Thursday, April 21, 2011

Encaustic Collage- Grade 9-10 Art AVI1O AVI2O

Here is an example of an encaustic collage that I had the grade 9-10 students create.  First, we discussed some guidelines for composition, such as layering, cutting out the backgrounds, using objects of different sizes, and placing objects off-centre, etc.  Next, the students created a collage of magazine pictures on a piece of cardboard.  Finally, they "glued" down each layer with hot wax and ironed the pieces smoothly together at the end.  The neatest thing about using the wax as opposed to glue is how it made the colours so vivid, with a dreamy quality created by the extra wax on the bottom right hand corner.  Brilliant!
The students often start the assignment thinking that it will be really easy- I mean, we're just cutting up magazines.  However, they quickly realize how difficult it can be to find images that balance with each other, and to create a brand new scene where the pictures look professionally composed.  However, they get really into it and I rarely have any complaints- it's a fun challenge for students of all abilities. 

Encaustic collage, created by grade 9 student Shelby Fortney


Jennifer said...

Awesome! I am going to be teaching myself encaustic this summer and have been waiting to use this in the classroom. How is dealing with hot wax? So many teachers don't do it any more and many buildings discurage such acts of creativity ;) What was the most important thing you learned from the kids with this lesson?
THanks Jen

Ms. George-Easton said...

Hey Jen, how did your self-taught encaustic lessons go? I purchased a real encaustic set of paints, etc. at the end of the school year, but I found it tricky to use and haven't created anything fantastic yet :) As for this assignment, I use a mixture of beeswax and microcrystalline in two crock pots with lots of newspaper. We have big safety discussions as a group and discuss what could happen if the wax was splashed. I've done it with about 16 classes now with no problems...
What did I learn most from the students? What an interesting question. I think I learned to let them really pick their own theme and let them choose pictures that motivated them, even if I didn't see the images as typically "artistic". Motivation keeps them out of trouble :) I just drew the line at beer and bikini babes, as we're a Catholic high school.