Screen Printing our Art Club shirts!

So a few years back, when I was living in Nashville, I was really interested in screen printing. It was a new process to me and I wanted to learn it! I worked with an independent printmaker and also a printmaking company, taking classes, learning new things, etc.

This year, with my Middle School Art Club, I decided to teach my kids how to screen print. I like the connection that it brings to the real world. Kids go, Wow! I can actually make my own t-shirts, clothing, etc! I had a bunch of kids asking about the screen while it was sitting in my room, but my Art Club kids were the ones who actually got to make them.

I purchased an 18×24 exposure table a few years ago for about 200 dollars. I get my money’s worth out of it. The exposure table makes it really easy for me to burn the screen.

My art club kids were asked to come up with designs. Then, we voted on what we liked best out of all the designs. We combined them into one design that everyone was happy with. I then went home and created it on Photoshop, printed it as a transparency, and then burned the transparency onto the screen.

I took the screen into school for Art Club. I explained the process that I did at home to the students so that they could be aware of the process too, they were extremely interested! I had students working on various low maintenance projects during this particular art club, and as they were working, I pulled students aside to screen print in small groups of 3, 4, or 5.

I showed them how to place the screen wherever they wanted the design to print. I explain to them what happens if they go too far over, if they don’t press hard enough, if they don’t have enough ink, if they lift up the shirt too quickly, etc. I monitored how much ink was going on the screen at a time and I offered them individual suggestions as they printed.

Although I have ton various printmaking techniques in the past, this was my first time screen printing with my middle school students! I would love to hear what printmaking techniques are used in your classroom!

Vans Shoe Submission 2017!

Very excited to report that our Van’s Shoe Submissions are officially entered!!

Let me also continue by saying that with this contest, the struggle was real! I worked with one other art teacher at my school. We opened up the contest to any of our students who were interested. We required students to create a sketch first and then any students who showed interest by sketching were allowed to work on the shoes.

Well, turns out these high schoolers have a lot going on. Honestly this contest often felt like pulling teeth! There were kids who often asked to work on them and did enjoy working on them, but with the deadline fast approaching, it was something that we really had to continuing hounding on the kids.

As I mentioned, after students submitted their original designs, I then met with the other art teacher and we brainstormed a theme. Although a theme wasn’t required, we wanted all the shoes to kind of go together. We decided on a beach/boardwalk theme. We met with the kids and we all brainstormed ways to fit each category. Once everything was decided, I then assigned each student a job and they began working on these.

I’m curious as to how other teachers coordinate this!

I’m interested to see how others incorporated the Technology in Design aspect of this into it, being that it was a new part of the contest this year.

Overall, I’m very proud of these! They came out super fun and I know my students are proud of their work. Here are our submissions:

Our Art shoe features a Sand Castle building contest right in Atlantic City, New Jersey. We incorporated waves and focused on bringing a sculptural aspect into our design.

Art Shoe Vans Shoe Design Contest High School Art Class
Art Shoe Vans Shoe Design Contest High School Art Class

Our Music shoe featured two different live music events. The first is a jazz musician playing on the Ocean City Boardwalk, with the sunset in the background. The second is a rock/rap concert (we haven’t decided which! ha!) with plenty of people in the crowd.

Music Shoe Van's Shoe Design Contest High School Art
Music Shoe Van’s Shoe Design Contest High School Art

Our Extreme Sport shoe focuses on our surfer. He’s in a pretty big wave that is made up of both of the shoes.

Extreme Sports Shoe Van's Shoe Design Contest High School Art
Extreme Sports Shoe Van’s Shoe Design Contest High School Art

Our Local Flavor shoe is made up of some boardwalk favorites! We have the boardwalk which shows Curly Fries, some Curly Fries made from shoe laces. We have Kohr Brother’s ice cream, and a seagull coming down to eat the boardwalk pizza! We also have a ferris wheel and a roller coaster.

Local Flavor Shoe Van's Shoe Design Contest
Local Flavor Shoe Van’s Shoe Design Contest
Van's Shoe Design Contest High School Submission EHTHS
Van’s Shoe Design Contest High School Submission EHTHS

This contest was fun! It was definitely time consuming and challenging to complete all of the shoes the way we wanted them to be in the time frame, on top of teaching our classes different lessons, but overall I am very happy!!

Pinch Pot Pumpkins and Skulls

So it’s almost Christmas… and here I am finally posting about the Pinch Pot Pumpkins and Skulls that my high schoolers completed as their first project! Better late than never though, right?

I wanted to share this project because although it was my high schooler’s first project, I felt that they were all able to succeed in it. I had them sketch out ideas for either a pumpkin or a skull design. They needed to create their design by putting two pinch pots together. For example, a pumpkin would be a pinch pot upside down on a pinch pot that was right side up.

Students drew out colored sketches- they showed me which parts were going to be carved out, where they would add clay, add designs, etc.

After viewing, students worked on creating their pinch pots. I reminded them to keep walls consistent, lips even, and to really work on smoothing out their clay.

As far as glazing went, we stuck to just underglazes since this was their first project. After the bisque firing, we then painted a clear coat onto the top. I am so proud of these results. Please comment if you have any questions regarding this project!

fullsizerender-2-copy-2 fullsizerender-2-copy-3 fullsizerender-2-copy-4 fullsizerender-2-copy-5 fullsizerender-2-copy fullsizerender-2 img_1433

Personalized Mandalas

After finishing Contour & Blind Contour Line Drawings, I wanted my students to take a different approach to our focus on Line, Shape, and Color. I wanted to do something completely different from the contour and blind contour lines… something more focused, intricate, neat, organized, etc. I decided to do Mandalas!

This was my first time teaching this lesson and I really love the results! I typically have sketchbook prompts posted on the board when students come in. They begin drawing for the first ten minutes or so of class. The week before starting mandalas, I had students draw symbols or designs that were simple, yet described themselves. I had students draw bows, flowers, bikes, ice cream, pizza, basketballs, baseball, just to name a few. Students built up many small symbols in their sketchbooks.

We then took a look at Mandalas. Students were guided through setting up a circular grid using compasses. I asked students to personalize their mandalas into an original composition. Again, they were asked to choose a color scheme or a color combination of some sort.

Students were focused and really enjoyed this project. At the end, I had a google classroom assignment that was essentially an Exit Slip. It asked students to Compare and Contrast the difference between the Contour and Blind Contour Line Drawing Vs. Mandalas. I also asked students questions that were personal to their work, to offer them a reflection opportunity to discuss what they did or did not like.

This was hands down one of my favorite lessons I have taught! Pictures below!

mandala13mandala1mandala2mandala3mandala4mandala5mandala6mandala7mandala8mandala9mandala10mandala12