SchoolArts Magazine

NOV 2012

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 48 of 52

All Levels Sit Like an EGYPTIAN L&L Kilns Made for Artists FREE FREE FREE L&L Kiln's patented hard ceramic element holders protect your kiln from broken brick and drooping elements. Free access to 6 years of digital issues. Only at Built Tough for Schools Emily Moll T he topic of Egypt is one that students are naturally intrigued and enthusiastic about. As part of our overall study of the art and culture of ancient Egypt, fifth graders in my visual arts class created mosaic and mixed-media collaged chairs. The idea was to embellish a contemporary chair with Egyptian colors, themes, and designs. I gave a brief overview of the classic stylistic motifs of ancient Egypt and discussed how furniture was buried with the mummified person as part of the preparation for the afterlife. I also discussed the various design elements, colors, and textures of this fascinating ancient culture. Students would personalize chairs just as the Egyptians personalized the tombs of people entering the afterlife. A Chair for Each Student As a long-time art teacher, I frequent yard sales and secondhand shops, looking for supplies for the artroom. Through my bargian-hunting efforts, I was able to gather sixteen chairs of varying styles. Each student selected a chair and began developing a design based upon a personally selected theme. One student chose the subject of the Egyptian scarab (an image of a beetle). Another wanted to include the pantheon of Egyptian gods and goddesses. Yet another student wanted to include sarcophagi and mummification elements. Embellishments I laid out a "buffet" table of items that I had accumulated, including glass baubles, charms from gumball machines, cast-off Continued on page XX. Continued from page 27. gravel. All were utilized for these embellished chairs. I soon discovered that we needed even more items as the collage process used an abundant quantity of materials. I encouraged students to bring in more found objects that they could incorporate into their chair designs. Mortar adhesive from the local hardware store was an inexpensive and highly effective solution that we used as the adhesive to attach the objects to the chairs. Finishing Touches I stressed that all aspects of the chair should be considered. Some chairs had fabric seats that we primed with gesso. The seat area was painted with acrylic paint so that the chairs could actually be sat upon and used. The final step included spraying the chairs with a clear acrylic top coat. Clear acrylic polymer could also be used to seal the piece. Finally, we displayed the chairs at our superintendent's office and received many enthusiastic and positive compliments. One student is even using her chair as her own "study" chair at home. Emily Moll is a K–5 visual arts specialist in Brunswick, Maine. e.moll@brunswick.k12. NatioNal 46 November 2012 SchoolArts StaNdard Students demonstrate how history, culture, and the visual arts can influence each other in making and studying works of art. Web Toll Free: 877.468.5456 27 liNk

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