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Paintbrush Rocket | 2nd Grade – Rag Collages inspired by Aminah Robinson
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2nd Grade – Rag Collages inspired by Aminah Robinson

2nd Grade – Rag Collages inspired by Aminah Robinson

Formally known as, Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson, Aminah Robinson has become one of my top 10 favorite artists I teach. Β Her artwork is no narrative, students love to see it, hear the story and are ready to create after the incredible visual stimulation of a slideshow of her work.

Here are a few fun facts about Aminah Robinson along with some of my favorite original pieces of hers:

  • AminahΒ lived her entire life in Columbus, Ohio
  • AminahΒ decided one day, she was sick and tired of doing her hair, so she cut it all off. Β She lived many years bald by choice.
  • The elder women in her family had a huge impact on her art. They shared many storiesΒ of how their ancestors came from Africa as slaves, and then the road to freedom. Β Aminah’sΒ art is filled with these stories and stories of others she found in hundreds of hours of research in the library, one of her favorite places.
  • Aminah’s dad also impacted her art, he taught her to see with deep concentration. Β She would look at something until she could turn away and sketch it from memory in her sketchbook. He taught her how to sculpt out of “Hogmawg” – a made up clay, made from mud, sticks, glue and pigment.
  • Aminah is most known for her “RagGonNon’s” – A work of art that took years to create and research. They reference the past, present and future.

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After becoming completely motivated, my students jumped in with two feet to create these adorable Rag Collages. Β Seriously, my favorite project of the year….maybe the toughest to teach, with the stitching, but favorite results.

If you have ever taught a fibers lesson to children, you know that it is impossible to have them cut into fabric with success. Β So, knowing that, I precut with a rotary cutter all the pieces needed to build a person. Β Circle heads, square body, rectangles for arms and legs. Β I put them in boxes and had students choose the pieces they were interested in having.

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Day 1 – StudentsΒ choose a colored piece of burlap. Β They glue the fabric onto the burlap with regular white glue. Β Students put their names on a pice of paper and left the burlap on the paper to dry. Β Next time, the paper gets ruined, has to be torn off, (so don’t use good paper), and their names are written on masking tape and tapedΒ to the back.

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Day 2- We spent a few minutes using the oil pastels and drawing on the burlap and fabric. Β And then…. we started to STITCH. Β There are no pictures of stitching, because it is all hands on deck! Β It is best to direct the first few stitches once everyone has their yarn taped on the back.

It took us 2 classes to do the stitching, which is the goal of the lesson, to get my students to master creating X’s by stitching. Several did master, some learned, some struggled. Β The students who finished went on to help students who struggled. Β Overall, all students did a great job of working through the struggle of learning something new.

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Day 4 – Students glued their burlap to a white paper background and wrote their names on the front. Then, it was time to embellish! Aminah would have been proud! Β We had buttons, sequence, and beads, anything we had laying around, just like Aminah.

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Here are the Masterpieces!!!

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