November 16, 2015

Blue Willowsnappers

This November, my students learned the legend of the blue willow
and created their own versions of the iconic ceramic dinnerware.

Short version: A rich Manderin has this beautiful daughter Koong-Se,
and they live in a beautiful house.
He wants her to marry this powerful duke, but she's in love with her dad's accountant (Chang),
which makes her dad angry.
Dad builds a fence around their house, to keep Chang and Koong-Se apart.
On the day Koong-Se is supposed to marry the duke
(the day the last blossom falls form the willow tree) she and Chang sneak off,
steal the duke's boat and sail away to an island.
Eventually, the duke finds them - and his soldiers kill Koong-Se and Chang.
The gods honor them by turning them into doves.

We identified the visual symbols in the story:

their house

the fence built around it

the willow tree

the escape boat

and of course, our two love birds.

Students designed their plates using the same symbols, created decorative borders, and painting them using blue watercolors. We used all our new skills! Line, shapes, positive/negative space, contrast, and more!

November 1, 2015

Masked Marauders

We spent the week leading up to Halloween identifying patterns on animals, 
with specific attention to the work of Henri Rousseau (those STRIPES tho):

and Charley Harper (spots on spots):

The kids created patterns on paper, then tore them up and made some crazy animal masks!

here's a monkey:

a tiger:

and a bunny!