Thursday, November 13, 2014

Giant eyeballs?!?

 My DragonWing Arts students built some giant eyeball sculptures, though the choices they made, and therefore the end results, were not quite as I had intended.  But they are happy, so I guess I should be satisfied.  Pictured above are a couple of samples that I had built in preparation for the project.  The base is cardboard, and then I added paper bowls to make the protruding center.  I cut a hole in the center of the blue eye, and painted the inside black.  I hot-glued on the plates, and then papier-mache'd over the entire thing. 
I cut eyelids from sheets of colored foam and glued on and added eyelashes from pipe cleaners.  The yellowish eye in the top photo (and in the photo below) is intended to be a dragon eye, but it is not complete.  For the eyelids, I am considering using some orange SmartFab fabric samples that I have, because it looks cool when I twist and layer it it.
 Below, the students' papier-mache is drying.  As you can see, two of the kids decided to make round eyeballs.  They all chose to cut openings for the pupils, and I gave them the option of gluing a CD inside, with a circle of black foam over the center.  One student got really wacky with layers of colored sheet foam in the pupil.
While the papier-mache was drying on our eyeballs, we used papier-mache mash made from shredded paper mixed with Art Paste and Elmer's Glue-All to cover Styrofoam blocks that had bamboo stakes inserted in them.  (These were to be used for displaying the eyeballs.)  The papier-mache mash dried rock hard, and added weight to the Styrofoam blocks so they wouldn't tip over.   
When the papier-mache was dry, the eyeballs and bases were painted and embellished with colored foam eyelids, pipe cleaners or wire lashes, and glitter glue and rhinestones as desired.  They may not all look like eyeballs, but the kids are happy with their work, so I am too. 
Eyeball closeups:
Another one of my unfinished samples, with CD, foam circle, and jewel in center.

a painted base
a little bit of eyeball motivation!
Eyeball Sculptures are Complete!

Below, the boys are modeling their wacky eyeballs!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Giant Masks at DragonWing Arts!

 In my after-school art enrichment business DragonWing Arts, I currently have just three students.  Three goofy, wacky, enthusiastic, energetic, sometimes annoying, sometimes loveable, happy kids; two fourth graders, and one second grader.  That's them, in the photograph above.

This fall, our 8-week class session has focused on the face.  (Sing, to the tune of  Meghan Trainor's All About That Bass: "Because you know I'm all about that face, 'bout that face, no elbows...") 

Anyhow, we've made these masks, and completed some other projects I'll be sharing in the coming week.  We have just one more class until after New Year's, when the winter session will focus on various folk arts from around the world.  Should be fun!!!
I first posted about this mask project prior to my retirement.  The post was written September 2011, here on the blog, after I did it with my then fourth grade age students. (Oh my gosh, they are now 7th graders!)  The photo above is from that original post.  Look at that post for a larger variety of student work, and information about the process (though I will tell you about it again here anyhow).  I mentioned in that post, and I want to repeat here, that the original inspiration for these masks came from the post of blogger Lori, on her blog Fun Art 4 Kids.  Thank you, Lori!
My DragonWing students (above) started with large pieces of oaktag, folded in half and cut symmetrically.  I offered some ideas, but did not tell the kids how they had to cut their masks.  The choice was theirs.  Then, we used a combination of animal print tissue paper, leftover construction paper pieces, and leftover pieces of painted paper.  These were cut and adhered to the mask shape with a mixture of Elmer's Glue-all and water, using large foam paint brushes.  First we painted the masks with the glue mix, then put the pieces of paper where desired, and then painted over them to seal them.  We made sure to cover the white oaktag completely.  In the next class, we used the same paper assortment to add details such as eyeballs, mouths, and more, using the painted-on glue mix for large pieces, and just the glue straight from the bottle for small pieces.  The kids were encouraged to add three-dimensional elements, but honestly, they pretty much chose not to.  (The mask on the right in the photo above, with protruding nose, raised eyebrows and curly whiskers is my sample.)  Since the goal of this program is for the kids to have a positive experience, I chose not to force the issue.

In the subsequent art class, when the glue was all dry, the masks were slashed and overlapped (I stapled and hot-glued the overlap for them) to give them a curved 3-dimensional shape.  The kids also decided to add a few jewels and feathers, though not as many as I anticipated or where I expected.  Here are 'mug shots' of the kids and their completed giant masks. 
And here they are again, in a totem pole stack!