Thursday, May 12, 2016

Oh, Faith Ringgold!

Anyone else catch the (winter, maybe?) AOE conference part with Faith Ringgold? The one where she counts on her fingers how many hours she works on art a day?  Adorable, totally real and something I'd have to do if put on the spot.  All that to say that my fifth graders were learning about the artwork of Faith Ringgold.  We looked at some of her quilts, and also her soft sculpture Suzanne.  

I gave them background on several artists (Henry Ossawa Tanner, Romare Bearden, Faith Ringgold and Barbara Chase-Riboud), and honestly, by the time we got around to working in Ringgold's style, I had quite a bit to review.  I had a powerpoint presentation scrolling with her art while the students brainstormed.  They could design a quilt (on paper) or a soft sculpture (also paper).  Each student started with a large piece of that super crappy affordable roll paper the school orders for bulletin boards.  Those who were making quilts left them as is, those who wanted soft sculpture folded them before drawing.
They drew with pencil, traced with permanent marker and colored with Playcolor (LOVE Playcolor).

Because the weight and quality of that paper is, um, lacking a bit, it was easy to trace on the back when they were ready to color the other side (soft sculpture makers, which was really almost everyone).

With both sides colored, they were ready to cut and staple.  This part got a little tricky, as they had to really hold their paper together well AND I only own two working staplers.  I had them staple REALLY close together, and remember to leave an opening for stuffing.

We started out stuffing them with all this old Easter grass I had from a Wal Mart donation years ago, but quickly ran out and used things like my recycling bin, crumpled up old magazine pages.  This was a lesson where every student was successful.  I wasn't so successful at taking many photographs of there wonderful work, but I had some amazing ones like a four foot owl, a howling wolf, giant Playstation controller--no two were alike.

Finished Ringgold inspired quilt.

Finished basketball soft sculpture

Wish I had a photo of his finished turtle, as he did a GREAT job.

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