Bulb Archived: Waters SCALE 2017-2018: Hooper & Okulinski

School Name: Waters

Teacher Name: Ms. Hooper

Teaching Artist Name: Ms. Patty

Big Idea: Explore your Inspiration!

Inquiry: How does the world around us inspire our creations?

1. Planning: What interests and curiosities were brought to the planning by each of you? 

Teacher response: I really think it is important for the students to show their true passions in their creations. As a history teacher, I also wanted to be sure that the students included some historical information about their inspiration. 

Teaching Artist response: 

The idea of expanding their inspirations through research helps students build a rich background and helps them define and articulate what their inspiration is. 

The students practicing their sketches and researching their inspiration. 

2. The Project: Tell the story of your project. What happened in the classroom? 

In the beginning of the program Erin and I shared with the students photographs and other artifacts from past programs, we explain the concept of repurposing, which has been a common thread through CC, and finally we shared this year’s goal which was to expand their creativity. The students began doing journal entries about their day, taking notes on  sketching body, face, garments,  while exploring the materials and space in the classroom. We talk about the different stations: beads-buttons/ fabric painting/ hot glue…we talk about safety, proper cleaning and etiquette, and the importance of leaving the room clean for the next day of school. Students start to look and pick fabrics, while I talk about the different types of fabrics, natural fibers vs man made, the impact of man made fabrics on the environment, the concept of fast fashion and the importance of donating for proper disposal of clothing. Erin shared a PP with the students to discuss the concept of Avant-garde, and we look at runway fashion show examples, they also look at ensembles made from unconventional things, then students play a game to guess the materials used to make the clothing. We try to push them to come out of their shell by taking risks and be inventive with their designs or ideas. Students started to visualize their inspiration by making inspiration boards that have magazine cut-outs of clothing, color, texture, pattern and fabric swatches.At the same time we started to make our skill pillows, which students make entirely by hand learning different stitches, sewing buttons, beads and patches. I start to meet with students to talk about their designs considering the fabrics we have and the ones they want, I have them research basic silhouettes to understand their designs. Once we have a detailed color sketch I start to drape and cut the garments to take to my moms house to be sewn. I usually drop off a couple garments and pick up the finished ones she was working on before. 

This year we’re going to be part of an art show at Hairpin Gallery therefore we’ve been on turbo mode to get as many garments finished before the deadline. Since we need mannequins to exhibit the garments and these can be costly, we decided to make our own! Students traced themselves onto cardboard boxes  and they cut these out and painted them for the show. 

to be continued…

Ms. Patty demonstrating how you can tell if a piece of fabric is natural or synthetic. She also discussed fabric choices for the specific looks that  the students wanted to achieve. 

3. How did you check in throughout the project to plan and adjust plans as the project unfolded? 

The students are creating inspiration boards, sketches, and researching what they want to create. The check- in process is shared between both Ms. Patty and Ms. Hooper, depending on where the students are at in the process. When they are finished with their inspiration boards, they will meet with Ms. Hooper so that she can check over their work. In this process, they will share what they found in their research as well and discuss the steps that they need to take to start creating. When it is time to meet with Ms. Patty, the students will bring their sketches with them to show her what their plan is for the type of fabric they want to use, the silhouette, and color. With this information she will then ask questions to help them achieve the look they have in mind.  

Akilah sharing her inspiration board with a student from Movie Magic. 

4. What are the conflicts, contradictions or challenges of your teacher/artist collaboration? 

Teacher response: Ms. Patty and I are often faced with the challenge of keeping the students who finish early busy. We have to keep pushing them to add to their work without “overdoing” it.  We also like for the students to help one another, but we have to be sure that this is after they have their work complete so that they don’t fall behind.

Teaching Artist response: We definitely struggle to keep the eyes in the back of the head open to make sure they don’t make a huge mess without picking it up, inappropriate use the materials, or neglect tools and supplies. For me is challenging to pick and choose who I’m working with since everybody wants me to start working on their design and also to help students individually when the students are sewing, using the computer and painting.

5. What are you learning as a result of collaborating with one another in terms of teaching and art making? 

Teacher response: Collaborating can be difficult at times, but it can also be rewarding. I have learned that you have to be flexible and open to different ideas and then decide what would be best for the class and for the students as they complete the process. I have also learned that it really helps to bounce ideas off of one another. 

Teaching Artist response: 

We’ve learned to polish our program by anticipating possible issues, reorganizing our curriculum map and providing a different focus every year to challenge ourselves. 

Penny painting the front of her dress  with a pattern inspired by the Rainbow Mountains in China

6. How has the community-focused component of the project contributed to or challenged your teacher/artist collaboration? 

Teacher response: The community focused element can sometimes be a challenge because there is not enough time to plan multiple events. We do enjoy working for the end goal and feel very accomplished when we share with the community and they give feedback on the work that the students did. 

Teaching Artist response: I feel that the community event is great because it’s the climax of the program but it can be challenging because so much happens so fast and at the same time and it’s a long day for everybody.  

The final event of the 2017-2018 school year.