Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Koi Fish Sculptures: Watch the Video Tutorial!

So it's a year of firsts, and I've tried my hand at making a video tutorial. Can I just say it is sooo much more difficult than it looks, but I hope to find it easier to accomplish as I continue. I also jumped into learning iMovie to edit things and make them fancy. I came up with this lesson for using Model Magic to create Koi Fish Sculptures last summer during my stint as a summer workshop teacher for my school district. 

The summer workshops for me are a great place to develop a lesson, to see which age groups it works best for, figure out what tools work best or what materials will be needed, how long the lesson may take etc. Not to mention, will the kids enjoy it? Will they all attain a level of satisfaction and success? Can early finishers assist those who need help, or who may have missed a class? These things are more important to me than the writing of the lesson plan. I know it's important, but it's a heck of a lot easier to explain in theory, when you have also accomplished the putting it into practice.  

This was also a lesson which helped me round out a ceramics and 3D workshop. The classes ran for 5 weeks, and towards the end, you just can't begin a ceramics project with no time left for drying, cycles in the kiln etc. Model Magic was a great option for the kids, and I am proud to say this lesson is all mine. I love this blogging community, and I love being inspired by all of your hard work! I am thankful to have the technology to research your successes and failures, and so happy to share this one with you.
I hope you get a chance to take a look. Enjoy!


I’m not fond of using Model Magic in the hotter months, unless the art room is air conditioned. When it is hot, the material becomes soft too quickly.

A clean table top work surface is best, and reminders to students to pick up their projects now and then while working will prevent their projects from sticking. 

If you're creating this project in the classroom, I would plan for one class to introduce the lesson, a class to form the body (closing up projects in ziploc bags will keep them fresh for next time), and one to add colors and final details.

For drying time, I place projects on a layer of plastic wrap, let dry for a day or so, and then turn upside down or on it’s side for the last area to also dry out. A hard, stale marshmallow is kind of what you are looking for when it is completely dry.

If a piece was not properly attached, and falls off, I just hit it with a little bit of craft glue and it repairs nicely.

I attempted to give a finished piece a layer of Mod Podge to glaze it, and it was successful for me. Unfortunately, the little bit of extra time the kids took to paint a layer of Mod Podge over their projects caused the Model Magic to release it's color and bleed into the Mod Podge. Now Crayola does sell a glaze specifically for this purpose, but not in amounts for the classroom, so I haven't given it a try.

This subject matter lends itself to cross-curricular learning! Think anatomy, life cycle, or environment of fish, Asian art and culture, and so on. Not to mention, I used these sculptures for a collaborative lesson and display, which I will share soon! Make sure to check in and see it. Cheers!

1 comment:

ArtMuse said...

Awesome! Thanks for sharing!