3rdgraders’ handmade books are hanging in the halls of Hilton. In honor of the Irish cultural garden in Hilton’s new courtyard, we studied art made by the ancient Celts. We learned that the Celts did amazing metal work. We learned to do metal carving with lines that pop out (repousse) and lines that sink in (incision,) to make beautiful symmetrical designs for our book covers.
We then looked at an Irish treasure, The Book of Kells, an ancient book created in the year 800. The students used an initial from their name, and inspired by those in The Book of Kells, created an illumination to light up the first page of their book. Their illumination illustrates something they like to do. Using calligraphy pens and ink the students finished their names. We wondered what it would be like to write an entire book by hand, in that way!
We compared/contrasted the “then and now,” use of technology to make our different pages. Students were surveyed and asked which technology they preferred. Of the 66 third graders that responded, 38 preferred the “then” technology-making their handmade page and 28 preferred the “now” technology of the wordle page. Reasons given were, “you get to type all the time, but I hardly ever get to paint, I love to paint”…”it felt like I went back in time,” and “I am a total Internet fanatic!”
The Cleveland Museum of Art currently has exhibitions (until January) of art from the Middle Ages, that reflect what we have just studied.
The Glory of the Painted Page has on view many texts from all over Europe with real illuminations and Treasures from Heaven shows objects made with out of this world metal work. There is even a hands on metal work workshop with the jewelry and metal teacher from the Cleveland Institute of Art for families on Dec. 5th from 1:30-3:30. Click on the illumination for a link to the museum and more information and great slide shows of the art!