“Art” as a general term is a grand umbrella under which lives a vast and ever growing list of sub categories. Drawing, Painting, Photography and Ceramics are just a few of the more common practices that come to mind when “Art” is mentioned. However, the categories run so much deeper than that, especially as an “Art Teacher” in which you are required to be an expert for each. Within every two days in the classroom I teach 7 different courses, Studio Art (which in itself is a buffet of art practices), Media Arts a computer based foundation in art, Animation, Sculpture I, Sculpture II, Illustration and Computer Graphics. And within each course there is a myriad of materials and process to know and teach. I often find the need to take classes to refresh, or even learn new processes to make sure my experiences can support the work that I am asking of my students.
Starting with Web Design (to help enhance my Computer Graphics course) I took two additional classes this summer, Sculpture and Printmaking.
I chose Sculpture because next year I will be teaching both a Sculpture I and a new Sculpture II course. It is exciting that the 3-D classes at Hastings are growing as students that are more comfortable ‘building’ rather than drawing are finding a niche.
Although I had many material options for this course I chose to focus on ‘subtractive-sculpture’ a process that I have only had a little experience with. In just a few short weeks I was able to whittle away an alabaster stone to resemble a mother bird with a baby nestled into its wings. Although I still have a lot of sanding to do to finish my piece, I am please with the results and I am taking away a toolbox of studio practice tips and trips to make this process accessible to my students. In September I’ll be introducing a unit on subtractive sculpture to my classes, but modifying the material as alabaster is just too time consuming and demanding for a HS classroom and student attention spans.
Printmaking has been another exciting endeavor over the summer. Although I had prior experience with ‘intaglio’ printing, (which is a form of printing that requires acid to ‘burn’ marks into a metal plate) I wanted to learn a few less hazardous methods that would allow me to bring more printmaking experiences into my classroom.
Throughout out the course I focused on mono-prints as well as dry-point prints and monotypes all created using inexpensive plexi-glass sheets. Both processes and the variations that can come out of them will be exciting additions to my both Illustration and Studio Art classes.
As the summer draws faster and faster to a close, I am now setting my sites back to Web Design in the hopes of getting my new website up and running before September.