Monday, January 7, 2013

What do Butterflies, rice, food coloring have in common?


Here is a fun project that I did with my Sons 2nd grade class. 

Every year Maywood Hills Elementary holds a Gallery Night along with the Science Fair.  As an Art Docent for Jackson's 2nd grade class I get to help them create a piece of art for Gallery Night.  In second grade they study Butterflies so I thought in keeping with the theme we would create some butterfly displays.
Below is how we did it.

What you need is a old plate (I bought 25 salad plates from a second hand store), a butterfly template and a sharpie marker. 
Trace the butterfly on the center of the plate.  This is for a second grade class, they could have traced the template on their own but I was doing two projects at the same time with them and for the sake of time I did this step before I went to school.  I let them choose the plate that they wanted to decorate. Make sure to put their name on the bottom of the plate BEFORE you start the process! I don't know how many times I forgot to have the kids put their names on the bottom of there art piece before we started.  I also pre-made the colored rice below.
First off let me tell you a little goes a long way! I made so much rice that I could have done this project with at least 4 other classrooms! 
What you need to make the rice is the following:
  1. Long grain uncooked rice
  2. Rubbing alcohol
  3. Food coloring
  4. Large freezer bags
  5. Freezer paper
First you put a cup or so of the rice in the freezer bag then pour a cap full of the rubbing alcohol into the bag, close it and shake it around for a second or two.  Next, drop in 6 to 10 drops of food coloring (the more you put in the brighter more saturated the color will be) close the bag and shake around till all of the rice is colored.   Lay the freezer paper on your counter (I put mine in baking sheets) and pour the rice on it spreading it out to let it dry. It dries pretty quick.
This is the supplies I brought to class with me:
  1. salad plates (butterflies already drawn on them)
  2. colored rice
  3. clear Elmer's glue
  4. swabs (Q-Tip)
  5. small paper plates
The kids tables were in groups of 4 so while I spoke to the kids about today lesson a print by Sekkyo called the Eagle my assistants (Mike and Devon) step up.
Here is the link to the frameworks that I used to talk about Sekkyo.

The kids and I talked about how Sekkyo made thing look like they had texture with just using ink and a carved block.  We talked about Visual and Tactile textures.

At each group of desk, there were small paper plates each with a different color of rice and one paper plate with clear glue.  Each kid got a swab to use for the glue.

Before they went back to their seats I explained to them how the process was going to work.
  1. They would pick their plate and Devon would write their name on the bottom of it.
  2. They would think of the pattern they wanted to create on their butterfly. Butterflies are symmetrical so they should be making the wings look alike.
  3. Dip their swab into the glue and put it ONLY on little sections at a time. Do not put it all over the plate.
  4. Sprinkle small amount of rice over the glued areas.
When they were finished, we gathered up the plates putting them in freezer bags so they would not stick to each other and I took them home for the final process.

The last process is to put clear resin on top of their butterflies so they would stay that way forever.  Resin is too toxic to use in a classroom so this is best left to complete at home.

I bought "Parks Super Glaze" from Home Depot. This is mainly used for Bar Tops etc. but it has worked for me in the past.  I have used it over artwork that I have created on paper, wood and canvas.  There are some great Art Resins out there but I didn't have time to order it.  Art Resin is a great place to watch videos and to buy art resin.

Just make sure whatever resin you use it is 1:1.  It's much easier to mix up that way. The most important part of using resin is, make sure you mix it correctly!  Also, take precautions by using gloves and a mask. I didn't think it was a big deal till I watched some video's from artresin.

For the bubbles I got to use a fun new tool that will be added to my art supply belt!  A "Hand Held Blow Torch!"  Very inexpensive and fun! It's amazing how it works out all the bubbles. After pouring you run the torch over the top of the resin and you can watch it blow the bubbles away! Fun stuff!

Here are some finished plates. They are still in the curing process but you can see how they look.

These plates will be decorative only. They will be fun to display at Gallery Night.  Gallery Night is held in March I will take some pictures and post them.  Until then Have an Artful Evening!

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Thank you for reading my blog. Please feel free to comment on any of my posts. If you try a project and you have pictures please post them I would love to see them!

I hope you enjoy reading about my journey in the world of art and crafts.

Happy Creating!
Lesa B.