I think it is super important to keep learning. Even if you have learned something before, there are a million ways people teach it that can make it new to you. It has been years since I threw on the wheel. Now that I am teaching ceramics again I thought I had better brush up on my skills. I'm taking a six week class from master potter Gary Gall. He is showing us how he throws off the hump. His specialty are these thrown goblets. Pretty cool, ah?
Sometimes as an art teacher you have to create lessons backward. By that I mean you have to look at a pile of something you have acquired and make it work to help teach the masses without breaking the budget.
Well, wallpaper sample books are my focus right now. They are taking up half the garage and I have more on the way, so it is crunch time. Last year we painted portraits on them with acrylic paints. That worked well for high school, but in middle school we only have tempera paint. That is a "no go" for sticking on the surface of wallpaper that is made to repel the gunk of everyday life. So I decided to try out the process of paper weaving using complementary colors. We can study Bridget Riley and Victor Vaserely and use the principle of rhythm. So, I made this video of my late night adventures of making a project with my wallpaper sample pages. I hope it helps you out if you r garage is full of the discarded books as well.
To increase tourism in our little beach community the local Historical Society decided to try out a Scarecrow Festival in October three years ago. The first year there were a few dozen scarecrows around the Museum. It was pretty sad, really. But Taylor Hilden did not give up. She had a vision and she would not stop until it took shape.
She contacted me and my artis friend Jennifer Starr to help her get this Scarecrow thing going. We agreed to do a few workshops in the summer to help people feel confident enough to make something for the next festival. I also started working at the High School and figured it would be a great lessonplan to get the students involved in something that was connected to the community. Bingo. The second annual Scarecrow fest caught on. Everyone was enchanted by all of the scarecrows that popped up around town for a month. I think there were about 50.
This was the third year and boy was it a big deal! I think I spent most of last summer ether preparing for workshops or teaching them. I made a vidoe that highlights all the fun we had making scarecrows. And let me tell you these are not your standard Wizard of Oz scarecrows anymore! This time there were 200 plus adorning the town throughout October. You don't want to miss next year. It should be really amazing.