Monday, February 20, 2012

Second Grade Oaxacan Animals

Second grade just completed their clay project. They learned about Oaxacan Wood Carvings and how they are made. My rule for their animal was that it had to have either legs or fins (I wanted to stay away from having a bunch of students make snakes).They drew their practice
 sketches in their sketchbook and then
they were ready to learn how to make their animal. I found this very simple YouTube video on making four legged animals. After watching the video, I passed out their clay and tools and they got started. I walked around helping them build their animal. The main issue I found, was not using the knife to cut deep enough into the clay for the legs. I had to help quite a few students with this part. I also had to show them how the legs should be about as big as their finger, otherwise they wouldn't be able to stand up. I still got a few animals with matchstick legs, but overall, I think they did pretty well.

 Once the animals were fired, I made the decision to paint them with tempera paint. I wanted them to have the vibrant colors of the Oaxacan animals, and I was afraid that we wouldn't be able to get that with the glazes that I had available.

I had each student choose the color that they wanted to paint their animal. They painted the entire animal and then we left them to dry.

The next week, I pulled out the neon tempera and my smallest paintbrushes. I gave each table a plate with every neon color on it and showed them how
paint patterns.

Their first instinct was to paint the entire animal again. I had to remind them to leave the original color showing- they were only painting PATTERNS!

The last step was covering each animal with a coat of tempera varnish.

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