Sunday, February 27, 2011

Exciting Ideas Brewing

I've been having lots of fun developing projects for my church's Sunday school program, and of course those projects will make it onto this blog in May when they are put up in the third annual Sacred Art exhibit. Until then, I will tell you that the most recent project (done today) was making little birds from model magic, craft feathers and wiggle eyes. I may end up posting this project before May just because it was so cute and could be adapted for any spring theme.

Aside from developing project ideas, I have been foraging for random junk for my upcoming miniatures workshop. I have accumulated lots of random tidbits, like the plastic liners inside soda bottle caps. I do still need metal bottle caps, though.

As previously posted the aforementioned workshop is running as "Dollhouse Diorama Drop In" at the Wenham Museum in Wenham, MA. The workshop itself is FREE with regular admission. I look forward to seeing many creative thinkers who can look at one seemingly minute thing and picture it being used as another. For example, those little plastic props that sometimes come with delivery pizza make great bases for dollhouse sized end tables. Add a large button or plastic lid to the top and you'd never guess what it was originally used as.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dollhouse Diorama Drop-In

Coming up on Sunday, March 13, 2011 I will be teaching a drop-in workshop to tie into a miniatures exhibit at the Wenham Museum in Wenham, MA. The workshop runs from 2 - 4pm, is open to all ages, and is included in the cost of admission to the exhibit.

Here is the info from the museum website:

Dollhouse Diorama Drop-In, 2-4pm

Create a Small World of your own with a Montserrat College of Art instructor

I anticipate that this will be a really fun time. Some project ideas include a library of books, an assortment of pies on a table, a birthday celebration, and a slumber party!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Valentine's Day Projects

'Tis the season of hearts and mushy, gushy stuff so I thought I'd share some valentine's day ideas. A few of these are things I've come across while substitute teaching last year and a few are of my own creation.

First up, my newest project -- "Luv Mouse" -- which I would probably use with first graders. This adorable little mouse is made from fun foam, felt, wiggle eyes, poms, ribbon, and fishing line. And its magnetic! I stuck a piece of self-stick magnet strip to the back.

Here are a few projects from substitute teaching. "Op Art Hearts" also incorporates patterns (this was a third grade project) and "Luv Bug" is all about heart shapes, symmetry, and patterns (this was a fourth grade project).

And lastly, "Box of Love". This is actually a box that is not meant to be opened because you lock your love inside it to give to a special recipient to keep forever. Since the box is never opened I upcycled an empty Pop Tart box. I like using scrap booking papers for this project because you can get textured varieties like the felted and embossed papers in this sample. The papers are folded to look like the seams of the box and glued down. Poms, heart confetti and cut-out hearts add Valentine-themed details. The finishing touch (and my favorite part) is the wax seal. You can buy little wax wafers that soften when heated with a hair dryer. Then just press a heart shaped stamper into the warm wax and you get the look of an old-fashioned seal. This project was done successfully with a fourth grade class where I was a visiting artist for the day.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

On the Drawing Board

A number of things are currently "on the drawing board" so to speak. Aside from substitute teaching, which is being interrupted by all these snow days (making snow a terrible four letter word), I am back to teaching art projects with the Sunday school program.

In the fall three projects were already completed -- all relating to saints -- and now a few more are in progress or development. The kindergarten and first grade students made adorable bottle fish last Sunday (no teaser photos until the big art show in May) and this Sunday I will be working with the third through fifth grade students making stained glass votive designs. Under development are some ideas for the older students (sixth through ninth grade). The classroom teacher and the director of religious education would both like to see them do a project using symbolism. I am playing with the idea of Christian slogans (things like "Got God?" "I've Got A Friend In Jesus" "Prayer Is Power"). The idea is to work with stencils and printmaking to create wearable art like t-shirts, hats, etc. I'd like to give the students more of a voice in this project though by having them come up with proposals for the designs, lettering and even the objects to be printed onto.

In terms of workshops I am hoping to be teaching a few in March, but I am waiting on a reply from the museum to see what they need and when. Until I know for certain I won't be sharing any specific information about what those workshops might be. I will say that one of them will have students thinking small in a big way.

And while all this is going on I continue to seek out the excitement and wonder of a full-time teaching position. As much as I've enjoyed meeting students from lots of different schools and venues, having my own art classroom would be the best thing ever. For one thing it would give me a place to try out all of the ideas I continue to accumulate from outside sources and my own imagination. For another it would give me a reason to start "nesting" for art materials. For example, just yesterday I came across locker mirrors at the bargain price of a dollar each. If I had an art room I would have snatched up a few dozen to use for portraiture lessons. But since I didn't really have a valid reason to buy them, I overcame the urge and told myself that when I am the full-time art teacher, I can rush out to the discount store and buy as many mirrors as I want to.