2017 Studio Art 1 Complete!

Thanks for your creativity, patience and energy throughout the semester.  An art class is a village — when everyone does their best (both at making art and adding to the community,), its a little bit magical.  I hope you continue to be inspired and find great leaders.  Below is a group shot of your printed heroes.


Keep making art and I look forward to seeing you in 2018!


The Last Week…

is here.  People are finishing up glazing and moving on to painting and decorating mythological masks.  During our finals period, we will present the mask and your character’s history.  There will be a little quizlet about the characters presented.  It shouldn’t be too difficult if you pay attention to the presentations.  Hint:  think about what is the purpose of the myth as described by Joseph Campbell.  Here is the schedule of the finals for Studio Art 1.

1st period:  Tuesday 2:15 to 4:00

5th period:  Wednesday 2:15 to 4:00

7th period:  Wednesday  11:15 – 1:00

In the classroom this week, there is still a lot of work to be finished, but at least the homework isn’t too difficult.  Here’s a hint.


Homework due Monday, 12/18:

Clean out your box.  Recycle and take things home.  The only thing that should be left at school is your mask, your study guide and your billboard ad.  Send me a picture of your ceramics projects as installed in their new location at your home.  My email is levans@illinois.edu

Paper Mache Madness

This week students built their masks layer by layer with paper mache.  It is a fun but messy process.  As soon as it dries with 5 layers, we will remove the clay.  Next, GLAZING, because we have only one more week left!


Homework due Monday, Dec. 11

Design an ad for a product that could be endorsed by your mythological character.  Ads must include at least one color illustration incorporating the image of your character.  You may do this on the computer if you like.  Collage format encouraged.


Mythological Masks

This week after break, we began working on the clay forms for our mythological masks.  We began by breaking up and rehydrating the clay.  We also discussed where the stories of our myths fall in the continuum of Joseph Cambell’s functions of myths:  Sociological, Mystical, Pedagogical and Cosmological.

Below are a few Art Clubbers helping to crack the clay.


Homework Due Dec. 4:

Create a study sheet that addresses the history of your creature and distinctive visual elements associated with this personage.

Your study sheet should be as creative and visually interesting as possible.  You should have at least two illustrations, at least one of which should be drawn by you.  You may also include an illustration of how this creature has been portrayed by other artists as one of your illustrations.  The typography and layout should contribute towards our understanding of your mythological creature.


Details:  Length – 1 page maximum

Minimum 2 illustrations, one of which must be drawn by you.

Typed, 200 word minimum (not including vocabulary words, describing history

Vocabulary words: Minimum of 3 with definitions

3 reference sources


Clay Time

Coil, slab and pinch

Ambitious ceramic projects are underway this unit.  Also, some disasters are occurring as the height becomes more ambitious.  Remember as Mr. Peeler said, “Timing is everything.”  Proper moisture is key.



Homework:  Due Monday, 11/20   YOUR MYTHOLOGY

Draw a full page color sketch of the facial features of a mythological character from your cultural background.  Be prepared to explain the character’s history.  This may be the character that you wish to portray in a mask, or you could change to another character.


Extra credit up to 10 points:

Create a clever meme (can be done one the computer) that makes sense with your character’s history.  You can use web imagery or draw it.  You should use the same character you drew for homework.


Coil, Slab and Carve

This week we began clay sculpting (or hand building).  The results look promising.  Lots of variety in student projects from cookie jars to sculptures of teachers.

Below is a photo of Arts/Industry artist Olen Hsu working in his studio space at Kohler Co. Pottery, 2006.  Kohler (yes the toilet manufacturer) has a residency program for artists to use their facility to make sculpture in Kohler Wisconsin.  Well worth a visit to see ceramics being manufactured on an industrial scale.ai.hsu_.2006.0087_0


Homework due Monday, 11/13

FOREIGN INFLUENCE: Go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art‘s collection page.  Type   “Ceramics (Culture of your Choice)” into the search box.  Using an example of ceramics from a culture other than American, re-draw your ceramics project showing the influence of the art you selected.  Post your inspiration piece with your name and its culture on the Padlet for your class below.

1st Hour Foreign Influence Padlet

5th Hour Foreign Influence Padlet

7th Hour Foreign Influence Padlet

Final Prints

This week students went on a print making frenzy and broke into some new creative territory by exploring non traditional techniques as demonstrated by a student below.  Each student hung one print in a non traditional location where it would have the most impact.


Homework due Monday, Nov. 6

Watch the two vintage videos in the link below by ceramicist Richard Peeler.  (He was an instructor at DePauw University and a ceramic genius.)  I hope you enjoy the soundtrack.  Its very “artistic”.  There will be a quiz on Monday about the video techniques shown.

Handbuilding Techniques

Coil Technique