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we're doing low relief sculpture a la frank stella's recent work now in my
7th grade classes as part of our modern art unit. we cut shapes out of
posterboard, paper, cardboard, plastic, etc. paint and assemble layered
constructions like stellas. for surface treatments we explore different
techniques like spattering and marbling and also patterns from different
cultures (also one of stella's inspirations). we love it and are having a
blast! relatively cheap, too, materials-wise. another popular sculpture
project for my middle schooler: animalitos based on oaxacan sculptures. we
make them out of sculpey polymer clay. also, mobiles are great and there
is a wonderful calder video about his last project, the mobile in the nat'l
gallery we watch for ideas... we use found objects but they are NOT trash
mobiles. i strongly emphasize thoughtful choice of materials and elements
and principles of design. have not done much with it myself yet but i
think soft sculpture, fabrics would be neat.