For weeks I have been collecting Styrofoam. I gathered Styrofoam molded in interesting shapes from the school trash, where I teach during the day. I also pulled my car over to the side of the road one morning on my way to work, when I saw a recycling bin overflowing with Styrofoam at the end of a driveway. Once I had enough Styrofoam I was ready to teach a three phase sculpture project. The first phase students create a 3-dimensional object using the Styrofoam. Students connect pieces of Styrofoam with toothpicks and tape. They shape the Styrofoam with their hands and scissors. This type of sculpture is called modelling, because it is assembling rather than taking away (carving). The next step students cover the Styrofoam with plaster strips. The students use their hands to lay and smooth the plaster strips onto their pieces. Plaster in strip form (gauze covered in bits of plaster) is a new material we will be exploring. The plaster strips permanently join the pieces of Styrofoam and unify the art work. Once the plaster has dried students can paint their sculptures.
My blog post next week will chronicle the 2nd phase of this sculpture project - using plaster strips!
Friday, November 30, 2012
Friday, November 16, 2012
The students in my sculpture class knew that red, blue and yellow are primary colors. Almost all of the girls knew that green, orange and purple are secondary colors. Fortunately, I had both primary and secondary colors on hand for the students to use, but if they desired another color they would have to mix that color themselves. The girls didn't mind filling their palettes with paint and mixing their desired hues. In fact, I think they enjoyed creating their own custom colors. Even though the wooden sculptures (made during the last class) looked great au natural, they were all getting a coat of paint. Some applied one color, others used two-colors, while even more chose multi-colors. Most used brushes to apply the paint, but a few used other methods. One girl used her fingers to dab the paint on. Two girls created interesting textures - one flung the paint on with her fingers (Jackson Pollack style) and another created a marbleized effect. When I talked to the girls during the art process I asked them how they came up with their painting techniques. They told me that they did it instinctively. I thought they felt safe and secure enough to try new things and take risks. The painted sculpture above looks like a painting. The sculpture and paint have morphed into a cohesive whole.
Friday, November 2, 2012
After a tough week dealing with weather related issues The Bronxville School came back to life today. The after school sculpture class was happy to be together again. The girls shared their experiences from the past week, while building wooden sculptures. I ordered two 5 pound boxes of assorted wooden pieces for this project. I sorted the pieces out on a work table by size - small, medium and large. The girls were eager to select their pieces and begin designing. Students made several trips to the box as their sculptures evolved. Many sculptures started out looking like one thing, then transformed into another. I saw students use balance, symmetry, and unity in their sculptures. Each viewer had their own ideas about what the other sculptures in the class looked like - a race track, a bowling ally, a person. I never can be sure what sizes, and shapes the pieces will be in the box, but I know they will provide many creative possibilities.