Sunday, November 27, 2011

Circle Compositions on Fabric: Glue Batik!

Donita's work demonstrates her understanding of repetition, pattern, movement and variety.  She masterfully drew this composition with a drippy bottle of gel glue!  Talk about excellent craftsmanship!

This lesson was inspired by a wonderful tutorial on how to create beautiful fabric art using washable gel glue.   I learned about how to use the glue to make a design that  looks very similar to traditional hot wax batik.  Check out her blog at www.that artist  In her tutorial, Gail showed an example of gel glue batik that was a colorful wall hanging of autumn trees.  I was very inspired by her results and decided to gather the supplies I would need to have my 8th grade art students try this method!

I was very fortunate that on the day I visited  the Rhode Island Recycles for Education center there was a mountain of pre-cut white cotton blend fabric!  I had planned on having to cut up old bed sheets, so this was a great find that certainly made my prep work much easier! I purchased enough fabric for all of my students for under five dollars.  I had some money left from a fundraiser from last year so I purchased the gel glue for about thirty dollars and it was time to teach the lesson.  I made a handout with biographical information about the artists Sonia and Robert Delaunay. This husband and wife team of artists both made many paintings using circles as the main motif.  They greatly influenced each other and it was interesting for the students to try to guess which artist painted each of the exemplar paintings that we looked at.  An example of one of Robert Delaunay's circle paintings is below.

<b>Robert Delaunay</b> : Joie de vivre
For this lesson, I asked my students to make an original composition with a variety of circles and in contrasting colors.  I also stressed the importance of creating movement when they designed their image; the viewer's eye would need to travel throughout the picture.  They completed a series of pencil sketches using overlapping circles, concentric circles, partial circles and repeating circles.  When we were all on the verge of being overwhelmed with all these circles it was time to select our favorites and move on to using glue on the fabric.  Stay posted for some incredible circle compositions done in gel glue batik! 


Phyl said...

I am currently doing a similar batik project, using a mix of toothpaste and aloe vera lotion. Some students used the get glue when all the bottles of toothpaste mix were in use, but we found the gel glue to be a LOT harder to wash out. Did you find that to be a problem?

one little deer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
one little deer said...

Yes, I agree that the gel glue is very difficult to wash out especially if the entire shape has been masked out with the glue. I bought a few inexpensive angled handle scrub brushes and we pre-soaked the fabrics in very hot water for a few minutes and that seemed to help. Overall the results were worth the hard work, but it wasn't the easiest process! Thanks for reading and commenting on my lesson!