Bisque Animal Pots

Bisque animal pots.

Bisque animal pots.

2nd graders are in the process of making animal pots!  We use clay skills that we acquired in kindergarten and first grade and add a new technique: score and slip!  First, students filled out a planning sheet.  They drew and labelled a sketch with their animal to help guide them when they begin working in clay.  We started by building pinch pots to form the animal body.  Then, students referred to their planning sheets to help them build legs, tails, heads, wings, and any other necessary parts.  We used toothbrushes to scratch up the surfaces to be joined (scoring) and add wet clay to help the pieces adhere (slip).  Students also used their thumbs to smudge and blend the joined edges together.  I remind students that every step in score and slip is important and cannot be skipped; if you do, you run the risk of your animal’s parts falling off!  Mrs. Pittore and Mrs. McCarthy’s classes left their pots out to dry over the winter break.  I’ve just pulled them out of the kiln and they look fantastic!  At this stage, the clay is bisque.  It has been fired once in the kiln, but it hasn’t been glazed yet.  That is our next step!

Undersea Printmaking

2nd graders used styrofoam plates and ink to print their undersea images.

2nd graders used styrofoam plates and ink to print their undersea images.

2nd graders sketched an undersea scene using pencil and lightweight paper.  We tried to focus on repetition in our compositions — either through repeating background elements, patterns, or textures.  We taped our sketches onto a styrofoam plate and used a ballpoint pen to trace the drawing, making sure we pressed hard enough to create indentations on the styrofoam below.

 

After students finished tracing, we removed our original sketches.  We used a brayer to roll ink onto our styrofoam plates.  It was important that we roll out the ink evenly, and we had to be quick because it starts to dry fast!  After inking, students carefully flipped their styrofoam ink-side down onto a piece of construction paper.  We then used a baren to rub the paper against the plate.  We had to make sure to get all the edges and corners!  One of the biggest challenges in printmaking is not getting inky fingerprints on our work.  Finally, students peeled their paper off the styrofoam to see their printed image.  Amazing!

Coffin Creations!

Marco's ocean collage

Marco’s ocean collage

Coffin students are already busy with their first projects!

Second grade has looked at Henri Mattise’s collages depicting the Flight of Icarus.  We discussed how Matisse simplified his images and used bright colors to make his collages bold and striking.  Students were allowed to choose any subject for their collage and worked on practicing their cutting and gluing skills.

Third grade looked at Georgia O’Keeffe’s A Sunflower from Maggie painting.  We saw how a sunflower can be created from repeating and layering very simple shapes and marks.  We used black tempera paint to outline our sunflowers and let them dry.  Next art class we will use oil pastel to color our sunflowers.

3rd Grade Sunflower Paintings

3rd Grade Sunflower Paintings

Self Portraits

2nd grader self portraits

2nd grader self portraits

All Coffin and Gerry students drew a self portrait this March!  We used pencil, Sharpie, crayon, and watercolor.  Students used scrap paper to help mix the perfect colors for their skin, hair, and eyes.  We discussed the placement and size of our facial features.  Our surprising fact for drawing portraits: our eyes are only halfway up our head!  These portraits are for the Coffin-Gerry PTO’s Original Works fundraiser.  If you are interested in ordering any products that feature your child’s self portrait, please return the artwork, order form, and payment to your classroom teacher by Friday, April 1st.  If you’re not interested in ordering, simply keep and enjoy the portrait!

National Grand Bank

Student work for the Fall 2015 exhibit at the National Grand Bank.

Student work for the Fall 2015 exhibit at the National Grand Bank.

Congratulations to the following students whose work will be showcased in the National Grand Bank on Pleasant Street: Max G. in Kindergarten, Riley C. in 1st grade, Madeline F. and Brianna C. in 2nd grade, and Madeline L. in 3rd grade.  Five students from each school (or pair of schools, in Coffin/Gerry’s case) in Marblehead will have their work on display this fall.  The display will be hung on November 19th.  I encourage everyone to stop in at the bank and take a look — you can see what other students your age are making over at Bell and Glover, and you can see what kind of artwork the older kids are doing, too!

Crazy Critter Paintings

Isabella's Crazy CritterSecond graders have been hard at work on their crazy critters!  After drawing their critter and its environment, students were ready to start painting with watercolors. We are careful to paint the entire picture, because by second grade we notice that the sky and air is all around us, not just a stripe over our heads!  Students who needed to mix colors used the tray in their watercolor sets.  Next week we will finish painting and use crayons or colored pencils to add textures and small details.

Crazy Critters

Second graders used pencil and Sharpie to sketch a critter and its environment.

Second graders used pencil and Sharpie to sketch a critter and its environment.

A “Crazy Critter” is an imaginary animal that students create by combining two or more ordinary animals.  Second graders made sketchbooks to try out many different combinations.  After choosing a favorite idea from their books, students in Mrs. Janock’s and Ms. Johnson’s classes drew a large version of their critter on a 16×22″ piece of paper.

We used 2H pencils to draw.  The “H” in our pencils means the graphite is hard and will leave very light marks.  That will be perfect for us, since we will paint our critters and we don’t want the pencil to show through or smudge!  I asked students to check what type of graphite the pencils in their classrooms have (probably HB!) and try to compare how the pencil marks look.

After drawing their critter, students thought about what kind of environment it lives in.  We came up with a lot of different ideas, such as deserts, caves, and ponds.  If students had enough time after drawing, they outlined with a combination of thick and thin Sharpies.  Next week we will use watercolor to paint.