Musings about the importance and impact of art and art education in the 21st century.

Craft Class Project 4- Repousse Carnivale Masks

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in

Repousse is the art of forming pattern on metal by pressing a relief from the back.  I found thin sheets of metal tooling in one of my crates for summer school and a light bulb went off, carnivale masks!  I had my students use mask templates (it is summer school after all), some created their own but most used the templates as a base.  They traced the template onto newsprint paper then created a design in pencil on it. After that you place a sheet of metal tooling onto a magazine (to add padding) and you cut and tape down your paper mask drawing.  You use a wooden stylus to press the shape and design into the metal and then remove the paper, cut the metal and touch up the design as needed.  You can also reverse the repousse and push into the design so that you have a combination of raise and sunk-in lines. Lastly, we colored the metal using Sharpies, embellished with feathers and beads, and painted wooden dowels and blocks. for the base to mount the masks. 

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Just a word of notice.  I used the 'treasure chest' of wood box from Sax which has a ton of perfectly sized wood blocks.  I also had packs of various sized dowels and had to pre-drill the holes into the blocks so they would stay put.  Hot gluing the dowels to the tops of the wood blocks will not work (trust me, I've tried that too!).


Craft Class Project 3- Yarn Wrapped Wreaths

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in
I got the idea to do this project from the wreath I had done on my door early in the Spring. The original idea came from Blue Sky Confections
Instead of buying a pre-made raffia circle or foam circle I had the girls use two paper plates and some masking tape.  Once the yarn was wrapped over the masking tape any imperfections in the wreaths shape were camouflaged. I also had my class make felt flowers instead of paper plate ones, The wreaths came out adorable!

Here are some different felt flowers I showed them how to make:

I haven't figured out rafia weaving so I decided to do this instead..

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in
I was trying to figure out how to use rafia to weave a bowl but I couldn't quite figure it out (yet) and so in my consulting the wise 'google' for answers and help, I came across this great Blick video.  It uses the white paper coils sans the rafia.  I"m going to try it with my students and I'll let you know how it comes out.  In the meantime here's the video:

Craft Class Project 2- Craft Stick Bowls and Such

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in
Craft sticks are a great and inexpensive materials for all kinds of crafts.  I'm going to post a few images I found for inspiration and some finished examples of my students projects.  Overall a medium sized craft stick bowl will take 2-3 hour long sessions.
 has a good step by step picture guide on how to build a basic craft stick bowl.  Most of the styles you see on the internet are variations of the basic bowl shown on the instructibles website.  You start by working on the top of the bowl and work upwards until you create the base.  The great thing about these projects is that they look difficult to make but are pretty simple.