Monday, October 27, 2008

Miss Gertrude Pumpernickel, The Mummy

This week's classes are the last before Halloween, and I want the kids to do a project that will combine fun with art history (of course, I ALWAYS think art history is fun!). I absolutely love the mummies from Faiyum. I'm also fascinated by grave goods that are found in archaeological digs throughout the world. The objects included with the deceased often tell a story.

This week, we're going to make mummies, and include grave goods with them. Actually, we'll cut the "goods" from magazines and paste them all over the mummy. I'll also encourage each student to create a story about the mummy they've created. Since I like to have a sample work for the kids to see, I'd like you to meet Miss Gertrude Pumpernickel.

The Mummy of Miss Gertrude Pumpernickel, front (above) and back (below).
Cardboard, tissue paper, magazine cut outs, newspaper, glue

This is the mummy of Miss Gertrude Pumpernickel. Among her grave goods, archaeologists found the following:

1. Her favorite chair, where she would spend hours and hours; either reading, or gazing out the window to check for changing weather patterns.

2. Her little dog, Fruit Loop; who was a constant and loyal companion.

3. Her favorite meal of all time: sushi. Especially the California and avocado rolls.

4. A cameo brooch; her most sentimental possession, which had been handed down through the generations. It originally belonged to her great-great-great-great Grandmother,
Beulah Pumpernickel.

5. Chocolate chip cookies, because she always felt that a meal wasn’t complete unless it was followed by dessert.

6. Her Mini Cooper, which she nicknamed “Zoom.” She had saved for years and years, and purchased it only a week (to the day!) before her sad and untimely death.

7. Her favorite boot. She only had one leg, but that didn’t slow her down. Every other Saturday night she went out “one stepping” with her friends. Actually, her friends only knew how to do the “two step,” but that’s beside the point.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Ex Voto: Miss Frida

Two days a week, I teach art and culture to 1st through 6th graders. During this semester, we'll cover a total of four different cultures. The first one we learned about was Native Americans. Then we moved to Mexico. While studying our unit on Mexico, I told the kids about Ex Votos (thanks paintings), and about their significance in Mexican culture.

I've learned that the best way to get the kids started on a project is to do one myself. So, for our "Mexico project," I created this Ex Voto to share with the class.

Ex Voto: Miss Frida, Crayon and Sharpie Marker, 12" x 9"

The kids in my class come from a varitey of backgrounds (and religions), so I try to "neutralize" each project as much as possible. For my Ex Voto, I left out the requisite diety (or saint), and just expressed thanks for my adorable little sidekick, Miss Frida.

I had so much fun with this project, that I created a second one . . . which ISN'T pictured here, because it's a gift for my Mom, and I don't want her to see it before she's able to receive it via U.S. Mail. Perhaps I'll post it later, though . . .

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Glass Fusing 101

For the longest time I've wanted to learn glass fusing. Well, recently I had the opportunity to take a class, and it was so much fun. Following are a couple of pieces that I made, and I look forward to making more in the coming weeks and months.

Kandinsky, 2008. Fused glass, 4" x 4" x 3/8"

The first one, above, is called Kandinsky (for obvious reasons!). I love the combination of color and linear elements.

Sunny Day, below, just makes me smile every time I look at it. It reminds me of a bright, warm sunny day . . . the smell of freshly cut grass . . . flowers in bloom . . . and nature filling every inch of space around me.

Sunny Day, 2008. Fused glass, 6 1/4" x 6 1/4" x 1/4"