McCulloch Intermediate School / Highland Park Middle School

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Welcome to Art and Ceramics!


In Art, students explore the areas of drawing, painting, printmaking and three-dimensional sculpture and functional work with clay. We look at the work of various artists as we study different media, history and techniques. We watch videos to learn about artists and techniques, too.
We begin with creative drawing exercises, drawing from life- still life- drawing with blind contour and adding looks as we practice. This enables us to develop drawing habits which enable us to draw what " we really see" as opposed to what we " think we see". We are currently working on two still drawings. #1 is a contour drawing of a still life which we all share, we watercolor it, then add colored pencil value shading and detail to complete it. #2 will be a "tempra batik" which involves layering paint then painting all over black. For the final fun "special effect", we place them on a tray and rinse them with water. The result is a beautiful batik-like effect in paint!
Next, we will make a sculpture out of clay. Students will be able to choose between animals and people for this one. We will also make a bowl out of clay that we can eat from!
We will then move on to printmaking where we carve from a soft surface our design thinking about positive/negative space and get to really print multiples with real (water soluble!) print ink and roll it with brayers!
In Ceramics, we learn all about hand-building with clay. We learn special vocabulary which is unique to the ceramics world. We work from primarily two categories: functional and sculptural. We learn about history related to ceramics and artists periodically. Students learn about various surface treatments, such as underglaze and shiny glazes. We talk about choices aesthetically and functionally. We will watch an IMAX video about King Tut and begin our Egyptian unit by designing a pyramid box. Students have many resources to work from including hieroglyphics, books, and resources I have collected from many ancient Egyptian shows I have attended. Students make relief tiles, learning how to carve in a subtractive manner to achieve the desired result. We will study Picasso's ceramic work through the Art Scholastic magazine. His work is whimsical and fun! We will get to make a whimsical face pot which is inspired by Pablo Picasso. We will make free pieces and a porcelain rice bowl inspired by the Japanese and Chinese traditions. We have alot of fun!!