Thursday, December 5, 2013

Rose Window with Markers

(sorry for the blurry pic)

This is a nice project to do in December as it is festive and wintery, yet you can still have a substantive discussion about an important bit of architectural art history, rose windows.

Materials: coffee filters, markers (ones that are water-soluble, so anything in our closet OTHER than the colored sharpies), black construction paper, scissors, glue stick, and a spray bottle filled with water

Background information:
This slide show has a picture of 2 rose windows. The first is a picture of the rose window in the Strasbourg Cathedral in Austria and is better suited for this lesson since it has more complicated metal work which is more like the effect the kids will create with the black construction paper & scissors. (We have another stained glass lesson which uses the Matisse window, the second slide, as its visual and I just stuck them in the same slide show for convenience).

(rose window from Strasbourg Cathedral)

I'd open the discussion using the Visual Teaching Strategy questions: 1. What do you see? 2. What makes you say that? 3. What more can you find?

{Things you may want to pull out from the kids, depending on their age: the idea of symbols. What do you think the designer of the window was trying to say? Do you think that the context of this piece of art, a church, has anything to do with that? Pattern and design: do you see repetition in the design? Why do you think the artist might repeat the design over and over? How do the artist's choice of materials (glass, metal), affect the final product of the art? (How is a window different than a painting, for example? A window requires light in order to see it…How could that be a symbol inside of a church?)}
It would probably be a good idea to read up a bit on rose windows so you have a framework for leading the discussion (here's a quick article from wikipedia).


Have the kids make a pattern on the coffee filter with the markers, and then spray the decorated filter with the spray bottle to see the colors blend together. OR you can spray first and the kids can decorate the filters wet. It's totally up to you. The difference is that they can make a more precise drawing with it dried but it doesn't really matter because either way it will end up kind of blurry and abstract.

While that dries, have the kids fold their black construction paper into 8'ths, and then cut into it to make a geometric snowflake-ish kind of thing. Unfold, glue the coffee filter (which has hopefully dried by now :) ) to it, and then have the kids cut the black paper so it matches the coffee filter.

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