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Reflective Decoupage

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Keywords: Decoupage, Layout, Painting, ARTS
Subject(s): English/Language Arts, Art, Technology
Grades 7 through 12
Original Author: Melissa Stuart, Lehman
Students in grades tenth through twelfth have an art elective taught within our school. The class is craft and project based where the studentís final works are placed on display for our school art show. One of the most favorite projects has been the decoupage project which includes buckets, wooden boxes, various wooden furniture pieces, and wooden eggs. These objects are then covered with pictures chosen by the student. Traditional projects have been based on famous artistís works or pictures from the internet that the students have chosen. Many students have asked to expand on the traditional methods of decoupage by using or incorporating photography. The concept of allowing students to create a collage of photographs which they have taken could then be explored. Cameras from this grant coupled with the awarded supplies will allow our students to independently work on the subject matter of their choice. The photos would be used to present a lasting memory of their ideas in a work of art done with decoupage.

To begin the project, the Art teacher will introduce the steps of decoupage. This includes how to sand the object they plan to decoupage, painting the object, spraying the prints, cutting the prints, gluing the prints to the object, polyurethaning the object, steel-wooling the object, and re-coating the object with ten coats of polyurethane. To complete the process the object will then undergo wet/dry sanding, after this a choice will be made to both buff and wax the object for a matte finish or a final coat of polyurethane for a gloss finish.

Once the project has been introduced, the students will be brought into the library over a time period of several weeks to work in the computer lab, reviewing the components of the cameras and the Tool Factory Software Package. The first class will allow the students to become familiar with the equipment before they check it out to work on their projects. During the class period, students will be given the opportunity to take pictures with the camera. Once the pictures are taken, the students will come back into the computer lab where they will work through the appropriate exercises in the Tool Factoryís Digital Camera Guide for Educators to learn and reinforce the camera components.

Working in groups, the students will cover topics that will include how to download the pictures from the cameras and how to save the photos into their personal student drives. The Tool Factoryís Digital Camera Guide will be used in this course to demonstrate the practical side of taking photographs, composition and common mistakes. Next, the students will cover the various programs including the Tool Factory Software Package. This includes Tool Factory Word Processor, Database, Spreadsheet and Painter. These will be covered individually in separate class periods. The Tool Factory Word Processor will be used to write the project descriptions for the individual art show displays and written project self critiques. These will be submitted for final grades. The Word Processor Program will also be used to generate the Art Program that will be used at the Art Fair Open House at school. The Tool Factory Database component will be used to demonstrate to the students the ease and effectiveness of compiling information for cataloging purposes, a practice that is not normally discussed, but can be covered effectively with the exposure to the Tool Factory Software. Additionally, topics will be used with the pictures collected to demonstrate the different uses in the Spreadsheet programs. This would include the gathering of all related information for the art show program. The Spreadsheet software will allow the students the opportunity to gather the various forms of art that will be displayed, connect the form to the artists and compare the analysis in their final critiques.

After the students have had the opportunity to work with the cameras, they will be released to take photos of their projects on a rotating basis; this will insure that every student will have the opportunity to use the cameras for his or her project. The students will have ample time to take their photos as this project takes place over a three month period. The total experience spans six months across three Art classes.

Once the students have their photos saved in the student drives, they will be brought into the library to cover the Tool Factory Painter Program. The students will learn the features of the program and be able to start preparing photos for printing. Once the photos are printed, the steps to the decoupage process will be followed by applying the prints to the chosen art piece. Tip: Using some of the features in the Painter Program such as washing, tinting, swirling, and stamping can completely change the overall original photograph.
This lesson plan idea was a joint adventure between the Library and the Art Department. Special thanks must be given to Mr. Richard Derby who assisted during the process and provided the original idea to start the grant project.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Journal writing to track students progress.
Materials: Point and Shoot, Word Processor, Spreadsheet, Database, Paint, Camera Bags, xD Memory Cards, Batteries
Other Items: 3 Camera Cases, $30.00 each, total of $90.00
3 512 MB Memory Cards, $50.00 each, total of $150.00
3 Lithumum Rechargeable Three Piece Battery Sets, $50.00 each, total of $150.00
3 CD ROM Bundles, $35.00 each, total of $105.00