Monday, February 5, 2018

The Ratner School Art Program

I am personally glad to report that all the clay work will be completed this week. I am ready to get the art room back in order and try to begin dusting off everything! I enjoyed seeing the creativity and freedom of the students across all grade levels using the terracotta clay and I am excited to see the final results after the pieces are fired and glazed. 
I hope some of you had the chance to view the Scholastic Art Awards at CIA over the last few weeks. The work has been taken down now and should be coming home with your 7th or 8th grade student soon, keep an eye out for the work. 

Image result for snowing in cleveland
Photo from 2015, (I could not find the photographers name)

Kindergarten Art

We finished the last of the clay work and began our next Humanities unit studying the amazing quilts of Gee's Bend. The students looked at several visual examples of the quilts, noting the patterns, colors and materials used in their creation. We talked about the resources available to the quilt makers and how the quilters created their work to add physical warmth for their families and had a natural sense of design and color in their work. We discussed patterns, shapes, color and texture before work began on their large paper quilt work. The students designed a border to create and cut different patterned papers to build their work. They will finish the border this week and begin to create their central design as well. When the work is complete, we will display all the "quilt squares" together to see one large design. 

Samples of Gee's Bend quilts

1st and 2nd Grade Art

We finished work on the figure drawing books last week. We only had one art class last week due to the Geography Bee and the Olympic game activity. The students enjoyed practicing story telling using visuals and their proportions continued to show improvement as the pages in their books increased. Do not be surprised if your child asks you to pose for them, it is great practice to draw people from life. You are all so much more interesting to draw than a wooden mannequin. The figure drawing project is in support of the upcoming biography unit their main classroom is beginning soon. 

3rd and 4th Grade Art

The students all completed their sgraffito designs on the Native American inspired pots and they are currently drying out to go into the kiln. I believe I will be able to fire the kiln this week with their work. I am so excited to see the results of this new method and the students are rightfully proud of their work. We picked back up on our tipi build project and the students began stitching the large sections of the tipi together. They all made practice pouches before the work began and all enjoyed the process. We are using burlap as our material and a heavy cord for the stitches. The students showed great improvement with their stitch control and we will begin painting the designs this week. 

Before practice
After practice

5th and 6th Grade Art

We have about half of the banks completed as of last week and I am hoping to finish up all clay work today with the banks. I love the concepts that the students came up with and appreciate the fact that almost all of the students went beyond the typical "piggy bank" idea. Even if they chose to build a pig theme bank, the technical skills needed covered several points and I believe all the banks will be functional. Each piece is hollow constructed, has a slot in the top bigger than a quarter and a hole at the base so the coins can be removed. After the work is dried, it will go in the kiln and then we will get to glaze the banks. 

7th and 8th Grade Art

Several students completed their face/animal jugs in our last class and this week will bring the clean up and final details to the rest of the work. I enjoy seeing the variety in style, size and approach from the students and as always am impressed with their willingness to take a risk, try new methods and create with enthusiasm. Some of the work is larger than usual and will take some time to get to the bone dry stage before I can fire the work in the kiln. We will be patient so no work explodes!