Sunday, October 31, 2010

Notre-Dame Stained Glass on Paper

I have a plan to do a large stained glass Rose window display at school.

It will be made up of smaller stained glass compositions by each of the students in either Grade 3 or 4.

When I was in Paris this summer I couldn't get enough of the amazing stained glass "Rose" windows.  This is one from Notre-Dame on the outside but when you go inside.......

This is what you literally stops you in your tracks...the ones at the Cathedral in Reims are even more amazing. When you consider that these windows were constructed in the 13th century, the skill and artistry these windows demonstrate is truly awe inspiring.

Please click on picture to see larger.

Another aspect of the windows which surprised me is the depth of the composition.  The way the glass artists etched in the folds of the clothing, details of the faces, and even shadows for a 3D look.  Surprising when you consider shading doesn't really show up in painting much until Giotto's "Francis of Assisi Receiving the Stigmata" which he painted between 1295 - 1300.

The Rose windows were completed in 1270.  These figure windows were completed much later however they show similar detail that is in the Rose window I just don't have a close up picture to show you (the windows tower above you, so a little difficult to photograph).


-regular white school glue
- black acrylic paint
- tempera disk paints
- watercolor paper or heavier weight sketch paper
- paintbrushes
- stained glass reference photos
- circular objects for tracing
- fine sharpie

 Anyway...our stained glass will be done on paper in the method I first outlined in this post.

We will be concentrating on the round portions of the petals in the Rose window.

To get our round shape I traced a circle using a small foam plate.

I then wanted an outer circle so I took a larger plate and traced it as well....probably would be easier to do this in the opposite order at school.

I then used a roll of tape to get my semi circular shapes in place.

I sketched out the design I wanted,  I used the "Virgin Mary" as depicted in Notre-Dame but you can use any design of your choice.

Take a bottle of regular white glue and add a few squirts of black acrylic paint into the bottle.  Shake well.

Go over your pencil lines with your black glue.

Make sure to do this on a flat surface so your glue does not ooze where you don't want it to.

You can make some lines thicker than others if you wish.

Leave to dry on a flat surface.

When the glue has dried start painting in your sections.  The raised glue edge helps to "corral" the paint making it easier to paint.  With very young kids you can just let them paint the whole thing with a few colors rather than piece by will still look pretty terrific.

For the fine etching lines use a fine sharpie after the paint has dried.

Cut out circle.

I plan to make the rest of the petal parts with construction paper but the main focus will be on the circular sections.

That's it.

See you next time.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Clay Witches and Wizards

Grade 4 completed these clay witches and wizards for Halloween today.

I think they did an awesome job and they were quite pleased with themselves.

You start by rolling out a slab of clay and then roll it into an ice cream cone shape.  Trim off the excess and make sure to score and moisten the pieces that you are "gluing" together.

We then placed a 1/2 sheet of scrunched up newspaper into the hollow part of the cone so that our witches and wizards held their shape while we worked on them.  I kept the paper in place for a week while they were drying.

The kids then pinched out a face, scored in a division line between the face and hat, and added hair.

The also attached two arms by rolling out a rope shape and wrapping it around the back.

We had our hands cupped in front to hold the marble at the end.

I let them dry out for 2 weeks and then bisque fired them (cone 4).  We opted to glaze ours but you could paint with acrylics instead if you wished.

They were then glaze fired (cone 6) and I glued a marble in place with the hot glue gun.

That's it.  I'm so glad we timed it right for Halloween and we had another successful project with no casualties in the kiln...... woohoo!!!

See you next time.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Woven Eyed Bats

Here is a great Bat project.  It is an adaption of this "Bat Card" project from Better Homes and Gardens.

When I first saw it I loved the strings on the wings and set about making it a larger project for the kids at school.  This is what I came up with.

Now some of you may remember this project.  I have taken that woven eye concept and adapted it here.

Now for this Bat you need 2 circles cut from a cereal  or cracker box. 

For ours we are using one circle 3.5 inches in diameter and one 2.5 inches in diameter.  To measure I just find a circular object that is about the right size and trace around it.

You then want to poke a hole in the center with a large knitting needle.

I then cut 13 notches at about equal distance from each other.   (it doesn't have to be 13 but it must be an odd number) I had to cut 48 of these circles so you get to know the distance just by looking...I didn't measure.  Besides it's for Halloween so if they are a little bit wonky that's OK.

Now in the past I would string each string I started stringing all 48 I quickly surmised that I didn't need to do this.  I cut a length of yarn and threaded a large plastic needle.  I then  just tied the first wrap of string to itself at the back and continued stringing all 13 notches.  At the end you just tie it to itself on the back again.  I watched Monday night football and stringed eyes!

So once the warp (the 13 strings) is all prepped I threaded some black yarn on my plastic needle (for young kids knot the yarn onto the needle)....I then tied it onto the back pushed the needle thru the hole and started weaving (under,over) until I got the pupil to the size I wanted.  As you weave you need to get loosen up your tension or else your weaving piles up on itself instead of out.

I then tied on some red yarn to the black and continued weaving.  The kids at school had a choice of red, orange, or green.

We then took an 11x17 or so piece of heavy paper and painted it with some liquid tempera in black with a big brush.

Before the paint dries the kids took combs, picks, skewers, etc. and textured their painted paper a bit.

Set aside to dry.

We then took a half sheet of black poster board and cut out our wings.  For the kids I took the template from BHG and blew it up really big.  I had them cut it on the fold so both halves would match.  You could also have them come up with their own pattern.

We painted the bit of cardboard that is left after weaving.  I painted mine to match but you could use a contrasting color.

Trace out your Bat body on the back of the painted paper.  You can make your own design just make sure the head is large enough to support those big eyes you have woven.

Next you need to punch 4 holes on each wing for the string.  Before punching hold up the yarn to make sure you get it in the right place.  You just need to watch out for the one at the top and the one at the bottom on the side...make sure the angle is right or else your string might go over the side of the wing.

Start stringing your wing.  I take a good length (about 2 and 1/2 arms length) and feed one end thru the top and the other at the bottom.  Tie it on to itself at the back.

String thru the other holes always ending back at the top and then tie it off to itself at the back.

It should look something like this.  Repeat on the other side.

Now place your body in the center of your wings and fold them.  This adds a bit of dimension to your Bat.

Glue your body into place.

Glue your eyes into place.

If you wish you can add the "Happy Halloween".  If you have a computer class with the kids get them to choose a different font for each letter and then print at size 72.  Cut out and attach.

At school we decided to make ours upside down.  I hope to have some pictures of the student work shortly.

That's it!

After my last post on the Puppet Box I received a few requests for templates for the puppets.  I have now added this to the post and here is the link as well.  Big Pumpkin Templates

See you next time.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Puppet Box

My kids really enjoy the Halloween book called "Big Pumpkin" so I thought we could make a little puppet box to go with the story.

Now you can make a puppet box to go along with any story or poem or "just because".

You need a box to get started.  We are using a Kleenex box but you can use a cracker box, shoe box, or any box you have lying around in your recycle bin.

Using scissors cut out a window to view your puppet show.

Carefully open one side of the box.  Don't tear it as you want to be able to glue it together again.

I'm giving the outside a coat of gesso to prep it for painting.

You don't have to paint yours you can easily cover it with paper if you wish.

Now measure out the sides, back, top and bottom on paper.  These will be painted and then inserted into the box for our back drop scenery.

I usually write the name of each on the back so I don't forget which is which.

Now paint your scenery.  While you have your paint out paint some sticks for your puppets.  I buy these wooden stir sticks from the dollar store (250  for $1.00).

When the scenery has dried glue into place thru the open end.  You'll have to hold off on the last side though.

Re-close the open side and glue into place.

When the glue has set up enough you can glue in that last side piece of your scenery.

Draw out your puppet characters.  I am using heavy watercolor paper but you can use cardstock or light cardboard.

You can use my template if you wish.  Big Pumpkin

Add some color and cut them out.

I wanted the puppets to last so I added a coat of Mod Podge.

While the puppets were drying I added some color to our box.

If you want to add some extra scenery and give your puppets a place to hide in the wings you can paint a piece and then cut out a heavy paper strip.

Fold paper strip in half and tape or glue onto the back of the extra scenery.

Secure into place in the puppet box.

Now it's time to add the puppets.  Cut a hole into the side of the box for your puppet stick.

Glue or tape the puppet onto the stick.  Now you could do this while the stick is free from the box and then slide the end into place but i prefer to attach the puppet with the stick already in place so I can get the puppet in place at the right height and position.

and that's it.  Now the kids can play along as we read our favorite Halloween story together.

Before I go remember this diorama I made 2 years ago, Mini Pumpkin Diorama.

I got an email a few weeks ago from fellow art educator, Maria Tavares, who after seeing my version got inspired to make her own.

She sent a few pictures and I couldn't wait to show you.

I just love the knitting ........

and hers lights up too!!

Absolutely terrific Maria.  Thanks so much for letting me share this with everyone.

Why not give a puppet box or a pumpkin diorama a try and I'll see you next time!