When I was young, we made sand castings at the beach. One would find shells and rocks to lay into the damp sand and a parent would pour prepared plaster of paris (made with sea water) over the creation. Once the plaster had cured, we would dig out the plaster and have a unique art piece. I wanted my students to try this type of art
For this project, I used damp playground sand into shoe boxes. The students came out of their regular class in small groups to work with me. They dug a small hole in the sand in any shape they chose. They could press things into the sand to create a relief or they could add shells, beads or bottle caps to create their sand casting.
Once the sand mold was complete, the plaster was mixed according to the package directions and then poured into the mold.
A boy pressed then removed plastic soldiers for this sand casting.
When the plaster became thickened a bit, I pressed a paper clip into the plaster to create a way to hang the art and wrote the student’s name so we could easily identify the art.
Because we had a limited amount of boxes and sand, as soon as they were dry enough to remove, we did. We carefully unmolded them and allowed them to dry overnight. Excess sand was brushed off with a paintbrush.
Here in San Diego, we have two public art sand castings made by Charles R. Faust (1922-2000). One is at the San Diego Airport Terminal 1 and one is at the Chula Vista Nature Center. If you get a chance, go look at them. They are simply amazing. There may be others out there by “Uncle Chuck” but those are the two I know of.
I am credentialed in K-8 and have an art supplement for grades 9 and below. My current job is only part time but I do love teaching art so I supplement my income by substituting in our district.
I started as a classroom volunteer in the district in 1998. I started doing centers in my daughter’s first grade classroom in 2004. We did science and art projects that I brought in-everything from bubble prints to erupting volcanoes to pounded flower art to quilt squares to adinkra cloth. I worked closely with the classroom teacher and we worked out a schedule such that the projects I brought in worked perfectly with the classroom curriculum.
That same year, the school site adopted the Arts Attack Program and I became an art docent. I more or less used those lessons in the first year of the program but then began doing my own lessons that linked the art lessons to the classroom curriculum.
When a new school opened in our district, those families wanted an art program. When they asked me about how they could get art into the classrooms, I told them about all the programs I knew of that were being offered in our district (Meet the Masters, Art Corps, Arts Attack, etc.). The majority were run by volunteers.
After looking at all of their options, members of the PTA and foundation along with the school principal came and observed me teaching a lesson and talked with the students and the classroom teacher. They also visited with another teacher I was working with that year to see the lessons I had done with her class and to talk with that teacher and her students. They chose me to teach art to their students.
I decided to start a blog primarily as a reference for me. If it helps someone else, that is great. I have been teaching art at the same school in San Diego since 2009.