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Re: [teacherartexchange] HS sculpture ideas for Air Dry clay and plaster gauze


From: Judy Decker (jdecker4art_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Jan 21 2012 - 12:45:59 PST

Hi Maggie - and all,

I have found that air dry clay works for addition sculpture - building
up the clay over foil and wire armature. Students need to make sure
clay can shrink - so foil and/or paper shouldn't be packed too
tightly. Work must be wrapped well in plastic until finished. For some
lively painting ideas, look up Oaxacan carvings and papier mache. By
the way, I am now the proud owner of two Zeny Fuentez floating fish
(from Crizmac). I love his work.... and if you Google him, you will
see that outside of Crizmac, his work is quite pricey now.

There is a lesson on IAD for organic sculpture using clay. Once you
get the clay in working state, it can be used for this type of lesson
- using alternative finishes (paints and stains).

For sculpture ideas for plaster gauze - check out the work of African
American Ben Jones. You get the best of both ideas - masks and arm
casts. Students can create a type of self portrait - casting their
face and arm.

I did an assemblage sculpture lesson with 8th grade once - boxes,
tubes etc....they covered that with the plaster gauze, primed with
white paint -- then painted with Ndebele style design (I have a nice
book on art of the Ndebele - plus had a video). A cast face was part
of the sculpture, but wouldn't have to be.


Judy Decker

On Sat, Jan 21, 2012 at 4:52 AM, Maggie White wrote:
> Greetings from Muscat, everyone,
> I'm about to enter Semester 2 of my first year here.  What a trip, on many
> levels!  The art department was a real train wreck when I arrived but thanks
> to very supportive admin I've been able to effect some positive changes.
> Based on the previously approved curriculum, I'm slated to teach sculpture
> for the next semester.  Sculpture is SO not my area, though I did teach it,
> a little, in the past.  I've gotten a few ideas from IAD that I can pull
> off, but as there's (almost literally) a ton of air dry clay in the
> storeroom that is slowly getting harder, I was wondering if you have any
> non-dorky ideas for HS students that I can use it for.  Some of it feels
> close to leather hard and could be carved, but I myself do not have the
> Michelangelo gene and am unable to see any figure in a piece of marble or
> plaster or anything else other than the shape it already is.  We also have
> enough of that plaster gauze stuff to set two broken limbs on every student
> in the school.  Any ideas for that other than masks?
> Thanks,
> Maggie

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