Sunday, November 23, 2014

Beginning to Print: Gumball Machines

We all know printing is a process, and a messy one at that. Again, I will reference The Art of Ed's online 2014 Summer Conference, where my inspiration came from. However, it is password protected so I can only share how I chose to use it.

Soooo, after watching that segment about printing with students, I decided to try it. Printing has not been a lesson that I do often, but I'm totally gonna do THIS again! What I really liked about it was that it was broken down into grade levels. AND, students learn a little more about printing as they moved through those grade levels. Today's blog is about the Wayne Thiebaud inspired gumball machines that I did with my kindergarten and first grade classes.

 First thing I did was a really short slide show with four Thiebaud paintings. With the last photo being the inspiration piece.

 We talked about the different Elements of Design, breaking it down into the different lines, shapes and colors we saw. We looked at the texture of the icing in his painting of Four Cupcakes. By then we all were VERY hungry! Children shared with me that they had gumball machines at home and that they come in all different colors. So they were given a choice of colors for their machine. However, since I decided to use this opportunity to reinforce primary colors, they used red, yellow and blue to print the gumballs.
Next, students traced a round Chinese food lid for their circle.

 Then because I really didn't want the colors to get messed up I rotated the children around the room.
The red table had red paint, blue table had blue paint and the yellow table had yellow paint. Their papers were in trays (names on the paper to get a tray) that they carried from table to table.

They had around a minute at each color, then they lined up for the drying rack. This was a GREAT way to instruct students on how to put their paper in the drying rack! Students used these really great dot dippers that I had gotten years ago, from Oriental Trading, and never used,
When students returned to art the following week, we reviewed what we had learned. I then modeled for students the steps to creating their gumball machines. They did have tracers for the machines, at this age I want them to feel successful and not frustrated.
AND, of course I had students that were absent the first week! My solution was to have them cut all the pieces out, put the gumball machine together and then print the gumballs on!
One student really got into it and added a shadow! We had briefly talked about lighting and shadows with some of the art work.
Soooooo, now for some controversy.............
Must every student follow directions? What were my learning goals with this project? At what point do we allow students to interpret art their own way? What if they are a Picasso and not a Thiebaud?
Just saying if art is the experience, the ability to be creative and the learning of different processes, who's to say the above art is incorrect? I've always told students that there is NO wrong way to do art! But NOW we are going to give end of course exams to students as young as kindergarten? WHY? It just doesn't make sense..............
Let me know your thoughts! Thanks for reading!
I'm going out of town for Thanksgiving and plan to leave my laptop at home!! Enjoy! Will continue to blog when I return.


  1. I like your blog, your common sense approaches using learning centers, and your generous nature in sharing so many of your wonderful ideas!

  2. Thank you so much for your comment! I'm totally enjoy writing the blog and I love the career I have!