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Lesson Plans

another sculpture idea

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Bunki Kramer (
Thu, 15 Aug 1996 22:53:15 -0700

Hi........another successful idea. I have used plaster sculpture but with a
little diff. slant. Instead of using just pure plaster of paris, mix it
like this...1/3 plaster of paris, 1/3 water and 1/3 vermiculite (small
grain kind you can find in any large flower nursery). It makes the plaster
go a loooong way and sculptures much lighter plus gives it a texture. I've
used milk cartons before but my favorite way is to put newspaper on a large
table and 5 students work at one time. I put the mixture in a large bucket
and when it just starts to set up, I pour 5 large mounds on the newspaper.
The kids immediately start to form a large ball each with their hands. (I
demonstrate this beforehand so they know how fast they need to work.) I
like this method because they can feel the cold, claminess (is there's such
a word?) of the plaster as they work and go back 5 or so minutes to touch
it and feel how hot it becomes as it hardens! A little science here?

The next day we start to shape our sculpture with small paring knives (I
bought these at Target's...3 for $1). I ask them to dig holes going all
the way through the balls and start to carve in a sort of filigree way.
The goal is to have something smooth to the touch and interesting to touch
with the eyes closed...interesting tunnels and passageways for the fingers
to wander. After working each day, we wrap them in newspaper to keep
damp. Takes about 2 weeks to dry out when finished. I've never painted
them but you can with tempera. It's a messy project but I usually take the
students outside on the grass to carve and later wrap their project in
newpaper before re-entering the room.

Whenever I do this project, the principal asks me to make a ball for him
and HE makes one for his desk! He has several now in his office!!! He
thinks it's good therapy for him....oh, well, whatever!!!!!

Bunki Kramer
Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Road
Danville, California 94526

  • Maybe reply: Mark Alexander: "Re: another sculpture idea"