Saturday, 14 March 2015

Paste Resist

When studying the Tudors last term I wanted to introduce the children to the concept of negative space and the ways in which we can use it in our art work. Resist are always for this so I chose to cover paste resists. Unfortunately, we don't have a wax heater in school for the children to create wax batiks but another method of using a paste resist to create batiks is a easy and safe way for the children to part take in the process of batik.

I chose to use the design of the Tudor rose, not just because the children would be able to recreate the simple design but linking it to the idea of symbols and standards to represent noble families fitted with the history topic.  The children used a black Tudor rose outline that they could see through their thin piece of cotton fabric. I mixed a simple flour and water paste that I poured into squeeze bottles I bought of Amazon but old clean sauce bottles would do the same job. The children then trace the Tudor template with the paste making sure to apply even pressure to the bottle to get a clean even sized spread of paste. The paste will bleed a little into the fabric and can cause it to crumple a little. This is normal it's just the water content soaking into the fabric.

When the paste has dried, (at least over night) you can begin to add paint to the fabric. On this occasion, we used an acrylic paint that we added a small amount of water to. Be careful not to make the paint to watery as it will bleed into the fabric under the paste and you will loose the negative space created by the paste. The children can paint over the top of the paste or use it as guide lines so not to mix colours. Once the paint is dry, the paste can be removed by picking at it. Make sure all pieces are removed as it affects the finished look. Removing the paste should leave a clean white line in its place.

Finally we mounted our fabric between two art straws to give it a standard feel.

Georgia O'Keeffe Clay Flowers

The curriculum theme this term is centred around plant life and nature. My year 3 and 4 classes (age 7-9 year olds) have been basing their learning around book The Green Ship. 

I linked the requirement in the national curriculum for children to learn about artists and craftsman to this project. I chose to Introduce the children to the work of Georgia O'Keeffe and her large flower paintings. We looked at example of her work and worked through some of the activities detailed in my earlier post 'Art Activities To Engage Children'.

The children were provided with a handful of air drying clay each and chose an example of O'Keefe's work to create a model. They worked upon shaping their clay into a sphere then flattening it to create a stubby cylinder. Once the children had moulded a cylinder shape, they used modelling tools to mark and cut out petals.

After, I encouraged the children to use their tools to create texture on the surface of their flowers. Many used a basic clay slip (mixture of clay and water) to join leaves and stems to their flowers.

As we used air drying clay we left the flowers to dry and harden over night before painting with colours to match the O'Keeffe paintings.

This particular project gave me an opportunity to observe how the children creatively used the tools to shape, mould and add texture to clay. Some even totally abandoned the use of tools and created their shapes and textures purely using their hands. This type of activity can really help strengthen their fine motor skills.