Students work cooperatively to make hand painted silk banners to hang in their schools, learning the steps of silk painting by first collectively choosing a theme. All students participate and work together on the steps, including individual and class research of images, respecting each others ideas and artwork to create a 20 foot all- class banner or several 6 foot banners that convey their theme(s) pictorially in a cohesive and artistic way.

Arts and Academic Standards

  • Help students explore and describe the use of ideas, techniques and problem solving in the creative process.
  • Help students create, present or perform a work of art that demonstrates an idea, mood or feeling using essential elements or organizational principles.
  • Give space for students to engage in informed and respectful discussion of issues, events and ideas.
  • Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem, taking into account relevant scientific principles.
  • Help students measure and estimate lengths in standard units.

Silk Painting Residency
The beauty of hand painted silk is unique, totally fun and quite a learning experience. The steps of silk painting start with everyone collectively agreeing on a theme. It can be one the teacher is having the class learn about or one that the students vote on. They first start by drawing the images on paper together with chalk, then stretch silk on a frame and “draw” the pattern with gutta resist on the silk. The class then paints with colorful liquid silk dyes to finish the piece. The project can be completed in 5 class periods.

There are options for size of banners and choices for ages:
1 One all-class 20 ft.long x 21/2 ft wide banner . This large size makes a dramatic artistic statement that the whole school can be proud to have.
2 Four 6 ft. long banners that teams with 8 students each work on together. Each team can choose a different theme.
3 Seven 31/2 ft.x 21/2 ft.frames of silk to work on small collective themes by teams of 4 students
4 These same frames can also be divided into 4 sections for 4 students to create their own individual silk paintings. The silk is then cut apart after painting.
5 One 10″ wooden hoop for each student to create their own small individual silk painting on. This small size is good for Kindergarten & 1st grade ages. The individual silk paintings can be taken home.

The students do all the drawing & painting themselves and I advise them on compositions using foreground, middleground and background. I teach about color values of dark, medium and light and show how they can draw animals and habitat with the gutta resist. Color mixing with silk dyes is a perfect way to learn about the primary, secondary & tertiary colors. The class will also discuss the life cycle of the silk moth and a brief history of traditional silk making.
Silk painting is easier than most people think to do, so the students feel successful and proud of their artwork.