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Lesson Plans

Re: Sculpture for blind children

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Bunki Kramer (
Sat, 10 Apr 1999 01:18:52 -0700 (PDT)

I taught a lesson awhile back to visually handicapped students and it was
successful enough that I re-taught it to my reg. class of students but they
were blindfolded. We made plaster carvings emphasizing tactile qualities of
smooth line, fingers traveling in and out of the artwork and the quality of
it "feeling good to the touch" as opposed to only the visual image.

I would mix the 1 part plaster of paris, 1 part vermiculite (small size),
and 1 part water. You can use any measuring container but use the 3 parts
in the above proportionally. Two med. coffee cans of each mixed together in
a bucket provided for 6 kids. I'd make the mixture and when it started
setting up, I'd pour it out onto a newspaper-covered table into 6 stickly
puddles. Kids would scoop up their puddle and make it into a ball quickly
before it really hardened. The balls would be slimy and cool but in five or
so minutes we would go back and feel them as they started to get warmer as
the chemical reaction took place. We'd leave them out unwrapped on the
cabinet for the day. The next day they would be perfect for carving with a
butter knife or small paring knife. We'd make "holes" in the balls and
smooth the edges to the holes so the fingers would run over and through the
balls smoothly. Messy so we'd do it outside under a big tree. I put the
finished sculptures high up on my cabinets so the hot air will dry them out
well. After 3-4 weeks we like to sandpaper them for REAL smoothness.

Every time we do this project, I am required to make two extra balls for
the principal. Seems HE also likes to carve home as stress
relief! It IS relaxing to rely on your other senses besides sight.


Bunki Kramer - Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Rd., Danville, California 94526