Studio Update


Students from Kathryn’s class worked on a wire quilt, with each child designing a square using colored wire bent into different shapes.
Students in Jessie’s class constructed cats out of clay, as a part of their ongoing exploration of cats in their classroom.
Students in Juliana’s class added to their bottle cap city by constructing different buildings out of wire.
In Kyle’s class we learned how artists often make their own colors, and experimented with making our own.
In Marcy’s class, we explored primary colors and the ways in which they combine to form new colors.  We also began constructing a color wheel using materials from the Remida.
We went to the IMA to learn how to make mobiles from recycled materials.
In Kissiey’s class, we learned how to use plaster to make our own masks.  Students also explored light using flexible LED light strips connected to a dial that allowed them to manipulate the color and pulsing of the lights.
In Lauren’s class, we read Lizi Boyd’s Flashlight and explored how light and color help up to tell stories.
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Playing with Color & Light

In the studio at the Thompson building, we have been exploring color and light as a part of our Story Workshop.  This week, I set up a series of provocations for the children to allow them to see how color and light can help us to tell stories.  The provocations included a box set up with flexible LED strips connected to a dial, which the children could manipulate to change the colors, a light table with color mixing paddles, mirrors with gemstones, black paper with oil pastels and colored pencils, and wooden collage pieces.

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Papercut Stories

In Ms. Lauren’s class at the Thompson building, we’ve begun work on a storytelling project that will build off of a lot of our earlier explorations in pop-up books, bookmaking, and storytelling using different materials.  Inspired by the work of Hari Panicker and Deepti Nair (, we are making LED-backlit papercut stories.  Jeremiah’s first try at this new technique is pictured below.  His story features a tattooed octopus made out of air dry clay and a small man in a cave inside a mountain.  He drew his entire story on paper first, and then began making the individual characters and scenery out of cut paper and clay.  Final versions will be built incrementally using foam core frames layered together to make a box, with papercut layers glued in between each foam core piece.  Air dry clay components will be attached to the foam core frame box, and then a floating LED will be positioned behind the box to illuminate and add depth to the story.  To see an awesome video of Hari and Deepti making their art, check out:

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Studio Update 1/26-30


Students from Kathryn’s and Laura’s classes worked with wire, wire tools, beads, and buttons in response to the question: what can wire do, make, or say when it bends? Next week, Kathryn’s and Laura’s classes will head to the IMA to look at some artists who use metal and wire, while Juliana, Bryan, and Jessie will begin to construct buildings made from recycled bottle caps and lids.


In Kyle’s class we painted on feathers as part of our ongoing experimentation with painting.

In Marcy’s class, we used felt collage during Story Workshop to expand how we could show our characters and setting when telling stories.


In Kissiey’s class, we worked with wire, wire tools, beads, and buttons in response to the question: what can wire do, make, or say when it bends?

In Brandi’s class, we experimented with wood collage in response to the question: What happens to a story when it’s not told on paper?

We also went to the IMA to work on flowers in the style of Georgia O’Keefe.

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What can wire do, make or say when it bends?

In the last two weeks, we have been exploring wire in a number of the classrooms.  Children have learned basic joining and shaping techniques while telling “stories” with the wire.  I have enjoyed hearing conversations jump back and forth between storytelling and telling the story of the language of wire.  Here is one clear example from Gilliatte:

Latisse: Why are you taking these pictures? Show me.

Ms. Elizabeth: I took a picture of Antonio very carefully sliding his bead down the wire.

Latisse: Oh.  Do it again, Antonio.  Let me watch.

Ms. Elizabeth: I took a picture of the strategy he was using to make sure the bead didn’t fall off.  I took a picture of the strategy you used to pick up the beads.

Latisse: You mean with this tool? I did have a good strategy with that!

Wire provocation

adding beads making shapes  wire sculpture

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Studio Update 1/12-16


Students from Kathryn’s and Juliana’s classes took a trip to the IMA to see examples of contour drawings and self-portraits.  In preparation for this visit, we began learning about contour drawings and how they help artists to see the lines and shapes of objects.  Next week, we will follow up our visit to the IMA by working on self-portraits using contour as a technique.


In Kyle’s class we began a similar study of contour drawings and began making self-portraits using pencil and black acrylic paint.  Next week we will add watercolors to our portraits.

In Marcy’s class, we drew designs on laminate for a room divider that will hang from the ceiling.  Next week, we will begin our next construction project by tackling a free-standing room divider.


In Lauren’s class, we worked on brush technique and gradient using watercolors in response to the prompt: What stories can you tell with a brush?

In Kissiey’s class, we responded to the prompt: How does a design or pattern get on your clothes? We experimented with different ways to decorate fabric.

In Brandi’s class, we began looking at another way to tell stories using a story box.  We painted pieces to add to the box and explored ways our paintbrush can help us to tell different stories.

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