything (they need to use their imaginations).  My children actually wanted to make mini doors for their Lego figures (yes there is a Lego obsession in our household).

Since I only own one wood board, one rolling pin and one pair of slats I rolled out the clay for them prior to the lesson. They could then could concentrate on cutting out, adding and drawing on their clay doors and plaques.

What you need:
  • Clay (we used school white)
  • Bamboo skewers 
  • Water
  • Stamps (optional)
  • Glazes
How to:

  • Pass out the rolled out clay slabs (these were all different shapes and sizes - yet they were around 15cm by 20cm)
  • Ask them to draw lightly (with the skewer) on the clay the shape door they want
  • Then ask them to cut it out with the bamboo skewer
  • Smooth edges
  • Add handles, door knob, mushrooms, vines, windows, stamped patterns, wood grain look etc.
  • Write name on the back 

  • Pass out plaques (I had already rolled these, cut out and added holes)
  • Children to write and decorate their plaque
  • Write name on the back

Both were bisque fired and then glazed and then fired again.

(note - we actually made the doors last term and then glazed them at the beginning of this term so the whole process took a long time....)

The Results:


Friday, 13 June 2014

Rock Fish (Linda Kranz inspired)

I love the book "Only One You" by Linda Kranz.  First of all the messages it sends children are wise and wonderful and secondly she is an amazing rock artist.

What you need:
  • Rocks (all shapes and sizes, we used rocks from the rock pile out of the front of my house, left overs from the river I built)
  • Paint
  • Permanent Markers (including some metallic ones)
  • Mod Podge
  • Paint brushes (I only supplied small ones to encourage detailed work)
  • Water buckets and nail brushes
  • Lots of rags for drying rocks

How To:
  • Ask the children to go and collect some rocks
  • Get them to wash and scrub them in the buckets
  • Dry with a cloth
  • Paint
  • Let dry
  • Add further details with permanent markers (we did this the following week when rocks were completely dry)
  • Add a layer of Mod Podge
The Results:

I really like how these turned out.  I also had some frame backings left over from another project so some children painted these and we hot glued their rocks onto them to display.  I thought the Mod Podge would seal the rocks and ensure the paint would hold up in the rain yet I was wrong about this.  It went all funny and white when it got wet.  So keep this in consideration if you want to use these outdoors.  Another varnish of some sort would probably work better.

fish hot glued onto a frame

We also had some other rock creatures painted as well.  I asked them all to paint two fish and then they could move onto other creatures if they got into it.  The white rocks and owls were inspired by a post on Red Ted Art - thanks!  Interestingly some children did their two rocks and claimed that was enough whilst others happily painted rocks for over an hour.  I had a back up project for those who tired of painting rocks or were fast workers - Linda Kranz inspired rock fish paintings.  The children painted a blue sea background and then on a separate piece of paper they drew fish (and other sea creatures) and painted these.  The following week when we added further details with the permanent markers to the rock fish they also did this to their paintings.  These were then cut out and glued to the blue sea backgrounds.


Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Nature Art

Our lessons over the past few weeks have all been dedicated to World Environment Day - 5th June.  This date is more celebrated than Earth Day (April 22) here in Australia.  It is so important that we respect our environment and try to make as small as footprint as we can on this wonderful planet that we live on.   I always teach the children that various materials can be used in their artwork, many natural or recycled.  Nature art teaches them to appreciate the natural resources around them.  Recycled art teaches them to reuse items and not throw them away.

We started with Rock Art (post coming soon), then moved to Nature Art (this post) and finished with Recycled Art (post coming soon).  Sometimes the themes ran into each other (you will see some rock art featured in the nature art and we used recycled frame backings in rock art and nature art).

This one captures the whole three (recycled frame backing, rock art owl and nature art)
This Nature Art Lesson also tied in nicely with our school Art Competition giving the children an opportunity to make something for the competition during class.  Since I have children from various schools, I also held a mini art competition within my art classes, awarding a prize to the best Nature Art Work made over my 3 classes.  Well done to Immy Buchanan for being the winner.  Immy won a watercolour paint set and brushes. 

One of the wonderful things about doing nature art is the collecting of the nature items for the artwork.  Its a fun activity itself and my own children and I had a lovely time going down to our local beach and park to collect as much as we could from around us. 

What you need:
  • Natural Materials (shells, stones, bark, seed pods, seeds, flowers, leaves, gum nuts, acorns, autumn leaves, berries, feathers, sticks, sea sponge, sea glass, clay etc)
  • Glue (white school glue) or Glue Gun
  • Paint (optional)
  • Paper (optional)
How to:
  • Lay out all materials for children to choose from (or send them off to find their own - I would do this if we were holding the lesson in a park)
  • I didn't give much direction, I just let them use their imaginations
  • I hot glued items where necessary
  • I provided paint, brushes and paper if they wished to paint
The Results and our Winner:

And here are some of the wonderful artworks produced.  Well done to all the children in my classes - I love how creative they were! Congratulations again to Immy.  I would also like to congratulate my daughter Poppy, who being the teachers daughter doesn't get to be the winner (I also judged the school comp so she couldn't win that either) yet I know she worked extremely hard on her piece and she should be proud of what she achieved (it was all her work not mine at all)!

Immy's winning Fairy and Frame with ladybird

Poppy's creation