SchoolArts Magazine

OCT 2010

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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Taylor Carpenter A Charming Presentation With charms completed, the second challenge surfaced: the presentation of the charms in a bracelet or necklace design. Students had to find some type of chain on which to attach their charms, so they researched examples from jewelry books and pieces by various artists. The diversity of materials collected proved to be intriguing—a broken dog collar, thick chain link, and bicycle chain to name a few. It became obvious that students were not satisfied with all of their charms, so I allowed each student to eliminate five charms from their design. If students wanted to eliminate more, they were required to talk to me personally and discuss their reasoning. This helped to create unity within the pieces. Reflecting Back Several ideas emerged as the lesson progressed. Most recognizable was the large size of some of the charms, which did not seem to integrate well with the smaller charms. Thus, I recommend establishing set dimensions for the charms. 1. Given material charms (from the original bag of goodies I presented to them). 2. Found-object charms (students hunted for their own materials). 3. Metal charms (students riveted, etched, sawed, stamped, used patinas, etc. using scraps of copper, brass, and nickel-silver metal). 4. Fabric charms (scrap fabric, felted wool balls, thread, and stitching techniques). 5. Choice charms (students created charms of their choice with the option of repeating any of the previously mentioned charms). And so the pounding, stamping, wire wrapping, and embellishing began. Everyday objects were transformed into extraordinary charms. Every few days, a set of ten charms were due until all fifty charms were finished. Each charm was graded individually on its overall design and artistry. Students who carried a theme throughout the design of their charms had better unity in their finished product. Some achieved unity with color, others with materials (dominant metal charms in their final piece), and some with the objects they incorporated. I believe the amount of charms could have been limited to approximately thirty while still providing the bulk and filling necessary space to create an extraordinary piece. Michelle Surrena is an art teacher at StowMunroe Falls High School in Kent, Ohio. Artyone72@yahoo.com NatioNal StaNdard Students apply subjects, symbols, and ideas in their artworks and use the skills gained to solve problems in daily life. Web liNk objectsandelements.typepad.com/ objects_and_elements/2010/05/drumrollindustrial-chic-is-here.html Kelli Mehlberg schoolartsonline.com 43

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