SchoolArts Magazine

October 2018

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Page 49 of 66

other materials. The sketches had to be labeled like a cutaway view, noting the materials needed for each layer. Construction Students used large sheets of thick paper, oak tag, or watercolor paper to create their forms. I demonstrated simple construction techniques for making a cone, cylinder, and cube, and told students, "If you can't make it with paper, you won't be able to make it with cardboard." Students taped forms sparingly with masking tape, knowing the tape would have to come off and that the paper would be used as a template or pattern on the cardboard. I also dem- onstrated how to conserve paper and told students their work should be about the size of a basketball. For clay, these same paper forms can be traced onto slabs, but we opted to work with plaster bandages. When the paper forms were approved, students used cardboard and traced their paper templates. Again, I talked about con - serving space—no tiny shapes in the m iddle of a large piece of cardboard. I told them, "Use the edges and play Tetris as you plan." Students planning sphere-shaped banks brought in a bal - loon, but most of them used cardboard. Completed cardboard forms were covered in plaster bandages, smoothed, and layered. Students who needed to create extra-smooth surfaces added a coating of liquid plaster, rubbing it into the bandages with wet fingers for a slick surface. A coin slot was cut into the banks and they were painted with acrylics. Some students embellished their work with additional materials. Criticism Sandwich We ended with a critique that included some more writing, this time in the form of a criticism sandwich: Say something positive, something that needs improvement, and end with another positive observation. Students did this for their own work and then for a peer. We spent a whole period on critiques and ended with a discussion. Some students shared techniques they discovered in the process that were helpful to others, such as work- ing with watered-down paint first so i t soaks into the plaster before adding Students created three- dimensional banks in the form of an object that represents what the want to save up for. a final coat. Students were allowed one extra day to add any details based on critiques before grading. Art to Bank On The purpose of some of the banks was obvious, but some were more sym- bolic. The student who created the r ibbon bank for charity related how the illness the charity represented had struck her family and that she wanted to help others. The student who created the house-shaped bank said a home represents stability. As a senior, she felt stressed and really wanted some stability in her life—a place to call her own. I love it when my students dig a little deeper into their projects, and I like knowing that their work will find a home outside of my classroom. Eric Gibbons is an art teacher at Northern Burlington Regional High School in New Jersey and the author of the blog Art Ed Guru. lovsart@ N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Creating: Conceiving and developing new artistic ideas and work. W E B L I N K S Cardboard forms are covered using plaster bandages. Students' banks represented things they wanted save up for, such as a pet (previous page) or a car (below).

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