“The rainbow is so pretty.  It’s a little TOO pretty!”

On a recent sunny day, Stephanie noticed that the sun reflecting off of her sequined shirt created rainbows all over the Studio!  Friends were infatuated by these rainbows and asked if we could fill the Studio with rainbows that could be seen on non-sunny days.  We took photos and videos of the rainbows that Stephanie was casting throughout the Studio, so that I could share them with children from different art groups to help get them on board with this BIG project! (I wasn’t able to load the video’s here, unfortunately!)

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Children began searching for rainbow materials and stringing them on to wire.  Once we had enough strands for our rainbow, we had Mr.Jeff help us install them so they could hang over our tables!

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The following week, children began making charms to hang from the rainbow.  Friends strung and painted wooden beads, wove in fabric and threaded pom-poms.  Once finished, children picked the perfect spot on the rainbow for their charms to go!

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Kaleb: I’m making more rainbows to make the room feel special.

Marcus: These beads look like donuts.

Declan: How did this happen from the ceiling?

Santi: This rainbow is giant!  It’s on the roof!

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Isaac: It looks like streamers.  I see my favorite color, blue!

Theo: The rainbow is so pretty.  It’s a little TOO pretty!

Kaylee: It’s so glittery now!

Alden: I see my blue one.  I made my whole rainbow blue.

Julian: The rainbow looks like a bridge going over our heads.

Hailey: It looks good, really good.

Julien: The charms look like little marshmallows.  And that’s a diamond shape.  And that wooden bead looks like a slinky!

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Uhura: Those are decorations!  The Studio is decorated!

Asa: It looks like we could have a party in here!

Briana: Are these hanging up for Santi’s birthday?

Daniela: What!  Those are rainbows… in the ceiling!

Nora: It looks so different in here now that things are hanging up there.

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Anival:  Cool.  Nice.  Things are hanging from the sky.

Amie: I really like those, but I don’t have them at my home.  I’m gonna do this for my dad and when my dad comes to the Studio, I can show him what I made.

Jax: Ta-da!  A rainbow!

Vanessa: That bead looks like candy.  Rainbow candy.

Cesar: Stephanie just wanted rainbows and now they’re hanging from the wall!

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Have a great winter break, everyone!

“It looks like bones because the people are white lines!”

To finish up our exploration of the figure and figure representation, the Sunflower and Fern groups learned how to make styrofoam prints!  We began by passing around large sheets of styrofoam and tried to figure out what they were, what they could be used for, and what they felt like.

Nneka: Feels floppy and hard.

Trebor: Softly!

Zoe: Why is it so fragile?

Nayeli: I like how it feels.

Sarah: It feels like a plate.  It’s flat.

Mae: I really thought it was real paper, but it’s not.  It’s foam.  It’s squishy.

William: It feels like it could pop.

Next, I invited a friend to come to the stage and strike a pose.  With the back of a paintbrush, I modeled how to represent the pose onto styrofoam, just as friends have been doing for weeks with figure drawing on paper and on the Gelli plates.  Since the styrofoam was large, we were able to combine all poses from each art group into one image.

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Trebor: We’re going on the stage, oh yeah!

Zavier: I want to make one hundred million little people on here.

Adrian: Zoe did such a good job.  It looks just like me!

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Luke: I see movements on the styrofoam.

Iris: How do you draw in it? What do you use? Your nails?

Elijah: You know this is just how I stand so I could pose like this for an hour.

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Miguel: I see Briana has a little tiny button, even smaller than my button.

Destynee: I see it now!  The sun is on so I can see the people on the styrofoam.

Florentina: It feels really like a fabric sponge.  We capture the movement on it.

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This week, children created their edition of prints!  Friends picked a color of block print ink, rolled it out on plexiglass into a smooth layer, rolled it onto their styrofoam and printed it on large paper.  This is the first time we have ever done such large prints in the Studio, and they came out better than I even could have imagined!  Post Spring Break, this work will be on display in the PK hallway 🙂

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Andres: Why wont it go into the white part? Is it because we pushed down to draw?

Trebor: It’s on the paper.  Wow!

Nneka: Push down hard to get it on the paper.  I’m so strong.

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Maia: Sticky.  Ink is sticky.

Siena: I like how it sounds.

Rayyan: Rolling the ink sounds crunchy like a cookie or wood chips.

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Destynee: The ink doesn’t cover the hair.  Why?

Sophie: It looks like bones because the people are white lines.

Elijah: The blue ink looks like my toothpaste.

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Cameron: The paper is blue but the people are white.

Abigail: Don’t forget to roll on all the sides.

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Zavier: I made all the creative stuff because I’m a creative kid.

Mae: I was right! It printed on the paper!

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“I knew it would be good… I told you!”

6 days until our Spider Showcase! The first half of this video is from week one when children were working on spider web Gelli prints.  The second half of the video is of friends stamping their hand carved spider stamps from Styrofoam!  Make sure to stop by the Studio next Wednesday to see all of their work around spiders!

Reflecting on my summer and gearing up for Tuesday!

The first day of school is right around the corner and I wanted to take a few minutes to share about my trip this summer, as well as post some photos of the new set up in the Studio! I hope that everyone had a fantastic summer and I can’t wait to see everyone on Tuesday.

This summer, I had the opportunity to travel to Skopelos, Greece to attend a printmaking workshop at the Skopelos Foundation of the Arts. I was lucky enough to travel with my dad, as he was teaching the painting workshop through the Foundation. This two week course focused on monoprinting, which is a process that every child in Pre-K experiences throughout the year. It’s a great way to work and the results are often quite surprising as every piece is one of a kind.

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I also collaborated on a woodcut that was part of a book featuring a panoramic view from the balcony of the Foundation. Seeing as I hadn’t ever carved a woodblock before, I teamed up with my dad and our print turned out great!

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On our last night in Skopelos, we had an opening at the Foundation and people from all over the island came to check out what we had been up to and join for a night of eating and dancing!

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I’m so excited to incorporate some of these monoprinting techniques into my curriculum this year! Over the last couple weeks, teachers have been back to work preparing for the year. I spent a lot of time this summer thinking about ways to arrange the space in the Studio and am happy with how everything came together! Looking forward to seeing everyone on Tuesday!

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“Why is a pipe cleaner called that?”

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After a long weekend and two snow days, it was exciting to get back into the Studio! We were going to begin new art groups this week, but with so few days, we decided to hold off and work on some collaborative group paintings.

During the third group of the day, friends came into the Studio, which was set up with liquid watercolors, three-dimensional “honeycomb” paper and watercolor pens. While eating snack, Cole looked around and asked… “Why is a pipe cleaner called that?” The question took me by surprise, and friends in the group began offering their thoughts about Cole’s question. We started looking around the Studio for materials that we could explore with pipe cleaners. Before I knew it, we were clearing off the tables and putting painting materials away to make room for straws and pipe cleaners. It was exciting for me to see their enthusiasm and curiosity grow. This video has been edited to show snippets of our day!

Minna continues to build her jet and shares the progress with Jasmine

Last week, I posted about Minna and her jet made out of Beautiful Junk.  She had been working on it in her classroom and brought it to the Studio to make some additions.  On Wednesday, I was spending some time in Ms.Lauchlan’s room and sat with Minna, AJ and Jasmine as they were building with Beautiful Junk.  Everyone was engaged and excited about what they were building, as well as what their friends were creating.

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Minna: Treasure, treasure, I putted two treasure.  The gengine (engine) starts rumbling and it goes and goes and then blast off, it disappears.  The orange bead was on the ground… I need it for the fire by the gengine.  This box is their room.  They can just go into the box to sleep and the driver will still fly the jet.  It’s the jet bedroom… by the dungeon.  Oh cool… a bell and a tiger button.  That’s just what the jet needs!  I got some cool things and some pretty things.

Jasmine: Can I watch what you’re doing?  It’s not my work but I like it.

Minna: Yeah, bring a chair.  I’ll show you.

Jasmine: I like this bell.

Minna: It’s a bell button… listen!

Jasmine: What’s this bottle for?

Minna: Smell… soap!

Jasmine: I wish you had something in there that smells like perfume.  Minna, what’s this?

Minna: An alien from Mars.

Jasmine: Interesting yarn.  Minna, that button looks like a ring my mom had from when she wedded herself.

Minna: That’s cool.  Wait, I need to show you something.

Jasmine: Beautiful!

Minna: And shiny! Jasmine, you and Ms.Cushner can always watch what I’m doing.  Whenever you want, just come over to watch and maybe help if I ask!