Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hanging Art Tip

I love my rubber mallet! I don't need it often, but it sure does the trick when I want to hang artwork on the cinderblock walls at school.
WI winter temperatures dip way below zero, in fact students have indoor recess or come into the school building in the morning only when the temperature goes below -5 degrees. So if I want to hang artwork on an outside wall it's normal for the work to start falling off within a day because of the moisture that builds up on the inside warmer wall. The mallet is the trick that keeps the artwork up for weeks.
About 10 years ago I learned this trick. I was involved in a big artist-in-residence program at my school and we were using a lot of old, curled up paper hanging from masking tape on cinder block walls. If you whack the tape with the rubber mallet a couple of times the paper stayed put on the wall. We could take the paper down and rehang it with the same masking tape several times if we whacked it with a mallet every time we hung it. Since that time I have kept a rubber mallet in the desk drawers of both of my schools for the rather infrequent times I need it.

You need to remember to move your head to the side when you whack the mallet, there is a spring back action to it and you don't want your nose in line with it -ouch!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Adaptive Art Scarecrows

I needed a short lesson for my Adaptive Art class a couple of weeks ago. We needed just a couple of minutes to complete a lesson we had invested 3 class periods in, and I didn't want to start a new, big project until the next time we met. This scarecrow lesson took 20-25 minutes to complete. I kept it simple; the shape of the scarecrow head was precut. We concentrated on identifying eyes, ears, noses and cheeks as we practiced cutting and gluing. The burlap hat was a quick fold with student help, and then I hot glued them so the folds stayed put.
I had just brought in some shape punches that morning. My students loved putting the effort into getting the paper to punch out a flower shape, although not everyone wanted to use the flowers once they had them. We'll definitely do that again, it was a good exercise in using all the muscles in their hands and arms to get the punch to work.