Marc Chagall: stained glass windows

I promise that I'll update this blog more often. Its Spring here in So Cal, and it feels good to be out in the sunshine instead of sitting in front of a computer screen!

As I've said before, this blog might venture a little off track in terms of modern art. This year, we've focused on lots of fundamentals, so what we've been creating in the classroom is a little different from what we've done in the past.

But back to some fabulous modern art in the form of stained glass windows by Marc Chagall. Chagall was a wonderfully whimsical artist who was a born in Russia. Being Jewish, many of his paintings reflect a religious overtone. Chagall is most known for his vibrant use of color, as well as the stained glass windows at the Metz Cathedral in France. He was entranced by the way the light reflected through the stained glass, and how it was constantly changing. This was a project he took on while he was in his 70's!

I wanted to create a paper project that had the similar effect of stained glass. Taking cues from that old elementary school project of melting crayons between wax paper, this project involves torn colored tissue paper and matte medium.

  • Consider setting up three work stations: one to sort through the tissue paper and lay out design, another to glue down design with matte medium and a third to iron the designs.
  • Before class, I went ahead and cut the wax paper to mimic the shape of a rounded window. Each student
  • Instruct your students to create a design using torn pieces of colored tissue paper. I bought the big pack of tissue paper that contained a huge variety of colors. Also a wide, shallow rubbermaid bin to contain all of the torn pieces of tissue paper you are bound collect. Discourage the use of scissors because you want the overall feel to be a whimsical, organic one. Some children will freak out by this, enjoying the control scissors can bring. They need to loosen up! Also, inject some thin pieces of black construction paper because they will mimic the look of the lead in a authentic stained glass.
  • I experimented with what I would use to adhere the tissue paper to the wax paper, since we aren't working with sticky wax. Glue would be a little too sticky and goopy, so I decided to use some watered down Matte Medium. You know me and my Matte Medium! I think decoupage glue would work just fine.
  • After the students have laid out their tissue paper in a satisfactory design, allow them to lightly coat it with the Matte Medium. Yes, the tissue paper will move around some, it might rip too, just remind the students of the potential for creative greatness in moments like these!
  • Once they've finished coating their design with Matte Medium, it's time to sandwich it with another piece of wax paper. Then its off to the ironing station.
  • Please have one of the classroom helpers help your students with the ironing of their stained glass window pane. We used it on the lowest setting.
  • Before your eyes, the heat will melt the Matte Medium and it will dry your tissue paper design.
  • While I was preparing for this project, I cut several "frames" out of black construction paper. The students can then sandwich their project in between two of the frames, glue it together with stick glue and then use scissors to cut any excess wax paper. This way they will get a nice, neat and round stained glass window.

The artwork above was created by a fourth grader.

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1 comment:

  1. I just happened to find your wonderful blog about art for kids… my favorite topic!!… I’m enjoying looking at all your photographs, and will spend a little time browsing through your blog. I especially like how you relate to modern masters like Chagall. I wrote a book called "Discovering Great Artists" and another called "Great American Artists for Kids", so I appreciate what the kids are learning and how great masters can inspire them. Meanwhile, please encourage your readers to visit my new blog
    and my website
    for lots of art ideas and many free art activities from all of my 25 books.

    Thank you for all you do for children,
    MaryAnn Kohl
    art author


Artistically speaking....

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