Monday, November 21, 2011
There was a lot of learning going on in the art room today. Mostly I learned that I underestimated how much mold making supplies would be needed for students to make their molds for casting their clay panels. The lesson as written had some flaws in it as well. What did I want students to learn from this project? I wanted them to learn how an artwork can be a narrative and how to create a relief casting. Problems with unit that I see at this point:
1. The introduction to this artwork I don’t think I used enough artist examples for discussion about narrative. We looked at and discussed art by Chagall and Kahlo when we discussed color symbolism for their previous project. We then learned about Ghiberti and his Baptistery doors for how he used relief to show depth and importance in his telling of a story. We went back to those artwork and discussed how they were visual narratives about some aspect of the artist’s identity or belief system. What I didn’t do, that I should have, was bring in more artists who used narrative in their work.
2. We used the poem by Robert Hastings, The Station, as inspiration for creating a drawing about an important “stop” along their travels in life. This was supposed to also serve as a starting point for their narrative artwork. This concept was lost on the students. I need to revisit the concept of a personal narrative the next time I teach this or a similar unit.
3. When I introduced the project for the students (Creating a relief sculpture from modeling and casting) I showed the steps and we discussed the pros and cons of this process. I had made an example of all the steps and that is where the images in the presentation came from. That part went well and as students began modeling their relief sculptures out of clay all seemed to be going well.
4. When it came time to make the molds I learned many things.
a. We didn’t have enough mold-making material and I let the students make their panels larger than our molding supplies would stretch for this class of 25.
b. The modeling material didn’t melt like I had hoped in the crock pot so I was constantly going to the microwave to warm more up. This made for loss productivity as students waited for their turn.
c. High relief panels needed more modeling material which caused fewer students to be able to make their mold as we ran out.
d. So plan “B” use the plaster to make the mold by pouring it over the modeled panels. – Problem: The walls created by foil and clay were not always sealed and plaster leaked out causing a quick panic to seal them up before we lost all the plaster or it hardened.
e. There were students with super high relief so we were going to try out the Paint a Mold material. Well, it doesn’t go far either. I had only ordered 1 container of it thinking that when it was mixed it would paint on more than 2 sculptures. I still need to figure out what I am going to do for the student who still needs to make a mold of his hand.