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Here are two 'metal-working' techniques I use with my 7th grade arts
and crafts classes.
1) Low Relief Sculpture: Students use a cardboard base and add
layers of cut-out cardboard shapes; the more layers the better.
When the armature is done, it's covered with white glue. Pieces of
lightly crinkled foil are placed over the gluey armature and then
patted into all the cracks and crevices. Large pieces will require
multiple pieces of foil. After the surface dries, the foil along the
edges is trimmed to one inch and then turned and glued onto the back.
Students then blot black tempera paint onto the front surface, let it
dry for 5 minutes and then buff it off with multiple paper towels.
To hang the sculpture, we hot-glue a large paperclip to the back.
This technique simulates embossed metal very well. We have used it
for medieval shields in social studies as well as in art class
2) Aluminum Flashing Metal Sculpture: Non-galvanized aluminum
flashing is sold in hardware stores in 10 foot and 50 foot roles. It
comes in a variety of widths, up to 20 inches. It can be cut with
good scissors into a variety of shapes. It is the closest material
to Mexican tin that I have found. We have cut out shapes and then
done punched designs on them, using several magazines for backing,
old sharpened screwdrivers and mallets. These pieces can be colored
using permanent markers. We have also spray painted a base of enamel
paint and then added details in acrylic paint. The aluminum can also
be scribbed with lines, lightly pounded into concave shapes (old
sandbags work great for this) and bent into three-dimensional forms.
I find this material to have great possibilities and be quite
reasonable in price. I actually incorporate aluminum flashing into
my own mixed media sculpture!
Hope these ideas will help you out.
Emerson Junior High School