Thursday, May 26, 2016

Mugs and Coasters for Father's Day

Here are two simple projects that make nice Father's Day gifts, and even go together. I purchased white mugs at the Dollar Tree. I needed 60, so I ordered them online and they were delivered to the store of my choice. Pretty convenient. I tried painting on the mugs with the type of acrylic paint that they suggested at my local craft store. I was a little dubious since acrylics are a type of plastic and I wasn't convinced that the paint would not peel off. The mugs need to bake in the oven after painting, and as I had suspected, the paint rubbed off with my fingernail. I opted instead to use oil-based markers. They went on smoothly, dried quickly and passed my test of washing them by hand. I haven't tried them in the dishwasher yet. The children found that the pens are a bit hard to control on the slippery surface, but they didn't seems the least bit frustrated and some of the children are only three! Before they started we discussed how the drawing should extend all the way around the mug. They did tend to become fixated on one small area.

 

The coasters are travertine tiles that I found at Home Depot. Since they are a natural material, some of them are quite pitted or have broken corners or actual holes. I think it lends character to them, but wasn't sure how the children would react to the imperfections. They were not at all bothered. They stamped on the tiles using a permanent ink pad and also stamped a gift tag. We put little "feet" on the bottom with the type of craft foam that has a sticking backing.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

DIY Father's Day Gift

The Kindergarten teacher asked me to make a Father's Day gift with the children. We made gelatin prints that I then mounted with spray glue onto notebooks from the Dollar Store. I think the children did a beautiful job. I worked on the prints with them one on one, giving each of them a chance to make a couple prints. Instrucions for making a gelatin print are here.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Sticks and Stones

The Montessori school where I teach was focusing on the history and culture of Australia this year. Since the children are very young it is not always easy to come up with art projects that they are able to execute and still capture the flavor or history of a region. Sometimes I tend to overthink the process , but this time I decided to focus on using natural materials and to implement the dots of color that have been used by aboriginal artists. Two simple concepts. I liked the idea of gathering the sticks from my own yard and buying the little pebbles at a garden center.
We mounted the sticks and pebbles on the black Foamcore (Dollar Tree) using white glue. The Foamcore provides a nice, stable surface. The children composed the elements in any way that they found appealing. When everything was glued down, they added the dots of acrylic paint with the Q-Tips.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Sculpture in Preschool

My husband used his band saw to cut some heavy cardboard tubing that I had been saving into various lengths. I had my pre-schoolers pick out different pieces and paint them with wild colors. We dipped some yarn in white glue and wrapped that around some of the piecs although that was a bit tricky for them. I used a glue gun to mount the tubing onto one large sheet of black foam core. It's quite heavy, so I have to figure out how I am going to hang it for our art show. It was good use of the tubing instead of tossing it out.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Collaborative Art for Auction Fundraiser

All the children that attend the Montessori school where I teach participated in this collaborative art piece that will be auctioned at their annual fundraiser next month. The children, ranging in age from three to six, are studying Australia this year. We used Aboriginal art and the animals of Australia as our inspiration. The Aborigines have a beautiful way of depicting animals in a simple, almost graphic style. The piece measures 36 x 48 inches.
Each classroom depicted a different animal. I created stamps from craft foam or stencils cut from acetate of the animal shapes. The children first did a rubbing of a pattern using oil pastel to establish a background. They printed or stenciled their animal and added some decoration with paint applied with a Q-tip. The parents will receive the original art on the night of the fundraiser. I made color copies and adhered them to the canvas with Elmer's glue and a sponge brush. I coated the finished work with Mod Podge.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Sending the Art Home

It's almost the end of this nine weeks of art classes with three-to six year olds and I'm getting ready to send their work home. It's hard for them to wait all this time to show their parents and I begin to run out of places to store the art, but I think it makes an impression to see it all together. I have put aside two pieces from each child for our art show at the end of the school year.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Turn 2D into 3D

I introduce children to the concept of making objects that are three dimensional by showing them how to turn strips of paper into sculpture. I show them how to fold the paper back and forth and to cut spiral shapes from squares. We use glue sticks to attach the paper to a base of corrugated cardboard. It is easier to attach the pieces and not have them pop off the base if they fold the ends before gluing. The paper can be twisted and looped through other strips. At first they tend to glue the strips flat onto the base, but they quickly grasp the concept of adding height. As they work, I encourage them to look at what they are making from different angles.