Tag Archives: Japan

Japanese Teacups and Teabowls

After viewing a Japanese tea ceremony, Kindergarten made tea bowls formed on their knees, and first and second grades made cups from pinch pots. These were glazed using earth tones.

a second grader

 

a first grader

 

a first grader's cup

and a kindergarten bowl.

Notice from this kinder's bowl that they spattered a little blue or white glaze inside their bowls.

 

 

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Filed under Art, First/Second Grade, Kindergarten, Teaching

Teaching as an Avenue for Continuing Education

I don’t know about other art teachers, but sometimes, I am learning something new right along with my students. Lino printing (most printing, really) qualifies as new for me. I always try to warn my students when we are learning something new together, but rarely do I get through a new lesson feeling like I need a lot more work on that. Feeling like, “Hey, can I get a do-over?” Not that our lessons always turn out spectacularly, because I am often surprised in the midst of a lesson, or take note of something I will do differently with the next group, or the next time I teach this lesson. But I don’t often feel unsatisfied myself, feeling like I am missing some things about this. Printing does that to me, though. Yet, I felt like printing was the best, coolest introduction to Japanese art that I could offer my older students.

So I will call these our first passes at lino printing. And I probably won’t try this in a class that includes third graders again.

a turtle, by a 5th grade student

this sixth grade student learned there is no erasing a lino cut, but awesome cross

a flying heart by a fourth grader

a fourth graders tulip in honor of tulip days

a third grader's baseball

a third grader inspired by Mount Fuji

I definitely see me spending more time working on this over the summer. Until it’s easy for me, it can’t become easy for my students.

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Filed under Art, Fifth/Sixth Grade, Teaching, Third/Fourth Grade

How to Really Freak Out Your Art Students

and truly, I did not anticipate the reaction our gyotaku would get from the fifth and sixth graders. I started out reminding them that in Japanese culture almost EVERYthing can be an art. And printing in Japan was a long-established art, as we had already experience with our lino block prints. Japan is surrounded by ocean, so it has a serious fisherman tradition also. So is it surprising that something that began as a way to record your great catch long before the Kodak became a beautiful fine art? I thought not.

So when I pulled out our whole semi-frozen tilapia, why were the kids shocked? Did they think I would practice fish printing with potatoes? (And let me add that the difficulty of acquiring that fish in the midst of the heartland of America was a surprise to me). We watched a video of someone printing a fish, and they were totally grossed out. Ewwwww!

Excuse me?! I picked this art because this class 80% male! Do you not fish, boy students? What do boys do nowadays?!

When we daubed ink over our fish, pulling out the fins, the female part of the class was cool as cucumbers. A couple of boys weren’t touching my fish. It was certainly memorable!! This was my first time printing a fish, and I would have loved more time and paper to perfect our technique. Our prints show just gloppy ink in places, and we seriously should have had a Qtip to clean the eye of ink, rather than tissue. Sometimes making do doesn’t work. We will go over our fish prints with Sharpie to make a live eye before I mount these for the art show, but I wanted to to share now.

fish print by 6th grade girl

 

fish print by 6th grade boy

 

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Filed under Art, Fifth/Sixth Grade, Teaching