Central Idea: Expression of belief is all around us.
Lines of Inquiry: Middle eastern architecture, the roles of pattern in Islamic art
These lovely ceramic and glass pieces would have been a great culmination of a unit focusing on Islamic Art but it being the end of the year and given the time it takes to "do clay", we worked backwards. The doors were the first thing we did and then we backtracked and explore patterns and their role in Islamic art.
I got the idea for this project over here, but I adapted it a bit. The children were given pre-cut slabs and I had examples of middle eastern archway shapes for them to take a look at. They decided on their shapes for the whole piece and the interior door. In retrospect, this would have been a good design lesson for them to play with in their sketchbooks-- but again, it was May and we just didn't have enough time.
The children were given scrap paper that was cut to the same size as their slabs-- they had to fold it in half and draw half an arch, then once they cut the folded paper it was perfectly symmetrical. They used the paper as a tracer for their clay and then used that same piece to draw, cut and trace their interior door.
Here was the success criteria for the patterns which were imprinted with screws:
After the bisque firing, the kids used three coats of Crystaltex glaze and then the fun of picking glass for the doors began! I had a ton of glass for fusing left by the previous art teacher but glass marbles or broken bottles would work just as well. I look forward to next year when this unit and project can get given the time and attention it really deserves.