SchoolArts Magazine

MAY-JUN 2013

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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Middle School Studio Lesson The Tradition of the Toran Victoria L. Gadecki I beadwork, and may be decorated with n India, decorative door hangings mirrors as well. Most torans have a called torans serve as welcome distinct shape to them—the top secflags. They hang above storefronts tion is a rectangle and the bottom and homes to bring in prosperity. sections are triangles that hang down, People also use torans to announce representing the changing of People use torans to mango leaves, seasons, to celwhich are quite ebrate a birth, to announce the changing of honor festivals, seasons, to celebrate a birth, plentiful and revered in India. to welcome the to honor festivals, to welcome gods, and to welthe gods, and to welcome Understanding come people into people into their homes. In my classtheir homes. I room I showed first came across students photographs of torans I had torans while I was touring the Calico taken while in India. I also showed Museum of Textiles in Ahmedabad, them the torans I had purchased there. India. We discussed the appliqué techniques Torans are made using a variety of artisans used to make the torans and methods including appliqué, embroicompared and contrasted the two dery, paint on fabric, crochet, or torans I had purchased. I discussed the purposes of torans in India and their history, then I asked students to think of other ways they could decorate their own torans. Designs on Paper Before allowing students to begin designing their torans, I displayed all of the materials on a table for the class to see what was available to use. I gave very few instructions so that students could be imaginative in their designs of patterns and use of symbols. I gave each student a 20 x 40" (51 x 101 cm) piece of white bulletin board paper to use to sketch out the outline of his or her toran. I also had several books on India and Hinduism available for students to look through in order to get ideas. I explained that typical rectangular torans in India are 8½ x 39" (22 x 99 cm) with several 7½ x 5½" (19 x 14 cm) triangular shaped pieces that hang down from the larger piece. Students drew their designs on their papers, some choosing to draw geometric designs, and others choosing to tell a story. Examples included Continued on page XX. schoolartsonline.com 29 Continued from page 29. outs of Hindu gods, paintings of Hindu rituals, and colorful fabric cutouts of a Hindu wedding. Creating Fabric Torans Once their drawings were complete, students selected and cut fabric in the shape and size they desired, using their paper designs as patterns. They attached their materials onto the fabric with glue and/or by sewing. Some students added painted designs. One student chose to bring in a dowel and string and hang it from the wall rather than the door. The completed torans revealed the different degrees of creativity and the personality of each student. I also got a chance to observe how devoted each student was to perfecting his or her work. One student's toran still hangs from the door in my classroom today. Whenever people enter my room, they bend over to keep from running into the toran, then they turn around and ask about it. They almost always have something wonderful to say about it. Victoria Gadecki is a national board certified social studies teacher at Lexington Middle School in Lexington, South Carolina. Victoria visited India for five weeks on a Fulbright Fellowship. vgadecki@ lexington1.net NatioNal StaNdard Students use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories. Web liNk en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toran Advertiser Index Advertiser Academy of Art University AMACO Americans for the Arts Bailey Blick Conrad Machine Co. Crayola Crizmac Davis Art Images Davis Publications Debcor Dinner Party Institute Fastenation, Inc. FIDM Page 42 51 CIII 42 11 38 CIV 37 CII 1 39 40 15 2 7 50 40 13 40 Advertiser Page General Pencil Jacquard L&L Kilns NAEA Nasco Arts & Crafts Skutt Triarco Arts & Crafts University of the Arts 15 45 50 16 4 38 40 37 38 39 40 1 38 40 New Products The Media League Creative Paperclay Google Staedtler 13 13 15 15 Ringling College Royalwood SchoolArts schoolartsonline.com 45

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