Archive for the ‘Liz’ Category

Developing ideas from 2d to 3d, Presentation,Warrenmount.

Friday, March 14th, 2014

First Class

Teacher Ms. O’Shea.

Group clay work

I had this class last year. It was great to notice that they had retained all the confidence in their creative skills. They requested clay as they had done some last year. We began with slab building and they had no problems working together and developing ideas.

I decided that we would develop ideas through drawing and make these into 3d work.I asked them to bring in their teddies. They made drawing first and then made them in clay.


The teacher was interested in making puppets.

I gave the children out skewers, polystyrene balls and white fabric. We discussed characters for their puppets.

They made drawings of their characters and planned their puppets.

When they made their puppets they used their drawings to refer to. This worked really well as they weren’t tempted to use every new material and be overly influenced by each other.


The following week they worked in groups of three to build puppet theatres.

During the next session they continued building their theatres in groups. The also printed patterns on fabric for the curtains.

Leonora Carrington at IMMA

I showed the children a slideshow of mythological creatures. Using folded coloured paper they cut and tore shapes then collaged these together to create their own mythological creatures.

A visit to Leonora Carrington at the Irish Museum of Modern Art

The following week we went to visit the Leonora Carrington exhibition. In her paintings there are a lot of strange creatures. The children were very interested in these dreamlike paintings and enjoyed discussing them.

Parent and child session

We showed a slideshow to the parents of Leonora Carrington’s paintings. The children brought out their mythological creatures. Each parent and chid got a box to create an environment around the creature. They used collage.

Maths in Art, Fourth Class, St.James’s P.S.

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Teacher Ms. Clarke.

When I met 4th class before we began the were very enthusiastic about clay so our first two sessions we explored clay, rolling slabs, and trying out different patterns and textures in the clay. Then the children used the slabs to create 3d forms. There was a lot of discussion on what 2d shape slab they would need to make each form.

We began to talk a lot about maths. This way of working in clay requires a lot of maths – cutting and measuring squares, rectangles, and circles. What flat shape do you need to make a cylinder, a cone, or a cuboid. Most of their forms became houses and castles. Children joined up their forms and began to work together.

When cutting the clay we talked about parallel lines, right angles, segments of circles.


There is a lot of maths in art.

One child wasn’t sure about all this maths as she said she didn’t like maths. By the end of the project she was very happy with what she made. I hope this has convinced her how useful maths is – and maybe even fun?

Clay is difficult to keep as it is very brittle when it dries unless it is fired. The children were very interested in making work that they could keep. The theme of houses developed through their clay work so on the third session I brought in lots of boxes, card, sponges, bottle tops, etc. The children began to make houses. We looked at photographs of houses around the world and the materials that they are built with. During the week Ms. Clancy studied building with them. They looked at the different skilled people who build houses – bricklayers, plumbers, carpenters, electricians.


We talked about how we would need to begin with construction.

I showed them some techniques they would need to construct houses from their boxes. It really helped that they had made houses in clay first. I showed then how to score card before folding, curving card, making tabs, and slotting etc.

The houses developed each week as the children began to decorate and make furniture. Houses had moving parts, windows and doors can open, one boy put in a garage door that opens when a string is pulled and two girls working together put a golden lift that went up and down by pulling a string. So we even had some engineering skills.

I took photographs of the children and brought them back the following week. The children were able to put themselves into their houses.


For our final session we invited parents/guardians to work with the children.  The week before the children made tripychs. (A tripych is a work of art (usually a panel painting) that is divided into three sections.)

The children made theirs in cardboard. With their parents they made their triptych about themselves and their families, using collage and drawing.

Origami Boats and Rainforest Villages. St. James’s Primary School.

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

St James’s Primary school

The two sixth classes participated in CIC’s block 1. This is the first CIC since James’s St CBS and Mater Dei have amalgamated.

To begin the sessions I went into both classes and had a chat on how they would like to start. Both schools last year were part of an art project where each child made a paper boat. They all enjoyed this experience so I thought we would use origami boats as a starting point.

During the first session the children made paper boats. I then showed them some useful techniques for construction using card – folding, scoring, slotting, curling, making tabs etc.

The children used the card and created an environment for their boats. This took two sessions. Their card worlds became quite elaborate.


We then worked in print with the paper boat theme. The children used blocks of foam and incised boat/ water patterns into them to create print blocks. They flattened out the boats, printed them and folded them back when dried. They also printed an A4 paper to create a repeat pattern as a base for the boats.

School Display of printed boats.



Then we made a trip to the Botanic Gardens where Sculpture in Context was being exhibited. Each class had two tours, one to look at the fruit and vegetable garden and the other a sculpture trail.

We looked at the different materials artists used, how they made the work and what it was about.


During the session after our trip we used clay to brainstorm ideas inspired from the trip. Many people were interested in creating miniature worlds.

We focused on ‘Fordlandia’ by Claire Halpin.


Claire Halpin’s ‘Fordlandia’


On the sixth session there was a group of children from both classes off on another programme so we amalgamated the two classes and worked in clay to create our own village.Many children worked in pairs.

These finished houses were used to form the bases of the classes’ own town in a rain forest. Adding sticks, stones and paper wonderful worlds were created.




Inspiration from Gardens and Sculpture, Senior Infants and Second Class, Warrenmount.

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Senior Infants and second class have spent 7 sessions of Creativity in the Classroom exploring the theme gardens. The school only has a very small flowerbed area and a tree. The nearest garden area is St. Patrick’s park – quite a distance away, so I thought it would be lovely to create our own gardens using different materials.

We began looking at a slideshow of lots of different kinds of gardens and discussing what we liked about them.

After exploring marks with charcoal the both classes worked on a long drawing together in charcoal putting in things that they would like in a garden.

We set up an outdoor classroom where we created our own miniature garden in the yard using clay, stones, moss, branches leaves, and sticks.


The following week we looked at colour in the gardens of our slideshow. We looked at flowers and trees and pattern. The children used paint to mix up these colours and try out some patterns.

With all this experience and exploration done in school we went on a visit to the Botanic Gardens to see both the gardens and ‘Sculpture in Context’. At this time of the year, sculptors put on an exhibition of their work in the gardens.

The children were like detectives working out what each sculpture was made of, how it was made and what it was about. They came up with wonderful ideas.


We were inspired by two pieces of work. Senior infants worked on a theme of rain clouds having seen “Rain Cloud’ by Jane Groves, made with Lace and thread and ‘What Should I Wear Tonight?’ by Iveta Reijere, made in ceramic fabric and flower petals.

They used paint and mixed up lots of colours of rainclouds, which they painted on large sheets of card. The following week they made flower collages with the paintings from the third session and added rain to their clouds using wool.

Ms. Wellwood hung the work so the rain waters the flowers.


Finally the children used chalk pastels to put flower fairies into their garden.


Second class were inspired by ‘What Should I Wear Tonight?’ by Iveta Reijere, made in ceramic fabric and flower petals.

We also looked at the book Fairie-ality by David Ellwand.

Using oil pastel and colour washes the children made sheets of pattern to be used for fairy clothes the next week.


The children created their own flower fairies by using collage over photographic self-portraits.

They used their paintings from the third session to hide the fairies amongst flowers.



Developing ideas, language and techniques with Junior Infants

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

Mater Dei, Basin Lane.

Junior infants; teacher Ms.Ivers.

We spent this block of 7 sessions using natural materials and clay with the children. During each session the children were introduced to new techniques and the language that goes with those techniques and ideas.

Initially the children were give objects to feel with their eyes closed and asked to describe them. They had to describe the weight, texture and temperature.

This gives them the language that they need to describe their clay work.

They were then give clay to explore. They pinched, poked, pulled and rolled the clay. They made forms – spheres, cylinders and cubes. Doing this they also learnt the words for 3d shapes.

They made a collection of these forms and used matchsticks to build a tall structure. We discussed balance and weight when they were building.


During the following session the children rolled out slabs in clay and created textures in using clay tools and found objects. They spent a long time trying out different surfaces and patterns. Then they used the slabs to build with. They learnt how to join the clay with slip. Many chose to work in pairs and groups when they saw how much bigger they could build when they joined forces.


To give the children time to explore their new technique of slab building in clay, the next week they read the story of Repunzel and build towers.


By now the children were familiar with expressing themselves in clay. Using techniques from the first session- making spheres and cylinders and pinching and pulling clay they made themselves. Making a standing figure is difficult but the children solved this by having their figures lying down or sitting.


The children were introduced to other natural materials. They looked at a slide show of Land Art. Some of the work was very large and the artists used diggers and earthmovers to make the pieces and other work was small, and made with delicate materials like flower petals that don’t last long.

They went to the school garden to gather materials. Back in the class they made pictures with these materials.


Parents and Children working together

The parents watched a slide show of the children’s work and then the children helped show their parents slab building techniques in clay. Together they built fairy houses using clay and other natural materials.

Out in the garden parents and children chose a special spot for their house.


Warrenmount, First class, teacher Ms.Peacock

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

Winter weather was settling in as I began to work with first class at the end of November.We began by looking at the skies and the colours we saw.We used paint to find these colours and experimented with laying the paint down. We looked at magnified pictures of snowflakes. We cut our some snowflake shapes.

We worked on the theme The Snow Queen’s Castle for 3 weeks leading up to Christmas holidays.

We uses cardboard for the castles and painted them using cold colours. Inside the doors and windows the children drew Winter things such as – penguins, snowmen, Christmas trees, and of course the snow queen.


During the Christmas holidays I visited the Alice Maher exhibition- Becomming. I decided that I would take the class as there  is a lot of work that they would find interesting.

We had two sessions before our visit so we began by thinking what we look like from the front and then behind.


. .

During the next session we discussed two characters from stories – Samson and Repunzel.

Using newpaper they tried different ways to make long tresses by plaiting, threading, crinkling etc.


The children also used fabric to make long tresses by threading and plaiting.


Alice Maher – Becomming

. .


On our final session we invited parents  in to work with the children to make paper wigs


Mater Dei, Ms. McMahon and Ms. Cummins’ First classes.

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

We began exploring ourselves in Ms. McMahon’s and Ms. Cummins’ first classes. Although they are two classes the teachers choose their themes together in other subjects so we kept this way of working for the Creativity in the Classroom sessions. I work in Ms. McMahon’s in the morning and Ms. Cummins’ in the afternoon.

We looked at our hands and felt the bones inside. We moved our hands to see where the joints were.We used chalk pastels to show this. Using mirrors we used print to make self portraits. We looked at our eyes closely and made prints of them. We felt how three – dimensional our heads are and used clay to make them.




We went to the Botanical Gardens to see the Sculpture in Context exhibition. The children worked out stories, ideas, and what each sculpture was made of and how. It was a very exciting day.

There was a sculpture called Wood Nymphs. We looked at how the artist made the faces like masks. The following week we made our own wood nymphs masks. We collected lots of different leaves. We drew from them, made rubbings and cut out leaf shapes. We made card masks and covered them in our leaves. We discussed how faces are symmetrical.


Mini Beasts

The children were fascinated by the mini beasts brought into the class, particularly the live ones. They used magnifying glasses to look at the shapes and patterns.

They drew while observing them and made their own mini beasts in clay.


Our eight and final session we invited parents who were free to come in, see what we had done over the past few months and work with us in clay.

We had a great turnout both for the morning and afternoon session. Parents and children made themselves in clay and then put their figures together doing what they like to do together best.

Children whose parents couldn’t come in worked together and put their clay figures together. There was a wonderful atmosphere.


Second Class, Presentation, Warrenmount, teacher Ms. Roche, artist Liz McMahon

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Second class have spent the past few weeks looking at themselves in mirrors. They used charcoal, pastels, and clay to make self portraits.


We visited the exhibition Sculpture in Context at the Botanic Gardens.

Wood Nymphs.

The week after the visit to Sculpture in Context we made our own Wood Nymphs. We drew leaves, made rubbings of them and cut them out.

We made card masks and stuck our paper leaves on them, keeping them symmetrical.


Mini beasts.

We have been looking at the small wildlife that we would find in gardens – mini beasts. Initially there were a few squeals as the children examined the slugs, snails and beetles. However when everyone began to use magnifying glasses and observed the beautiful patterns the squeals ended. You can see by the drawings that the children really examined these patterns.


The children then worked in pairs to create habitats for their mini beasts.


We invited parents to come in and work in clay and to look at the work that has been done with second class for their final session.

Eleven parents were able to attend and the atmosphere was wonderful. Everyone made themselves in clay and then parents and children put their figures together doing what they like to do best together.Children whose parents couldn’t make it worked in pairs putting their figures together. We had people having a hug, playing in the park dressing up and loads more ideas. No wonder the children are so creative – they have very creative parents!


Senior Infants, Presentation, Warrenmount. Teacher Ms. Ring. Artist Liz McMahon

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Over the past few weeks Senior Infants have been working with clay. They began to explore the texture of clay and finding our how to form it by pinching, pulling and squeezing it. They made 3d forms and built towers with them. They made slabs and textured them using a variety of tools.They learned to cut these slabs into 2d shapes.

They found that they could build with the clay slabs. Using slip they joined their slabs. Some children worked together and created large houses and castles. Every child made a castle or house of their own.


We visited Sculpture in Context exhibition in the Botanic Gardens. We were like detectives finding the artworks and then finding out about them.


Family Session.

We had a lovely work day when we invited parents in to work with us on the theme “Family” using clay. Six Mums, five Days and a granny came to help their children make their families.The children showed the adults how to use clay as it was the first time for many.

The parents really enjoyed themselves. I think they were surprised at the work they produced.


Mono printing.

The children explored two different kinds of mono printing. In the initial prints they inked up print plates and used a variety of tools to make marks and then took prints of these.


For the other set of prints they put their paper down on an inked up print plate and drew on the back of it.


We continued with print for our final session. Each child made two blocks to print from. They used two colours and a variety of coloured paper.

They each made several individual prints and then made a group print.


They also incised into polystyrene circles, ( Ms. Ring collected these from pizzas) inked these up and printed from them. They made beautiful prints.


Third class enjoy Spring.

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

Third Class

Our Lady of Lourdes N.S.


Teacher Sarah O’Donnell

S.N.A. Kelly


Our Theme in third class was Spring. It was already in the air in the classroom as the children had grown tulips and daffodils. They started with observing flowers and we look at the flower paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe.

Constructing Flowers with paper.

We began by exploring lots of ways to cut, bend, and fold paper.

Then the children created their own flowers using the techniques they had explored.


We looked at old nests to see what they are made of. There was dries grass, moss, feathers, clay, hair, twigs and leaves. The children collected their own nesting materials and built nests.



The children wanted to make birds for their nest. They were very excited the following week when I brought in lots of fabric and needles, pins and threads.I showed them how to make a pattern for their birds. There was great enthusiasm. Only three children had ever seen anyone sew before.

We used old pillows for the stuffing and added feathers, buttons , pipe cleaners and beads to complete the birds.

Parents and Children learn from each other.

Parents were invited to join the children in a session to make baby birds to complete the Spring nests.