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Visual Arts Lesson: Missal Stand/Lectern

Creating an embossed bird design


•Knowledge and skills. Complete TEKS for 6th grade art.

1. Perception: a. and b.
2. Creative expression/performance: a. and c.
3. Historical cultural heritage: a. and b.
4. Response/evaluation: a.


•Students will research this work to determine its use and significance in viceregal Mexico. This should include the material it is made of and what role silver played in the history of the country.
•Students will describe the symbols portrayed on this work and their meaning.
•They will analyze the process used in creating this piece.
•The students create their own designs of birds in an embossed style.

Introducing the
Work of Art


Large Image

•Students will determine the function of a missal stand in the church. Where would it be placed what would it hold. What material is it made up and what significance did silver play in the history of the country.
•Students will discuss the symbols in the piece and their significance in the church. They should discuss how eagles are used in this country as symbols and find examples of them?
•Student will describe the silver missal stand demonstrating knowledge of the elements and principles of art
.•While viewing a large image of the missal stand, discuss and research the process of creating it including making a wood core, covering with silver, decorating with embossment, carving, fretwork and gilding.
•Students will list all the parts of the eagles shown including the claws and note the careful rendering of details.

Art Activity

•Students will create bird embossings that recreate the type of detailed design shown in this silver piece.
•Students will begin by studying and sketching bird images. This might involve a field trip to the zoo, bringing a caged bird into class or sketching on the school patio after spreading bird seed. Each student will select the best and most detailed of their scketches
•To prepare the base have the students cut styrofoam (meat trays can be brought from home) into small squares or rectangles (6 by 6 or larger) and coat evenly with liquid white glue. Place a larger sheet of thin aluminum foil over the surface and press firmly. Fold the edges over the back and glue them down smoothly. Let this base dry thoroughly.
•Students will use a dull pencil or pen to press the bird drawings into the face of this board. Encourage the students to show detail of feathering and features of the birds they have observed and drawn
• When detailed drawings are complete black shoe polish or oil paint can be rubbed into the lines to show off the details. • • • Polish the finished pieces with a dry cloth to remove excess black material and mount the pieces for display with an image of the silver missal from the Collection.

Evaluation Procedure • The students will discuss their bird embossments and explain their representation of bird features and how it relates to the representation of birds on the silver missal from the Franz Mayer Collection.
• Each work should show a detailed embossment of a bird that shows characteristics of the birds that were studied as subject matter. See assessment matrix.

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