5 Affordable Investment Purchases For Art Teachers
If you are an art teacher who is brainstorming ways to make smart long-term purchases for your classroom, here’s a list of 5 affordable investment purchases for art teachers. Maybe you have a little extra money left over at the end of the year, or have some funding coming in soon at the beginning of the next school year. These 5 items are a little more pricey than some art materials, but they’ll open up new horizons for your school’s art program. These slightly bigger ticket items are:
Linoleum carving tools for your class
Linoleum carving tools are a sustainable investment purchase that your class can use for years to come. Most lino carving tools come with several removable heads that can be swapped out for different effects, perfect for a diverse array of projects. Plus, lino carving heads can be sharpened, meaning that they can be used and reused time and time again. Just one line tool with different heads runs just over $10, meaning that a full class set would be around $200-350. However, this one time cost will pay itself back over just a few school years.
Adobe Creative Cloud subscription
There are flexible pricing options for teachers and schools listed on the Adobe Creative Cloud website, with several options available depending on how many licenses you are interested in obtaining. Adobe Creative Cloud includes Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, Premier, After Effects, and Fresco, perfect for digital illustration, photo editing, and video editing. Just one license would allow different classes to use various programs, depending on their focus. The graphic arts are becoming more and more prevalent, and a head start in using these programs is incredibly useful for students interested in art.
A pottery wheel
A pottery wheel is a fun and rewarding investment for all of your classes. Pottery wheels allow you to expand your clay and ceramics units and try out tons of different techniques. They’re also super fun and sure to get your class engaged and excited. If you generally teach handbuilding techniques, adding a wheel throwing unit immediately after will extend and enrich the learning experience. Even one pottery wheel is enough for a class. You can teach a tutorial with all of the students gathered around. Then, each student can try their hand at the wheel throwing. Other students can work on other projects during this time, or observe to learn from their peers as they work through the process.
3D printers are becoming more and more accessible, as they decrease in price and become more widely available. They’re a great way to hone coding and computer science skills, while skewing towards the creative. Students can learn to create anything, from practical items with everyday uses, to purely decorative sculptures! Smaller models are just a couple hundred dollars and are sure to cause a big stir, getting kids involved in the process of figuring out how to 3D print. You can even team up with a science or computer science colleague to make an interdisciplinary 3D printing unit.
Membership to a space with a kiln
Pottery and ceramics lessons can be very limited in a school that does not have access to a kiln. Some schools, generally high schools, may have kilns in the building. However, it is not realistic for most of us. Huge, very expensive, and somewhat hazardous, buying or building a kiln is not an easy endeavor. However, many local pottery and ceramics studios have memberships you can purchase to use their kiln for a selected time. They may offer special discounts to teachers or schools. Depending on your school’s budget allocated to field trips, you may even be able to take your class on a field trip to fire their own pieces!
Although each of these items may seem expensive, there are much cheaper options available via sites like Amazon, Blick, or local art resale or recycling sites. They’re also reusable investments that can be utilized for years to come. Always make sure to ask about teacher discounts, as you may be surprised how many stores have unadvertised deals and coupons. Check out the Wasteshed as well, Chicago’s art supplies thrift store that features a totally free section of the store for teachers.
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