Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Chinese Repousse

This time of year the sixth graders begin to study Ancient Chinese history.  So a project that I have done for several years is make chinese characters in foil with a repousse technique.  I am sure I have borrowed parts of this lesson from others that I have seen, but I am not even sure anymore where I got the initial idea.

This year's class I think made some of the best projects ever.  Well maybe not, but for some reason the overall process went the smoothest it ever has.

The first week we learn how to draw the chinese characters in a block form, then they can either pick one of those examples or I looked up some other words for them to try.  Some of the words have 3 -4 characters and that was just way too overwhelming for some of them.  They then drew their word on a 6x6 piece of newsprint paper.

The second week, I gave them all a piece of foil in the color that they wanted, and I demonstrated how to do the repousse technique.  After that they spent the class period raising up the metal.  I have learned over the years that a magazine under your project will actually help pop out the image faster.  Of course that also means a better chance for popping holes, but I explain slow and steady.

The last week, we either applied an antiquing finsih with India Ink or they could use a paint color to highlight their image.  We then mounted them on 8x8 pieces of colored paper.

I think they look like the kids had fun, or at least they seemed to.

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