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Teaching | Collaged Rubbings

Over the next few weeks, I'll be blogging about my previous art lessons and their results for the purpose of documenting my work as an educator. This week, I'd like to speak on a project that built on the rubbings lesson I previously blogged about here: In that lesson, I had my high school students at The Saturday Program familiarize themselves with the technique of rubbing by taking transfers of objects in their homes. This was at the height of the pandemic when we were all stuck inside indefinitely. I felt that documentation was especially important during those unprecedented times. As rubbings are one of the most ancient methods of documentation (the earliest examples being Buddhist rubbings from the 8th century AD), requiring very few tools (paper, pencil or crayon), I thought they'd be perfect for our purposes!

In this lesson, we expanded on that exploration of rubbings to make collages from textures we found. Students were given the option to either take rubbings on separate papers and cut and paste them together, or to collage by selectively rubbing different surfaces on the same paper. My main goal for the semester was to equip my students with simple yet rich image-making techniques that they could explore during quarantine. We added collaging to the list on this day.

I began the lesson with a short warm-up where students practiced the technique of collage. Then we used a Random Word Generator to give us a prompt for our images. Although they were all using the same process, each student brought their own sensibility to the technique. Here are some of their lovely results!

Note: This class was conducted online. Students kept anonymous to protect their privacy.

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