13 April, 2018

Tile Designs with Geometric and Organic Lines, Shapes and Symbols






Tile Designs with Geometric and Organic Lines, Shapes and Symbols


I am so proud of the MDIHS students who created these beautiful tile designs. With the encouragement of Liz Keenan who is the artist/teacher in the High School, I have planned a lesson on how does culture influence artist's artwork and what can we tell about a culture from its artifact? Students looked at images from eastern artifacts that are created with stylized and elaborated symbolic designs. They learned about the ways in which those artists created their compositions with medallions and field, and border motifs. Students created designs based on the learned composition style and created their own original motifs. I am thrilled with how they showed so much care and enthusiasm during this lesson which was about 2 weeks. I should also mention that students used the same composition style, however each student created a different motifs and partterns. I always make sure students walk around and look at each others works but not to copy from each other. Can't wait to install them.


In these pictures below students are coloring their sketches and their tiles.






04 April, 2018

Photo litography

Today I am experimenting with photo-lithography which is basically transferring images onto clay. It is done by using a black and white Xerox copy of your photograph, Mason stain, Gum Arabic and linseed oil( these chemicals should be handled safely and with gloves. Especially in the art studio/classroom, it is important to provide safety instructions and controlled environment during the process.)

Students love these type of project where they are able to use their own personal images, sketches. To spark students creativity I would encourage my students to create collages with different material and images and Xerox and Xerox it to transfer it onto clay.( Trying different processes to create art will help students to elaborate their ideas and to discover the ways in which they can recreate and rediscover different aspects of their own art.)

This project is great for older students as it requires detailed processes,  However, there are different ways to transfer images onto clay without these chemicals such as using carbon paper. So the idea of personalizing the surface of the clay can be adjusted for any grade level.

Here is the process for Photo Lithography.

I find it helpful to remember all my mistakes so I can tell my students what worked and what did not during the experiment. It takes few trials to transfer the image smoothly onto the surface of the clay.

Step One: Make the Ink, photocopy image, Roll out the clay slab
In a small container add 3 parts linseed oil to 2 parts mason stain – stir for about 10-15mins.
Let mixture stand overnight for best results.

Step two: Roll out the slab and let it sit until leather hard – overnight.
On a table place 2 pieces of glass – one for your image and one for the ink
2 sponges
In 2 bowls filled with water one large and a smaller container
In the large container of water put a small drop of gum arabic
Have on hand premixed ink, brayer, paper towels, spoon to mix ink, photocopied images, and leather hard clay slab.

Next place about a tablespoon of GUM ARABIC onto the glass set out for the image AND onto the other piece of glass put a line of INK. Smooth out the Gum Arabic over the glass until you have covered the glass in the same approximate area of your image.
Now place the image FACEUP on the glass over the gum arabic. With your fingertips (remember your rubber gloves) gently smooth the gum arabic over top of the image until an even layer all over is applied. With a sponge remove the excess gum arabic from around the image and the glass.

place the brayer over the ink and roll in one direction until the brayer has an even coat of Ink. Now carefully roll onto the image until an even coat is on top of the image. Take the wet sponge from the container with the gum arabic and squeeze the water over the image – do not touch the image with the sponge – this is the wash out stage. Now with the other smaller container of just water wet the sponge and ring out until damp. Lightly sponge up the excess water from the image and pat dry over top of the image in the white areas – leaving the darkened areas as much as possible.

DO NOT rub the image as the wet paper will tear – GENTLY pat dry.

Step three: Repeat Inking, gum Arabic water sponge washing out, pat dry with a clean sponge. cleanup area with a paper towel around the image.You should ink and wash out and pat dry – three times.

Step Four: Place image face down onto clay slab.
This is the most difficult part as you must be careful not to rip the wet paper image.

With your fingers or a tool pull up the corner of the image. You only have one chance at this so be careful when placing the image onto the clay. center it carefully. I use a larger slab and just place it in the middle and then cut my clay to size. It is also important that your clay slab is smooth for best results as a clay slab with pit marks or dents will affect your image transfer. Once the image has been placed onto the clay pat down with a clean damp sponge – being careful that the paper does not move on the clay and smudge the ink image. Gently pat removing air bubbles and making sure it has adhered to the clay.
Let dry for about 10 – 20 minutes. With the back of a spoon burnish over the entire area of the image. Once the burnishing is complete you can pull up a corner to see how well your image is transferred – if it needs more burnishing place the corner back down and burnish over the area again. Remove the paper in an upward movement – The paper image must be removed prior to firing in the kiln.I have also noticed the longer it is left to dry on the clay it adheres making it difficult to remove leaving behind paper bits. If this occurs try to remove as much as possible but only leave to dry approximately 20 minutes for best results before burnishing.


01 April, 2018

Spring Delight.

Today's lunch is a spring delight. No, I am being Silly..I gathered these beauties to experiment with fabric printings. Stay tuned!
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