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!