Friday, October 26, 2012

BASC Fall 2012: Sculpture Class


A good teacher needs to be prepared for anything! When I came to The Bronxville School to teach my regular Friday afternoon class there was a lot of activity in the classrooms and hallways. Teachers and staff were in the midst of preparing for a potential weather emergency. Since The Bronxville School is prone to flooding anything on the first floor that is mobile was being moved to a higher floor or out of the building as a precaution. My art supplies are kept on the first floor and were being moved out of the building. Instead of painting the soft sculptures the students made the week before, I was left with a bag of assorted materials and a teacher's can do spirit. I had scissors, markers, paper, masking tape, string, foam beads, and self-adhesive letters. Students began by making signs with their names on them, then moved on to beading. A girl spontaneously started to make snowflakes, and before I knew it we were all making cut art. Everyone shared their cutting techniques for unique snowflakes. One girl surprised me by making a mini soft sculpture out of paper scraps and masking tape (photo above). Another girl made small foam sculptures scattered on a piece of paper. She carefully placed one foam bead on top of another and stuck them together with tiny rolled-up pieces of masking tape. All my students used the materials I provided well and were very creative. They also showed me that I am an effective teacher.

Friday, October 19, 2012

BASC Fall 2012: Sculpture Class

Soft sculptures are made with heavy weight paper, staples, and recycled newspaper strips. This project has multiple steps. The most important step is the design process. A design with small, narrow areas will not work. It will be difficult to stuff these areas with newspaper and the paper could tear. Designs with bigger, or more rounded areas will be easier to stuff with newspaper and be more successful. Spend time reviewing designs with students and have them revise their designs if necessary. Use paper that is heavy weight and fold the paper in half. Students should draw their design on one side of the paper. Carefully cut the design out so you have two identical pieces. Staple both pieces of paper together and leave an opening in a strategic spot so you can stuff the sculpture with newspaper. Once the sculpture has been stuffed staple the sculpture closed. The newspaper will bring your sculpture to life. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

BASC Fall 2012: Sculpture Class

A few years ago I went to Alaska and was in awe of the totem poles I saw there. I have been looking for a way to incorporate totem poles into my art classes ever since. Today, I had the kids make their own personal totem poles out of clay. Family, personal interests or pets inspired their totem poles. They rolled, pinched, pulled, and molded the clay. Pieces were attached by scoring (scratching the surfaces of the pieces being attached) and adding slip (a clay paste). Students carved into the clay to add detail. Wings, turtle shells, ears, elephant tusks emerged from the clay giving them dimension and life.

Friday, October 5, 2012

BASC Fall 2012: Sculpture Class


I was excited to meet new and repeating students at my kids sculpture class at the Bronxville After School Club (BASC). BASC is an after school enrichment program offered to students in grades 1 - 5. I have been teaching art at BASC for five years and always get inspired by what my students create. Using recycled foam as a base and pipe cleaners to create forms the students made gardens, cars and abstract designs. One sculpture initially looked like a cage, then turned into a car (photo above). As the students became more comfortable working with the foam and pipe cleaners they began to look for ways to expand on their creations. Toothpicks were used to attach the additional foam pieces. One student made a staircase, and others added on multiple levels that provided more room to create. At the end of class they shared their work proudly with each other and gave nice compliments.