SchoolArts Magazine

February 2017

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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40 FEBRUARY 2017 SchoolArts sections. Students were responsible for five to ten tiles each. Numbering the tiles helps during assembly. Once the preparation was finished, I used an overhead projector to dis- play the design on the wall. I taped a heavy plastic sheet to the wall and traced each line onto the plastic with a marker. I added the tile numbers to the plastic as well to serve as a map for the rest of the process. Cutting Tile, Firing, and Glazing I cut the plastic sheet up into sec- tions for each group of students. N ext, I had students roll out slabs of clay about ½" thick and at least the size of their assigned section. Each student placed the plastic pat - tern right-side up on the slab of clay ( placed on a board) and traced it with a pencil. Students pulled the plastic E L E M E N T A R Y T he fourth-grade class at Enrico Fermi Elementary set out to create a large-scale mosaic tile mural in the school's front lobby. Our objective was simple: To change the way the school and com - munity view public art. We began b y choosing the subject matter, a Tree of Life, to symbolize strength, growth, and change. The class was divided into small groups and each collaborated to create one design. The group designs were then dis - cussed as a class, and we fine-tuned f or the final design. Large-Scale Preparation The preparation of the large-scale design is best completed by the teacher. The final drawing planned by students needs to be cut into shapes that will be used as pat - terns to cut into clay tiles. The tiles s hould not be too large (to prevent warping), too small (difficult to install), or too long (easily broken). I found it easiest to make photocopies of the designs and draw the shapes of the tiles until they looked just right. I divided the enlarged designs into pattern off and set it aside. I used a square-shaped ribbon tool to cut out the tiles, making sure to place the tool evenly over the traced line. I guided students to match up the tiles so that they fit together like a puzzle. The tiles were kept on the boards until they were leather-hard, then we flipped them over and numbered each piece. We used a sponge with water to smooth out the edges. Once the tiles were dry, I glazed, fired, and refired them. Like Puzzle Pieces I laid out large pieces of plastic mesh on the floor in sections and we placed the finished tiles in their numbered places on the mesh. We left spaces in between to allow for the grout. Once the tiles were in place and matched up, I hot-glued them to the mesh. A few pieces were missing or had to be remade and added in at the end. Installing the Mural I cut the mesh with the tiles attached into small sections that were com- fortable to handle. Using a tile-to-wall adhesive, I placed the sections onto the wall one at a time. After twenty- Katie Netti Our objective was simple: To change the wa he school and communit view public art. TREE OF LIFE Mural The

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