ArtLab @ Mt. Lebanon Public Library

School is out for our local schools so the Mt. Lebanon Public Library invited me to teach a program for grades 3 – 5. This program was 100% free for participants through Matt’s Maker Space. I created ArtLab so students could explore multiple printmaking/transfer methods in a short period of time. We discussed the scientific method and tested our theories throughout our class.

Groups rotated through three stations; watercolor experiments, marker transfers and shaving cream paper marbling. Groups spent about 10 minutes making in each space, completing one or two experiments each.

In watercolor, students tested solvency and fluid paths. Our tools were Dick Blick Liquid watercolor, brushes, spray bottles, water droppers, and oil pastels.

Marker Transfers

In marker transfers, students drew an abstract design with markers on aluminum foil. When the drawing was complete, they spritzed the foil with water and smoothed watercolor paper on top.

In paper marbling, students spread a layer of shaving cream on boards and used eye droppers to apply liquid watercolor. Using a popsicle stick, students connected the color droplets with varied lines. After placing watercolor paper on top, students squeegeed the shaving cream from the paper, revealing its design.

After a quick clean-up, I demoed radial designs and students created relief blocks with 2″ styrofoam plates. We printed with black block ink on colorful paper, which became the covers for their bound experiments.

I love mixing art and science in my lessons. So many tenants cross these disciplines and both cultivate inquiry, curiosity, exploration and confidence in learners of all levels.

I’ll be back at the Mt. Lebanon Public Library later this month for an adult watercolor class and early next month for an adult/child class for ages 2 – 5.

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