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Lesson Plans

plaster sculpture

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
tgibbons (tgibbons)
Sat, 17 Aug 1996 21:04:18 -0500

Great idea for the plaster sculpture... I'm looking forward to trying
out the method you described. Here's another fun and cheap idea for
you... PLASTER EGGS. You'll need plastic soda bottles (20 oz. size work
best!), some round helium quality balloons, and plaster of paris. Start
by filling a plastic soda bottle half full with dry plaster. Add about
one cup of water. Put the cap on and shake. The plaster should be a
creamy consistency, so experiment first with the size bottle, and the
amount of plaster and water. Then remove the cap, and pull a balloon
over the mouth of the soda bottle. Invert the soda bottle and squeeze so
that most of the plaster goes into the balloon. Then wipe off the
balloon (so you won't get plaster in your mouth) and blow it up to the
size of an ostrich egg. After tieing off the end, begin slowly rotating
it in every direction so that you coat every part of the inside of the
balloon. Be careful not to squeeze the balloon as you turn it in your
hands. Don't stop until the balloon gets warm and its obvious that the
plaster is hardened. Last, float the balloon egg in a pail of cool
water. I found a small inflatable baby pool so I could float a lot of
eggs at one time. Let the eggs float overnight or until the plaster is
pretty well cured...then remove the balloon. This part of the activity
will almost perfectly fill a 45 minute class period, considering you'll
want to start with a short demonstration before letting each student
begin. Its also great for keeping them in their seats and quiet, since I
warn them that they cannot wander with a plaster "bomb" in their hands.
The next day or class, start on phase two of the project. Since some
eggs will undoubtedly crack, while others come out perfect, I tell them
that they can decide which comes first... "the chicken or the egg".
Meaning, that they can concentrate on decorating the egg like a fresco
(markers, watercolors etc.) or they can develop a sculpture of something
that might be hatching from the egg (like a bird, dinosaur or imaginary
creature etc.) The possibilities at this stage are endless, and the
students really enjoy the project. They especially seem to like creating
an interesting and appropriate display stand or nest for their eggs, and
some like to work together developing their ideas. If you'd like to see
an example, visit my brand new web site and check out the portfolio page.
I photographed the class example I made and put it there. Sorry if its
a bit slow to download, it has a number of other graphics. By the way,
let me know if the text is wrapping ok there. I designed it on a mac
using primarily netscape 2.0 and internet explorer. But a friend of mine
detected a text wrap problem when viewing it with her IBM. If you didn't
get the address, from my recent post, here it is:

Thanks, tgibbons