This multimedia unit gave sixth grade students a chance to learn about Chinese pottery and a chance to experiment with some interesting art techniques.
We began this unit by researching blue and white pottery from China. Students looked for consistencies in vase form, subject matter and design. They shared their findings with the class and used their research as inspiration as they designed several pots of their own. Using large paper, each student drew 3-5 basic vase shapes with pencil. Students then used shading to color these shapes three-dimensionally with different shades of blue oil pastel. In what seemed to be a truly strange step to students, a layer of thin white acrylic paint was placed on top of their blue vases.
Adding details was the trickiest part of this unit. Each student transferred the ideas from their rough draft brainstorming to their final white vases by carving through the paint with a toothpick. What resulted were beautiful blue details showing through the white paint!
We finished this unit off by discussing composition and working to create an intriguing set-up for their various vases. They were encourage to overlap in order to draw the viewer's eye around the page. Last, but not least, students added cast shadows to each vase to make them appear even more three-dimensional.