For this project, we checked out Jim Dine. Jim Dine is an American Pop Artist who was born in 1935 and is still alive! The kids love to learn about artists who are still living. Pop art is an art movement in which artists make art about things that are POPular. Mr. Dine chose to make art about hearts. The image of the heart is an iconic image that is recognized world-wide. I'd say that definitely falls into the "popular" category.
Although we were a little late, I thought it would be nice to do an art project for Valentine's Day. 1st grade was SOOOOOOO excited to finally get to work with clay. Before the project started, I went ahead and used a cookie cutter to cut out some hearts from the clay. The hearts would act as the base to what the students would be doing.
On the first day of the project, I introduced Jim Dine and clay to the students. Each student was given a heart that had been cut out of clay. I then showed them how to make coils (clay spaghetti noodles) by rolling the clay between their hands/table. These coils were then rolled up into little spirals. We attached the spirals to our clay heart base by a technique called "slipping and scoring." This is when you scratch up the two clay surfaces and rub a little water on them. This helps the two clay pieces to stick together. If you do not do this, the clay will probably fall apart in the kiln (clay oven). When I long-term subbed for Tasha Newton in Fall Creek, she showed me that you could slip and score clay using a toothbrush so that's what I had my students do. This makes slipping and scoring SOOOOO much easier. Any little spots that didn't have clay coils, students were to attach a small ball of clay.
While the clay dried and was put in the kiln, we worked on our backgrounds. I made the backgrounds beforehand so i didn't have to worry about students burning themselves with the hot glue gun. We talked about patterns and how that is something that repeats over and over. You can have a pattern of lines, shapes, colors, stripes, etc. We used tempera paint to paint our popsicle sticks all one color. We then added patterns on top of the base colors.
For the final day of the project, we talked about contrast. If something has high contrast, it means that two things are nothing alike (black and white, red and green, big and small, smooth and rough, etc). If it has low contrast, the two things are somewhat similar. We would be using high contrast on our project. Because our backgrounds had nice bright, saturated colors, our clay hearts would be a bit lighter so that they didn't blend in with our background. We painted our clay hearts using neon tempera cakes. The students were amazed that the clay soaked up the water and paint and was instantly dry after they had painted it! After they finished painting their heart, they used purple and lime green sharpies to add extra details to their backgrounds. We added shapes, stripes, polka dots, etc. Lastly, they glued four small heart-shaped beads onto their background. I glued their hearts to their backgrounds after school.
I am not a big fan of working with clay, but I LOVEDDD how these turned out.
Harmony and Consolidated Elementary Art Teacher in Milton, WI. UW-Eau Claire graduate. WAEA President-Elect. Apple Teacher.