Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ceramic Clay Box


Slab construction clay box with unique opening.

Students will learn and demonstrate hand-building and slab construction techniques making a box using earthenware clay. The students will demonstrate the Principles of Art (Proportion and Balance) and the Elements of Art (Form, Shape, Color, and Space).
Ceramics, Clay, Earthenware, Hand Building, Wedging, Slab, Coil, Wet Stage, Greenware Stage, Bisque Stage, Glazing, Firing, Kiln, Kiln Elements,

Earthenware Clay, Clay tools, Water, Kiln, Glaze, Pencil, Paper,

The Process

Step 1
The student will use paper and pencil to create a concept (shape, opening, color, decorations) of a box. Once the design is approved the student will be given a chunk of clay. The clay must be wedged for a couple of minutes to eliminate air pockets.

Step 2
The student will place the wedged clay between two long 1/4 inch thick sticks and use a PVC pipe to roll out the clay into a slab. The sticks will provide an even thickness. A fettling knife will be used to cut out the shape of the base.

Step 3
Once the shape of the base is established, additional slabs will be rolled out to make the walls of the box. The student will connect the walls/slabs together by scoring the clay with a fork. Scoring creates texture and along with water will adhere two pieces of clay together. A thin coil will be rolled out and place along the joining walls/slabs for structural reinforcement.

Step 4
When all the walls are connected to the base, the final slab (top) is rolled out. To prevent the top slab from sinking-in,  the box will be tightly stuff with newspaper prior to the top being scored and attached. Any additional pieces of clay can be attached at this time i.e. handles, decorations, etc. The box will rest for a few days until the clay enters into the greenware stage of drying.

Step 5
As the clay box is entering the greenware stage the student will use the fettling knife to create the opening. The newspaper inside the box will be removed. At this time a gouge can be used for making lines or shapes. The student will use their fingers and water to smooth out any edges or lines. The project will rest until it is bone dry and ready to be placed into the kiln.

Step 6
When the project is bone dry (1-2 weeks) it will be placed into the kiln and fired at a Cone 6/approx 900 degrees Celsius. When it comes out of the kiln (24 hours later) the clay has transformed into bisque ware and is ready to glaze.

Step 7
The final stage is glazing the bisque ware box. 2-3 coats of glaze will be applied using a brush. The student will choose their own colors. The glazed box will be fired a final time in the kiln truing the glaze into a shiny glass-like coat of color.

Amina smoothing out her Fez/Tarboosh box with a wooden rib

Nabil joining the third wall.

Wet stage boxes on the path to greenware

Smoothing out the edges

Glazed cake box

Cake box in sections

Present box

Puzzle Box

Fez/Tarboosh box with Arabic Calligraphy

Snowman cookie jar-approx. 20"

Post project essential questions:
What was successful about your project?
What challenges did you face in constructing your clay box?
Did you feel like you had to use a different way of approaching 3D Art compared with 2D Art?
Was your glazing what you expected?

Please answer and e-mail your responses to:bmedina@schutzschool.org.eg

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Monochromatic Painting

Monochromatic Portrait of a celebrity you admire

Prior to this project, students learned about color theory and created a color wheel identifying SHADES, TONES, and TINTS. The student will use a single primary or secondary color and mix it with white and black to change the value of a color. The students will focus and demonstrate the Elements of Art (Line, Shape, Value, and Color) and the Principles of Art (Balance, Contrast, and Unity).

Monochromatic, Shade, Tone, Tint, Value,

Portrait (9" x 12"), Mat board (11" x 14"), Pencil, and Paint

The Process
Step 1
The student will reference and draw the portrait on the mat board using a pencil.

Step 2
The student will identify and map the values (light, medium, and dark) with a pencil.

Step 3
The student will begin painting the background, followed by the body/clothing, neck, face, and ending with hair.

Color swatches

Hasnae getting ready to paint!

My quick example, need to finish the face.

Would you like fries with that portrait?

Ahmed forgot the ears, doh!

Sandrine like Himd Rostum (Egyptian Actress)

The pallet

Lady Gaga
Sid Lives

Guess who?

Who Killed Marilyn?

Post project essential questions:

What was successful about your project?
What part of the project did you find challenging?
Did you find the act of mixing colors difficult?
After the process of mapping do you look at a face now and see all the different skin vales?

Please answer and e-mail your responses to: bmedina@schutzschool.org.eg

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Discipline Based Art Education versus Visual Culture Art Education

This is from a workshop I gave at the NESA conference in Bangkok.

Discipline Based Art Education (DBAE)
def. a comprehensive Art Education Program combining skill, knowledge, and understanding art.

The 4 main components of a DBAE classroom are: 

Art Making

Art History

Art Criticism


Visual Culture Art Education (VCAE)
def. A combination that includes elements of art history, cultural studies, anthropology, critical theory, philosophy, and visual imagery.

What makes a Visual Culture?

Web/Computer Design

Architecture and Urban Design


Television and Media

Film and Video

Print Media

Fine Arts and Photography

Digital Multimedia

Social Networking

 How important are images to us? 

Object Art but is a product of one's Visual Culture.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Social/Political Assignment Part 2-Printmaking

Per our classroom discussion and slideshow on designing a social/political composition, you were asked to decide on an idea/cause/issue you wanted to speak about.

Printmaking-Reduction Print

The student will learn how to create a multicolor print using one plate/block. The students will focus and demonstrate the Principles of Art (Line, Shape, and Color) and the Elements of Art (Emphasis, Balance, Harmony, Rhythm, and Unity).

Reduction print, brayer, ink plate, gouge, block/plate, edition, and baren 

Designing Step: scratch paper, pencil, color pencils, light table (optional), marker/sharpie, carbon paper 
Printing Step: 9" x 12" rubber block/plate, 11" x 15" paper, water-based ink, gouge, brayer, ink plate, baren, damp towel

The Process:
The act of making a block reduction print is an abstract concept to most students and most will still have questions at the end of a demonstration. The actual authentic learning and understanding occurs during the process of gouging and printing.

Step 1: Design image with color choices

Step 2: Transfer image to plate with pencil, carbon paper (optional), and trace with a think tip permanent marker. The following examples were made in class. Thanks Hasnae allowing me to use your example:

Step 3: Gouging or Printing. If the final image will have white in it, gouge out the white area. If there will be no white in the image, begin printing. In either scenario print the lightest color first. You will print all 12 sheets.

Step 4: Once you printed all 12 sheets wash your block/plate and carve out the area of the color you just printed. Repeat this step after each color. Allow at least 5 hours in between printing colors.

Caution: avoid over inking a block as it will both smear the image and build up a layer of ink.

Step 5: Sign, number, and title (optional) each print. 

Finished and unfinished student examples: 

Nabil's print after 3 colors (white, silver, and blue)
Jomana's final print
Farida's final print
Ink and brayer on an ink plate
Related links: Natalia Moroz Blue Chisel Studio

Post project essential questions:
What was successful about your project?
What part of the project did you find challenging?
Is the concept of reduction printing still an abstract idea or do you think you could do it again without instruction and/or can teach it to a peer?
Why do you think printmakers make a set edition of prints?

Please answer and e-mail your responses to: bmedina@schutzschool.org.eg

Monday, October 11, 2010

Social/Political Assignment-Part 1

Social and Political Issues in Art: inspired by Sara Gant, NC

Per our discussion and slide show of the images below during class, I would like to remind you that no matter what position you take on an issue, there will always be a counter balance. 

Social/Political block reduction print (the process and examples will be in the next post) I just want you to think about your topic for now.

You will choose an issue/cause you care deeply about. This issue should be something that is a concern in your society or elsewhere in the world. Here is a partial list of some of the issues you might want to consider: environment, racism, gender issues, child labor, domestic violence, discrimination, religious views, war, social-economic class, poverty, bullying, mental health, animal rights, gay rights…What issues do you CARE about? Have you been affected by an issue or know a family member or a friend who has? How did it affect them?

Project Description:
Your image may be subtle or in your face. Think about what point of view you want to depict (An animal being experimented on, for example, if you are for animal rights.) You project will be image based with possible minimal text. Think about your color scheme (six color limit).

Spend time researching the issue you have chosen to speak about. Use paper to jot down images, quotes, or words that relate to you idea. You can borrow ideas from other images to help you develop your initial ideas, BUT YOUR WORK SHOULD BE YOUR OWN. Your sketches should be a visual record of the research and documentation that you have done.

Post Project Writing Assignment:
Write about your image. Answer a number of following questions in 2-3 paragraphs.
What is the reasoning for choosing your topic?
Why do you feel the way you do?
What are your arguments for or against your topic?
What or who has influenced your decisions and opinions about your topic?
What is the opposition to your issue?
How would/do you interact with someone who has an opposing view?
Can you see the opposition's point of view?
Is your artwork intended to offend?
Who would be offended?
Does an artist have a right to offend?
Critique your project: 
Are you effective in getting your point across? How?
Is there a focal point (center of interest)?
How do you effectively use the Principles of Design?

Additional Resources: The Graphic Imperative  Posters Propaganda Posters Justseeds.org

You Can Click on Image to enlarge.