Serving Art Educators
and Students Since 1994


Sky McClain's Art Room

Sky McClain, Art Teacher
Kressen Elementary in  Voorhees Township, New Jersey

Sky McClainThe Voorhees Public school district is a kindergarten to eighth grade school district in southern New Jersey. They are one of the largest K to 8th grade districts in the state.


Say "Hello" to their energetic elementary Art Teacher, Mrs. McClain and enjoy the art of her students.


This year (2004) Mrs. McClain and her students studied the art of Japan. All grade levels learned about the culture and many of the fine artists.


These second graders looked at the work of Nam June Paik and then at some Japanese made robots. Then they made their own robots. They used wood pieces, Pipe Cleaners., garage odds & ends (Mrs. McClain sent a letter home asking for these), cardboard for the base, Elmer's Glue., and Tempera Paint.. A glue gun came in handy to glue anything that wouldn't stick for the children. To simplify, robot could only be painted silver. The base could be painted many colors. Each child wrote a little story about their robots - the robot's name, what it does, what was fun about making it, etc.


Japanese robots

This Robot is even playing the piano!


Japanese robot      Japanese robot      Japanese robot

Just imagine the Stories these robots tell! Give the personalities - likes and dislikes too.
See Junkmation - The "The Legend of the Sky Kingdom" From Zimbabwe.


Internet Resources:

Nam June Paik Korean/American Video Artist, Born 1932 Paik Video Sculpture exhibit

Nam June Paik Lesson Plan [Archive] - Albright Knox See Piano Piece [Archive]

Japanese robots - Sony | Robot Factory - Click names at left | Qonto Japanese Robot | Images


Ceramic catThis is a lucky cat made by a fourth grader. The cats were made of Crayola Model Magic and painted with tempera paint. They were attached to a cardboard base, covered with colored paper and decorated with Japanese calligraphy. Close to 100 children made them and each one was wonderful. Lucky Cat could be made with firing clay (pinch pot method) air dry clay - Paper Clay. or Polymer Clay. (Sculpey. or Fimo).


The Legend of Maneki Neko

In the 17th century, there was a rundown and poverty-stricken temple in Tokyo. The temple's priest was very poor, but he shared what little food he had with his pet cat, Tama.


One day, a wealthy and important man was caught in a storm while hunting and he took refuge under a big tree near the temple.

While he waited for the storm to pass, the man noticed a cat beckoning him to come inside the temple gate. This was so startling that he left the shelter of the tree to have a closer look at this unusual cat. At that moment, the tree was struck by lighting.


As a result, the wealthy man became friends with the poor priest, and the temple became prosperous. The priest and his cat never went hungry again.


When Tama died he was buried in the Goutokuji Temple's cat cemetery with respect and love, and the Maneki Neko was made in honor of him. A Maneki Neko in your place of business, your home or on your website is said to bring in good luck and visitors.


Maneki Neko is Japanese for "beckoning cat." The message he's holding says "Please come in. You are welcome!" and he is beckoning you with his paw. (In Japan, the gesture of beckoning is pretty much the reverse of the gesture used in the West.) From:


Maneki Neko (Lucky cat) [Archive] is a cat doll which is believed to invite money, people and good luck with its paw.


"Each Maneki Neko's color and inviting paw has its own meaning. Right paw invites money, while left paw invites people or guests. The most popular Mike-neko cats (a white cat with brown and black spots on it) invite good luck. Black cats keep away disease and evil, and golden cats invites money, of course."