Friday, April 14, 2017

Noodle Felting

Last evening my husband and I had the opportunity to attend the opening of a local artisan studio that offers fiber art supplies, classes and handmade goods. In talking to the owner about my desire to bring felting to my classes I was introduced to the art of "noodle felting." In college, I learned how to card wool by hand and felted by stitching the layers together inside a pillowcase in my father's washing machine (much to his chagrin). Over the past few years I have seen examples of wet felting using a sushi mat and other household items. Noodle felting is a great, economical way to introduce wet felting to my elementary classroom.

To begin start with wool roving. Tear in 3-4" chunks. Lay down in alternating directions. I placed my wool on a layer of bubble wrap inside a disposable paint tray liner available at your local home improvement store. You should also add a layer to create agitation such as wire mesh/tulle. Use a squirt of liquid dish detergent with warm water and mist/spray the wool.  I folded the bubble wrap over the wool roving layers. Using a pool noodle roll over top of the wool. In the photo below I've used pipe insulation in place of a pool noodle.

This is the finished dry felted piece. The inspiration was an abstract landscape of a day at the beach.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Full STEAM Ahead

This year our school is combining our annual science fair with "Math & Literacy Night" to create a new event called "STEAM Night." Students can bring in traditional science projects or artworks and teachers will host stations integrating different elements of the curriculum. Since this is the first year art has been included I am very excited to participate. I thought that pendulum painting would be a fun idea to demonstrate for the kids.


To get started you need to make a pendulum.
I recycled an empty contact solution container because I wanted to be able to quickly and easily stop the flow. I cut off the bottom and reinforced that area with duct tape. Next I drilled three equidistant holes about .5" from the bottom of the bottle. If using a plastic water bottle, a hole puncher will work. 

Next loop about 1 yard of string or twine through each hole. Connect the three lengths at the top. I used a tripod we had at home, but you could also place a broom handle across two chairs. 

Tempera paint that has been thinned two parts to one part water is added tot he container with the hold plugged. Place paper under the tripod, remove the plug and let it go.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Time to make the donuts

This year my crayola grant is focusing on the work of Wayne Thiebaud. I had planned to have my fourth grade students create a layered cake with a piece removed and also make a model magic cupcake. Both are lessons I've borrowed from another teacher in my district. As the supplies started   rolling in, I saw a teacher post a lesson for donuts on a discussion board for art teachers. I knew right away that I could connect this to the Thiebaud lesson. And, hello fastnacht day! I don't know if this is a big deal if you're not Pennsylvania Dutch, but this is very relevant for the students in our district.
My first group of students finished their donuts today and they are gorgeous. I had them focus on unity, variety and emphasis. Since we used a pool noodle as a stamper, all of the shapes are the same. That's our unity. I supplied three colors of paint: vanilla, chocolate, and cinnamon. That's our variety. They used the amazing playcolor paint sticks to add frosting, glaze and sprinkles on top. They were allowed to use glitter on ONE donut which created emphasis. More photos to come.

This lesson idea inspired by Katie Mallette.