SchoolArts Magazine

November 2016

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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42 NOVEMBER 2016 SchoolArts Tres Culturas is designed to help curious travelers explore and understand the diversit of New Mexico's artistic heritage from ancient times to the present. Join us as we explore the artistic spirit of Santa Fe and Albuquerque, July 17–23, 2017. Visit for full details and pricing. Invoking Wonder Both the visual aspect and advo- cacy portion of the project were a success. Students, parents, and teach- ers took pictures of the installation and so many wonderful conversations have been started with parents because of it. I've had a number of parents approach me about volunteering in the artroom, and I link that directly to this col- laborative project catching their attention about our school's art program. Ted Edinger is an art teacher at Tulip Grove Elemen- tary in Nashville, Tennessee and author of the blog Art with Mr. E. tededinger@ W E B L I N K project/ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 14. PAGE SPONSORED BY: Ted Edinger The SPORE Project F O C U S I N 14 NOVEMBER 2016 SchoolArts ined teachers using the project. He said, "I would like to see educators using the project to teach students to look at things in another perspective. Yes, it's just a simple lunch bag, but look what you can do with it. It is a wonderful tool to unite a school in creativity." Classwide Collaborative This year, I felt the project fit best with my youngest students. It pro- vided a great opportunity to discuss collaboration and temporary art. Col- laborative art can be challenging for young students as they become very attached to their individual creations, but after I explained that their work would be part of an installation, stu- dents were excited about the process. I wanted to mimic the colors from a Kandinsky-inspired sculpture cre- ated earlier in the year by our school community. I envisioned the mush- rooms surrounding the sculp ture so that it appeared as if the colors were melting from it, or as if they were little aliens returning to the mother ship. Students created their mush- rooms from brown paper lunch bags (directions are on the SPORE Project website); drew designs and patterns with permanent markers on the caps; and painted them. Volunteers hot- glued wooden skewers to the bags to make the stems and "planted" them. Once the mushrooms were in place, I sprayed them with a clear acrylic seal and sprinkled glitter on the caps while the acrylic was damp. I recently discovered the SPORE Proj- ect, an awareness program devel- oped in 2005 by Doug Rhodehamel to support creativity and art educa- tion by constructing and planting mushrooms made from brown paper lunch bags. Through the SPORE Proj- ect, tens of thousands of mushrooms have been made and installed by stu- dents, businesses, and organizations all over the world. Beginning with a Lunch Bag According to Rhodehamel, "The idea behind the paper bag mushroom grew innocently out of lunch in high school. While sitting around waiting for the meal break to end, I squished my lunch bag into a mushroom and gave it to my friend. This became a daily routine. I then began placing them on my friends' lawns while they were at work. Other people loved them and asked me to cover their yards with mushrooms as well. I began getting calls from teachers asking if I could come show their students the art of making paper bag mushrooms. This is where the SPORE Project began." Heart and Soul As I explored the SPORE Project's website, I loved the heart and soul behind the idea. I could see the mush- rooms creating conversations and raising questions in students, such as "Wow, those are great! But why are they there?" What a wonderful way to advocate for your art program and the importance of art education! I asked Rhodehamel how he imag- CONTINUED ON PAGE XX. I would like to see educators using the project to teach students to look at things in another perspective. into the weaving next to spoke C. This creates a looped rim around the basket. After the spokes are tucked, the loops can be adjusted to be the same height. Beyond Basketry The results were breathtak- ing! Everyone enjoyed the project and many students asked if they could make larger bases for larger baskets. Students researched different weaving techniques and soon many were trying their hand at twining. Finished baskets were displayed prominently in our library showcase and our school's TV news crew produced a special segment, which aired locally. Nancy Corrigan Wilbert is a visual arts specialist at Seekonk High School in Seekonk, Massachusetts. wilbertn@ 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 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 35. CONTINUED ON PAGE XX. SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 35 34 NOVEMBER 2016 SchoolArts H I G H S C H O O L I n an attempt to try something novel and fun with my ceramics classes, and to introduce a new skill, I decided to teach a lesson on one of the oldest known crafts: basketry. When I first told my students that they would be working with basketry, most seemed intrigued. When I told them that they would be weaving underwater, they started asking even more questions. I'm certain students envisioned themselves weaving at the bottom of the school pool, wearing swimming goggles and flippers. In any case, my approach worked—I had their interest. Starting with a Clay Base Students made circular slab bases from clay and gave them decorative patterns by pressing in crocheted and lace doilies. To acquire doilies, ask for donations or look for them at yard sales and flea markets. Found objects or commercial rubber stamp sheets with decorative patterns work, too. To make circular bases for their baskets, students rolled ½" slabs of clay and carefully arranged the doi- lies on top. Using a rolling pin with medium pressure, they rolled their designs into the clay. Students then placed a round 4" diameter oak tag template on top of the clay and cut around it using a pin tool. Doilies were removed and damp sponges were used to smooth the edges of the clay. Preparing to Weave Next, holes were cut around the edges of the clay slabs to allow for weaving. Medium drinking straws worked perfectly to cut holes from the clay. An odd or even number of holes will work as long as there is an 1/8" Underwater Nancy Corrigan Wilbert WEAVING BASKET distance between each hole and the edges of the clay. Holes were spaced about ¾" apart. The clay bases were set aside to dry and then bisque-fired. After the firing, students applied generous coats of dark colored glaze. Using a wet sponge, they removed excess glaze to reveal their decorative patterns. The resulting bases were refired and ready to be used in a basket. Basketry 101 Baskets can be made from a variety of fibrous or pliable materials—any- thing that will bend and form a shape. We found round reed to be the best choice; it is economical, readily available, and easily purchased from art supply catalogs. In a round basket, the static verti- cal pieces are referred to as "spokes." "Weavers" are used to fill in the sides of a basket. Weaving with reed is one of the more popular techniques, as it is pliable and can be cut into any size or shape. When woven correctly, it is very sturdy. Students soaked the weavers in a dishpan of warm water. Setting up the Spokes Students cut the same number of spokes as the holes that had been made in their ceramic bases, each about 12" long. These were placed in warm water for ten minutes and dried with a towel to remove excess water. A spoke was placed in each hole on the base and pulled through so that there were 3–4" of spoke below the base and 8–9" above the base. Weaving the Footer 1. Looking at the bottom of your bas- ket and weaving clockwise, take any spoke above the spoke to the right (spoke A) and under the sec- ond spoke to the right (spoke B). 2. Taking spoke A, go above spoke B and then under the next spoke to the right (spoke C). Continue around the bottom until all of the spokes are locked into place. Weaving the Sides 1. Soak long lengths of reed in warm water for five minutes. 2. Place the tip behind a spoke and weave over and under the spokes. Keep weaving until the weaver runs out. To add a new piece, overlap the ends for 2" and keep weaving until you have reached your desired height. Remember to keep the weav- ers tight before adding another row. This will make for a stronger basket. Weaving the Rim 1. The basket is then turned upside down and dipped into warm water to soften the spokes sticking out from the weaving. 2. Starting anywhere and working to the right, take a spoke in front of two spokes (A and B). Insert this spoke down into the weaving next to spoke B. 3. Now take spoke A and insert down I'm certain students envisioned themselves weaving at the bottom of the school pool, wearing swimming goggles and flippers. A Journey of ART & SOUL

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