SchoolArts Magazine

December 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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SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 35 Choose an Animal, Sketch a Jar After an introduction to canopic jars via YouTube, students researched and selected their spirit animals using a variety of websites—some even with tests that they enjoy tak- ing—accessed via their devices. Next, they developed a thumbnail sketch of the design for their jar using images of their animals also found online; front, side, and rear views are helpful at this stage. Making Maquettes Students experimented with mak- ing pinch pots, coil pots, and handbuilt maquettes of their ani- mal heads, using clay from our reclaim bucket and instruction from additional short YouTube videos. Students dove in with gusto, literally getting their hands dirty and "digging" the process. Forming Vessels Students first created a pinch pot base and began to attach coils to its rim to form the body of their vessels, challeng- ing themselves to both widen and taper the form at intervals as desired. For the lid, they created another inverted pinch pot with an internal lip made from a flattened coil (to prevent the lid from being easily knocked off), and hand- built their animals' features onto the front. Some students added texture appropriate to their ani- mal's body covering. The jars were later fired when dry. Careful Firing To complete the jars, I favor cold finishing for a couple of reasons. From a practical standpoint, it avoids another firing in an art department with two very busy kilns. From an aesthetic standpoint, the results are more varied, richly layered, and tend to encourage more exploration, discovery, and expression than brushing on commercial glazes. We patched any slight cracking, and then underpainted with raw umber acrylic; dry brushed over the top a layer of white acrylic; built up color by rubbing in layers of soft pastel and colored pencil; and added Students must interpret an idiom such as "a little bird told me" through their sculptural busts. details—intricate "tattoos" proved attractive—with gel pens. A coat of clear acrylic spray-on glaze protected the finish. (Be sure to spray it on and leave the sculptures to dry outdoors or in a well-ventilated area outside of the studio). The ancient Egyptian gods and sha- mans seemed to be smiling on us, as the level of success with this challenge was impressive and inspiring. Betsy DiJulio is a National Board Certi- fied art teacher at Princess Anne High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia and author of The Blooming Platter Cook- book. jdijulio @ N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Connecting: Relating artistic ideas and work with personal meaning and external context. W E B L I N K

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