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One year I rolled porcelain extremely thin - and cut into circles (may have
used a coffee can as a cookie cutter) - the students placed the circles of
porcelain onto a small Styrofoam plate and pressed rice into the porcelain
to create a border... the rice burns off and the porcelain becomes
translucent (like the rice bowls at Pier 1)... then used a blue underglaze
pencil to re create a willow pattern (which is not Asian, but there is a
children's book that tells of an Asian folk tale tied into the pattern...)
I did it with K-1's but would do it with any age -
We did small Chinese opera masks by cutting ovals out of white clay, forming
over plastic Easter eggs (soft indentations to create eye sockets/ lift
nose) - fire - decorate with 'Stroke and Coat', glaze for bisque (like
watercolors...), some mounted on mat board, a few added holes for
Paper mache Chinese opera masks -
A Sung landscape will have a large mountain in the background. It will be
in the right or left corner. The mountain should have blue in it . This was
the way to show eternity or "forever"sung. The mountain should be huge. A Sung landscape will have something in the midground. It could be a bridge,
path or mist (fog). A Sung landscape will have a large boulder or rock in the foreground. It
could also have a tree. If there was a person in the painting, they would
be in the foreground. They would be very, very small. The objects in a Sung landscape would be painted or drawn on the diagonal.
If the mountain was in the top left corner, the boulder would be in the
bottom right corner. Monet painted some of his paintings on the diagonal.
In Japan, tie-dyed fabric is called shibori,
meaning tied or knotted. Paper can also be decorated in a similar way.
Itajime-shibori (dyed paper) can be used for napkins, purses, containers and
book covers. - I have an origami envelope that the students made - we used
rice paper for tie-dye...
Black and white/ positive negative cut paper designs - Notan - a Japanese word meaning dark-light. Principle of Notan - interaction between positive (light) and negative (dark) space.
This is a good lesson for symmetry -
We put thirty spokes together and call it a wheel; But it is on the space where there is nothing that the utility of the wheel depends. We turn clay to make a vessel; But it is on the space where there is nothing that the utility of the vessel depends. We pierce doors and windows to make a house; and it is on these spaces where there is nothing that the utility of the house depends. Therefore, just as we take advantage of what is, we should recognize the utility of what is not. Translated from a Chinese poem written two thousand years ago and attributed to Lao Tse
Lanterns for Chinese gardens - in clay...
Small gardens -
Tissue cut outs -
Dragon masks -
We made small books that had several examples of Asian art (a page
of notan, signature block, small gyotaku, origami kimono, willow design...)