Happening Right Now

I did not start today with a full class demo, so kids came in and got right to work.

As I wander the room observing my 8th grade students during their last days of the “Choice Challenge” today is see….

IMG_1235In period 3 there are 6 kids at Paint center… several working on exploring paint mixing as they work on “the 100 color challenge,” a couple are planning printmaking soft-cut stamps to carve.

I give some reminders on BRUSH care. I also talked about positive negative space with my printmakers and how to image transfer the draft drawing to the printing surface for carving.

Next period, almost the same number of kids are working on the same projects. Things seem to go thru popularity in groups like this.

IMG_1234There are 6 kids at sculpture center… 3 are using the hot glue gun, cardboard and wood to create different mini buildings for the “architecture” challenge. Another pair are building an armature for paper mache.

I give a quick demo to 4 people that will be doing paper mache and one begins on his armature that he finished yesterday.

After I recirculate the room, I do have to give a “get to work” reminder to one of the sculpture kids that is relying on his teammate to do all the work.

Next period a bunch of boys decide to make bottle robots using recycled materials and duct tape.

IMG_1239This is our melted crayon “center.” This is a pop-up temporary center that I created after seeing what looked like a cool and ‘easy’ way to do a melted crayon stencil art. We have tried every possible method I can think of to keep the stencil down with limited levels of success. Masking tape, contact paper, spray adhesive have all been used with some students making great work and others having epic fails. It has been interesting. It will go away soon… but for now they have been enjoying the process.

IMG_1236The fiber center isn’t well set-up, and I haven’t done a lot of demos with this area, so it is only used by the kids that are really into fiber. Here a student is weaving on my carpet using a cardboard loom. One of these days I might get my fiber center set-up better. The weird thing is that fiber is one of my personal favorite mediums… yet I find it hard to teach.


Altered books have been insanely popular with this one group of girls. They are planning to do the rest of all their art projects in their books. They are swapping and doing pages for each other and have even allowed me to do a page for them. They are art club members too and work on their books in art club after school. I have been doing a lot of little mini technique demos for this group.

IMG_1240Phones are being used (finally our school relaxed our rules). My kids have been very respectful of this new privilege and always ask first and use for a specific art purpose. The rules are that they have a signed parent permission form returned, they still need to ask first and tell me what they plan to use it for, usually looking up reference pictures or uploading their work to Artsonia.


This student is doing her 4th or 5th portrait of famous 80’s musicians. She was born in the wrong era and loves that old New Wave music. She has completed Hall and Oates, Billy Idol and now is working on David Bowie. Her pencil skills are really quite amazing.

During my planning period, I take a minute to load the kiln with a bunch of creations that have recently been glazed. I run next door to check on my 3-D printer that is making a new creation. and then get ready for the next period…. And that is a snapshot of the modified choice studio work being done in my room today.

Go see the final projects all loaded here!