Arts Integration Residency with Montalvo Arts Center – in Campbell, CA.
Village Elementary, Spring 2014.
Lynhaven Elementary, Spring 2014
Sherman Oaks Elementary, Fall 2014.
Forces: Push/pull, gravity and friction
For this exercise it is great to have quite a lot of space (to make the art and for it to dry).
material: 3 tripods, plastic bottles with Elmer glue caps, diluted student tempera paint, large sheets of black and white paper (sulfite paper is fine). One color per tripod/station. Use colors that can go either on black or on white paper. I use primary colors and white. One sheet of cardboard per tripod/station the size of the black/white paper (or a little bit bigger), to transport the painting once it is done.
To protect the floor: a large plastic sheet when making the paintings, and lots of butcher paper to protect the floor while the paintings are drying.
iPads to document the process
WARNING: very long drying time – about half a day – you will need a lot of spaces, the sheets are large, there is one per student. You will need a lot of space for the tripods. The process is easy but can be messy if a quick cleanup is not done after each painting.
Only use one color per painting. Two would be complicated.
Prepare the plastic water bottles
You will need at least one per color. You will need more bottles than the ones you are using, in case something happens.
Glue gun and duct tape an Elmer glue cap on the water bottle
Cut the bottom of the bottle, duct tape it to make it strong, make 3 holes on the side and attach a string through the 3 holes. Attach them together and attach a paper clip.
Prepare the tripods – 1 tripod for 7 students is OK
A string has to hang from the center of the tripod. Attach that string to the paperclip attached to the water bottle. The nose of the bottle should be between 1 and 2 inches from the paper (the paper is on a piece of cardboard).
Prepare the tempera paint
Filter the tempera paint through a thin sifter, to avoid clogging the Elmer glue cap when the paint will go through.
Add 50% tempera paint and 50% water. You will need a lot of paint. Prepare 32 OZ for each color for each class.
Prepare the room
Make lots of room. Place the plastic sheet on the floor, and the 3 tripods far enough from each other. The students need space to walk around them.
Prepare a bucket filled with water and several clean sponges that you place in the center of the plastic sheet. The students will have to do some clean –up AFTER EACH PAINTING is done.
Attach the bottles on the tripods. BE SURE that the Elmer caps are closed.
THEN fill the bottle half with diluted tempera.
Prepare a small empty container on the side for the dripping.
Be sure to have lots of dry rags handy.
How it works with the students
If you can set up 3 stations, you will approximately have 7 students per station. The students take turn. One is making the art, another one or more is documenting. The other ones can help and/or watch.
The organization is a little bit tricky but it is definitely feasible.
– The course of the bottle can be changed.
– There should be NO clean up while the art is being made – it can damage the art!
1. – One student puts a sheet of paper on the floor, underneath the tripod, on a piece of cardboard, as big as the paper. One student at a time does his/her pendulum painting, while the other students are watching or documenting with an iPad, making short videos.
2. The student takes the bottles towards her/him and keeps it above the small plastic container to avoid any spilling on the paper.
3. THEN he/she opens the cap, the paint start dripping in the container.
4. The student can let the bottle go and see what happens. The bottle starts making a geometric pattern on the paper.
5. When it is about to stop, the students have to grab swiftly the bottle, take it out of the surface of the paper and close the cap above the small plastic container.
6. The student take the paper AND the cardboard and go to the place in the room covered with newspapers for the painting to dry (it will take half a day).
7. Then it is clean up time before doing another painting. Clean up the spill on the plastic and on the cardboard piece with dry rags. Provide as many dry rags as needed.
8. The station is ready for another painting.
TIP: The bottles hanging underneath the tripods should be always half full. You need to have quit a lot of paint in the bottle for the weight to be big enough and gravity to work.
9. The whole class take some time for a group discussion looking at all the paintings on the floor. Describe what happened when making the exercise. What are the forces, why? Can you find two paintings which look the same? Why?