6th: Adinkra Cloth Designs

6th grade has been learning even more about cultures and what influences them in their development. Tradition is one such influence on the development of culture. Students have been exploring many different kinds of traditions that take place in different cultures around the world. For this project, students learned about the artisans of the Adinkra cloths in Ghana, which are made from the designs of hand-carved stamps.

Starting from sketches, students had to design 4, 3″ x 3″stamps. The goal of the students was to create abstract stamps that utilized the positive and negative space of their whole square. The designs were then used to create their stamps from foam paper.

Each of these square stamps was used to create a larger design, inspired by the Adinkra cloths.

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4th & 5th: Stamp Creation and Printmaking

After several exercises to better understand positive and negative space and how it can be used in a work, students designed their own 5″x 7″ stamps using scraps of foam paper which they then glued to a foam background. Students then created backgrounds they felt would best display the design of their stamps. Finally, students learned the process of printmaking and applied their stamp to their painted backgrounds.

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4th & 5th: Notan Designs

Students began learning about postive and negative space by participating in the creation of their own Notan-inspired designs. Notan is a traditional art from originating from Japan where the artists cut out designs they then “flip” to the outside border. Results are always stunning!

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MS: Exploring Values

We are able to see and experience the world through light and values: they create form, depth, and allow us to identify where one object ends and another begins.

Students in the Middle School elective are exploring this concept by using values to transform a flat line drawing to something with form.

To loosen students up, we worked on large pieces of paper to create a contour drawing of something found in the room. Each student was only given about 5 minutes to accomplish this!

Then, we added values to this line drawing in two ways: the first using a single-colored value scale while the second was through a mixed-color value scale.

Students had to finish both large-scale drawings within the 45 minute class time which was a great way to get students to worry less about making mistakes. For some, this ended up being a favorite product to date!

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6th: Paper Self Portraits

What are self-portraits and why do artists create them?

6th graders are continuing to explore this question and ideas of self through the creation of symbolic self-portraits. Students must consider how symbols, shapes, and colors can give their artworks meaning and what it is they would like to say about themselves.

From preliminary sketches through the construction of their low-relief paper sculptures, students are encouraged to see the impact each creative decision has on their final works.

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MS: Tunnel Books

Middle School is in the process of creating tunnel books. Through this project, students are learning about foreground, middle ground, and background, as well as how to construct 3D models based on their 2D sketches.

I am excited to share the outcome of their hard work in the coming weeks!

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