Students in middle school and high school learn the principles of design. One of the principles is the use of rhythm. Rhythm is an element that is repeated at regular intervals, like the rhythm in music. Everyday examples of rhythm are telephone poles or a picket fence. Variety is when the elements are different in some way. If birds are lined up on a wire at even intervals, that creates rhythm. If the birds are looking in different directions, and have their tails pointed up and down, that creates variety within the rhythmic element. It can be compared to music that has a regular tempo, but uses longer notes and rests to create variety within the rhythm.
Clay stamps can be used to explore rhythm and variety in a printmaking activity. To make this project you will need:
- Paper (stiff)
- modeling clay
- Poster paint
- Scrap paper
- Paper plates
- Pictures from calendars or magazines that illustrate rhythm and variety.
Modeling clay contains oil that will resist the water in the poster paint. It can be washed off when the activity is over. Play dough can also be used if modeling clay is not available. A recipe for homemade play dough that does not require cooking is 1 cup flour, 1 tbsp. Alum, 1 cup salt, and enough water to make stiff dough.
Plan your design on scrap paper first. Make a person, dog, cat or another animal that has arms and legs that can be placed in a variety of positions. Make each part a simple shape that is not connected to the other parts: head, torso, arm, leg.
Put a small amount of poster paint on a paper plate or scrap of cardboard. Gently press the torso stamp into the paint. Stamp the body in a regular pattern all over the page, evenly spaced. Make the other body parts from clay, and stamp them around each body, using a variety of poses. See if you can make enough variety that no two are exactly the same.
Sunshine State Standards
A. media, techniques and processes
1.3 organization/principles of design
- The student planned their work.
- The student made clay stamps for each body part.
- The student used rhythm, and filled the page.
- The student used variety.
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