In the first lessons, students were introduced to collage through the work of several artists, including teaching artist, Victoria Martinez. After discussion of the color and texture in each piece, they created their own collages, manipulating paper to create a variety of textures. Later, they recorded their feelings about the process in their sketchbooks.
In the following lessons, we reviewed geometric and organic shapes and practiced finding them in objects around us. We then walked through the school in search of interesting shapes. Afterward, students selected their favorite shapes and used them to create patterns to be used on soft sculptures.
Student #1During the middle stages, students participated in a series of observational drawing activities. Forth graders were asked to analyze shapes around Ft. Dearborn for example the cafeteria and library. Items such as clocks(circles) and windows (squares) were drawn in sketchbooks and to be used in patterns to be created on fabric.
Student #2One of the forth graders cutting shapes, which were transferred onto fabric with markers. The shapes were then applied to 8.5 x 11 pieces of felt using the applique technique and adhered with velcro or fabric glue. Participants then collaborated on a large-scale collage and sewed part of it together as a collective.
Student #3In addition to learning soft sculpture, students created their own books with the saddle stitch technique. Ms. Vicky read a book she found in college and asked students to observe the illustrations and dissect into basic shapes. The shapes were applied in the concept of the book, which was memories and experiences from home, family and walks around the neighborhood.
Students created their own soft sculptures, recreating their patterns in fabric and attaching them to felt squares. Individual collages were then sewn together to make a single collage. Later, work by installation artists Christo and Vik Muniz were discussed, with emphasis on the possible transformation that the piece may go through due to its environment. The soft sculpture was installed in the courtyard of the school. Students documented the changes through photography, sketches, and written entries in their sketchbooks.