23 Feb 3rd Grade – Aminah Robinson Rag Dolls
Formally known as, Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson, Aminah Robinson has become one of my top 10 favorite artists I teach. 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:
- Aminah lived her entire life in Columbus, Ohio
- Aminah decided one day, she was sick and tired of doing her hair, so she cut it all off. She lived many years bald by choice.
- The elder women in her family had a huge impact on her art. They shared many stories of how their ancestors came from Africa as slaves, and then the road to freedom. Aminah’s 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. 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.
Day 1 – Building the body with pipe cleaners – Students get to choose 8 pipe cleaners for the body. First twist them in to pairs, two pipe cleaners together. There should be 4 pairs. Then take two of the pairs and twist them together. Now there should be just two. Twist the two in the middle, very tight, to make arms and legs.
Day 2 – I prepare a craft stick stuck into a small 2″styrofoam sphere. Students select a few items from a table to use for the hair… colored sticks, wire, small and medium pipe cleaners. Once that is finished, students are given some small pieces of Model Magic to mix in any way they choose. They cover the styrofoam ball, and smoosh it in between the hair they added. They can take googley eyes and use the rest of the Model Magic to create a face. I leave them to dry overnight on a couple trays.
Day 3 – They all get put together! I pass out the pipe cleaner bodies first, then the heads on a stick. I add a piece of Duck Tape to the stick, students go back and tape it to the pipe cleaner body. Then… it’s the fun part! Students get to use strips of fabric and yarn to wrap up their doll. They have a lot of fun with this part, they have a hard time giving them back to me!
Finished Rag Dolls!