Last month students investigated the unique and delicate structures of microscopic zooplankton, the foundational organisms of the aquatic food chain. Inspired by the plankton themed wood carvings of Pacific Northwest artist Rebecca Welti, students used their hands to sculpt air dry clay into plankton figurines while grasping the concept of depth which separates the 2-d art element of shape from its 3-d counterpart, form.
This month students will move beyond ocean organisms to learn about the underground mysteries of mycelium and fungi. These webbed networks of decomposers are critical to soil health, inspiring new innovations in the creation of non-toxic plastics and building materials and have been utilized by artists as natural sources of organic printmaking materials for centuries.
Students will explore the artistic work of spore printing artist Marlana Stoddard Hayes examining her mixed media layered painting techniques which create rich and vibrant smatterings of texture throughout her canvases. They will also learn about a variety of other printmaking techniques including etching, lithography, monotype and linocut. Students will create relief prints using a wooden stylus to design and carve their own mushroom and mycelium-inspired designs and then print them using tempera paint on paper.