Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Here is a fun and easy project for a broad range of grades and ages. Today my first graders and my eighth graders made the same fish. Naturally the results were quite different, but the rate of success was 100% in both grades. You will probably have better results if your younger students make small fish; small enough to fit in the palm of their hands.

Begin by building a basic pinch pot. The deeper the better. If it is too shallow you may not be able to fit eyes and fins on the back.
Then pinch the sides of the pot to form the sides of the mouth. This will help stabilize the structure. Before adding eyes and things, scratch initials and class number into the bottom of the fish.

Roll out two small balls for eyes, form a tail and fins, then apply each shape to the fish with a bit of slip. Place completed fish in a safe place to dry. Fire up your kiln, your oven, or just air dry them. Add some glaze or paint and display for all to see and enjoy!

 Look for our pinch pot fish after they have been bisque fired and glazed.

Monday, December 6, 2010


After the earthquake in Haiti, I thought my students and I would take some time to learn more about the country. While browsing the internet I was delighted to discover "tap-taps". Tap-taps are privately owned but publicly operated forms of transportation in Haiti that are painted by their owners with brilliant colors, whimsical patterns, and religious motifs. They are named tap-taps because passengers tap on the metal panels inside the bus to signal when they would like to get off.

The first photo shows the simple structure that we built from half of an egg carton for the bottom of the tap-tap, and a piece of cardboard taped to the egg carton for the top of the tap-tap. The initial structure does not need to be bomb-proof as the paper-mache serves to strengthen the final piece.
The photo above shows the tap-taps after they have been covered with "plastercraft", your own paper-mache recipe will work just as well.

 After the paper-mache is completely dry, start decorating your tap-tap by painting in the largest spaces first as seen above. Then add the smaller painted details. The last thing to do is glue any fun thing you can think of to decorate your tap-tap. We used sequins, jewels, small shells, and even feathers!

Display for all to see! Have fun, and make sure to contact me if you have any questions about this project.
~Miss Karen

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Here are some photos of projects that will be posted soon.


Hello and Welcome!

This is a new place to look for fun art projects. As an elementary school art teacher, I find myself frequently googling ideas for art projects. Now I would like to share them with you and encourage you to make time to make art.

The first photo is of a work-in-progress. It is a tile mosaic which is on the front of our school building. It is currently too cold to work on it, but we will continue the project in spring. Although this is a large project, it is really quite simple. First we drew the outline of our design with chalk right onto the bricks of the building. Then we applied thinset mortar and let it set up. Then we gently pushed the tiles into the mortar to create our picture. After the mortar had completely dried, we applied the grout. If you look closely, you will notice different colors of grout. What a time consuming process! Next time we will limit our choices of grout colors.

Please visit this site again soon. I will be posting fun ideas for you to do at home or at school with your students.

Miss Karen