Putting it All Together: Photo Transfers on Original Slab Pot Designs
 
I. Topic
Big Idea: Identity

II. Objectives / Expected Learner Outcomes
Students will design and create an original slab ceramic design as a receptor for their photo transfers.
Students will use original photographs for their transfers that reflect a common theme that is associated with what is meaningful to their identity.
Students will understand that artists are inspired by various aspects of their identity, which can influence the concepts behind their works of art.

III. Standards of Education National Fine Arts StandardsNA-VA.9-12.1 UNDERSTANDING AND APPLYING MEDIA, TECHNIQUES, AND PROCESSES Achievement Standard:
• Students apply media, techniques, and processes with sufficient skill, confidence, and sensitivity that their intentions are carried out in their artworks
• Students conceive and create works of visual art that demonstrate an understanding of how the communication of their ideas relates to the media, techniques, and processes they use
Related Virginia Visual Arts Standards of Learning
 AII.3 The student will demonstrate effective use of the elements of art and the principles of design in a variety of art media. 

IV. Student Group Targeted
• Crafts II- varying abilities
• Prerequisite skills/knowledge: How to build a square slab pot and how to create a paper pattern for a three-dimensional object.

V. Time Required 
Ten, 90-minute blocks

VI.Materials and Resources
digital camera
clay
Lazertran
clay tools for carving and scoring
mod podge
slip
container for water sandpaper
acrylic gloss protective coating
mixed media materials (paint, news paper, tissue paper, etc.)

Vocabulary
-Composition
-Mood
-Point of view
-Conceptual Photography
-Review clay terminology (slab, leatherhard, bisque)

VII. Itinerary and Strategies Day 1 Introduction (20 minutes)
Have students gather around for a PowerPoint presentation. Show the first slide.
Explain that they have learned the how to create a clay pot sing the slab method and they have learned how to make a paper pattern to create a three-dimensional object. Now we will be putting all of those skills together for a larger more in-depth clay project that gives you a chance to take your creative skills to a more advanced level.
You all will be designing your own slab clay pots or sculptures and using original photos that you shoot to do photo transfers onto the ceramic pieces that you design. You will start by shooting the photos
(with your cameras or phones or one that you can borrow...if you do not have any access to a digital camera you can bring in things to take photos here or try and pair up with someone/a friend who does. If they are from the class you can shoot all of your photos on the same camera and exchange ideas and hang out and make an adventure of it!) 

The photos should be fun to shoot and meaningful to you. Sowhat exactly do I mean by meaningful images? I mean, not only is what your taking a picture of meaningful to you, but also that you think about what about what you are trying to express by capturing this image and how you can set up or frame the image to best convey what you feel or think about what you are trying to capture. How you set up and frame your image is it’s
composition. The way that that various elements or parts of an image come together as a whole to form the entire image.

For those of you who don’t know, I received my first degree in photography from VCU before I decided to go back for my master’s degree in art education. What makes me so passionate about photography is that it reflects the way YOU see something or someone. It is very personal.

Show images of conceptual photography and talk about the artists’ concepts. Talk about composition, angles, mood. Talk about shooting people with purpose...to capture a fleeting moment and/or when the essence of what makes someone who they are shows through. Talk about shooting places. Talk about shooting a still life/objects to convey a message.

Have them look at a bunch of examples in a PowerPoint and think about what the artist was trying to say or capture. Show examples and explain how slab pots can be shaped into forms other than boxes. Emphasize they can be artistic sculptures, not just containers! Show examples of ceramics with image transfers.

Demonstration/guided practice (5 minutes)
After viewing examples of images to inspire and show them exactly what they will be doing, students will be given a worksheet to help them brainstorm ideas for their theme and the meaningful images they want to shoot. I will encourage them to try out a few of their ideas when they take their photos and then, pick the one that seems to be working out best for them. 

I want this project to be something you are excited to work on and if you need my help coming up with ideas just ask!

Student independent activity (15 minutes and varying times beyond this class)
Studentswill complete the worksheet and finish up their previous project that is due at the end of class. They will shoot their photos on their own time over the next several days or bring in objects/ideas to set up and shoot their photos during the next class that we meet (where they have access to cameras available at the school).

Closure (5 minutes)- Clean up. Review expectations of meaningful and well thought-out images. Students will send me their photographs through email or bring them in on their phone or camera to transfer to my computer.

Day 2 Introduction/Review
Remind them of photos being due, meaningful imagery, and the various ways they can turn their photos in to me. Remind them to think of the size they want each photo and to include this in their email. They all must fit on an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper! 

Demonstration/guided practice
Show them how to create a sketch for their pot and the various elements that they have to consider (size, how many corners/sides it will have, the shape of the various sides, etc.). and how to create a paper pattern that they will tape together to make sure every part fits together. 

Student independent activity
Students will be taking photographs for their transfers and sketching out at least two designs for their slab pots. Once their sketch is approved they can begin making their paper pattern and testing out the parts until they all fit together.

Closure/Review Days 3-10
• Slabs will be rolled out for each class. I will demo cutting the slabs around the paper pattern pieces. Remind them that large pieces need to be slightly firm to work with. There are hair dryers around the class to firm them up. You must score and slip the ends of each part where you want them to connect and rub the clay edges into one another. Also, use small coils in the corners and connecting cracks to further strengthen the attachments (especially the bases!).

Cover your pieces with a plastic bag to keep in moisture before you leave. Leave them uncovered when you are finished to start the process of the clay becoming leatherhard. Once they become harder, begin sanding and smoothing out the sides. The more even the surface, the better the photo transfers will adhere to the surface.

Once the pots are fired, students will clean off the surface by wiping the clay off with a damp sponge or a soft paintbrush. At this point all photos should be sent to me (or brought in on a disc or jump drive, etc.) and students should have measured the sides they want any transfers on to fit on exactly. They should have a plan for the placement/layout of their photos.

I will introduce the photo transfer process using lazertran. If time permits, students should glaze their pots to provide a glossy, nonabsorbent surface to transfer to. However, as a faster alternative students can use a thick layer of mod-podge on the bisque clay to coat the surface. Once this dries they can began the transfer process:
        1. cut out the image in the shape and size you want it to appear on your slab design
        2. put it picture side down in a container of warm water to prevent curling
        3. wait around 30 seconds or until the picture begins to show through the backing and separate from it
        4. 
gently slide it off the backing paper and gently pick it up with with two fingers
        5. place it on the surface and smooth it down lightly with one finger to secure it and remove air bubbles
        6. once it is almost dry, coat it with another layer of mod podge and allow this to dry
        7. After your photos are transfered, add other elements to complete your deisgn: more with mod-podge such as magazines, newspaper, or tissue       paper to collage around the photos and/or add paint.
        8. Add a few thin layers of protective acrylic coating spray as a final step!

VII. Evaluation Strategies Formative-with an explanation of what their photos are of and how they are meaningful to them and relate in theme. The photos should be not only of something that is meaningful to them, but taken in a purposeful and meaningful way (i.e.: the student meant to include what they did in the viewing frame and not include other elements).  
For other parts of the unit, I will walk around to see that students are following the activity and instructions correctly. Did they create an original slab sculpture or pot design? Did they create a clay form that is sturdy and strong enough to withstand the firing process? Are they following the steps necessary to perform a successful and smooth transfer to their ceramic surface?

Summative- I will assess students understanding by having them fill out their own self-evaluation form, in addition to, my own grading rubric. I will use their own evaluations along with their finished product to check to whether they have meant the objectives and lesson specific requirements.

IX. Suggested Supplemental Activities
Students could create a class mosaic mural using clay slabs and transfers to communicate ideas related to the theme of school community.