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Re: [teacherartexchange] Need an idea for Styrofoam


From: Judy Decker (judy.decker_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu May 11 2006 - 17:47:41 PDT

Hi Carolyn,

Here is a lesson plan that used sheet styrofoam:

I wanted to use sculpture of Paul de Toit to inspire a styrofoam lesson.

You would need a hot wire for cutting the styrofoam. I was going to
use plaster gauze over the styrofoam - but you could just gesso it and
paint it.

These are some nice images of styrofoam sculpture in the photo
archives on Art Education list (Yahoo Groups). Subscribe info is on
Incredible Art Department.

This lesson plan uses sheet styrofoam for relief printing:

Judy Decker

Here is a post made by Marvin Bartel (March 8, 2006) on uses for sheet

Several things come to mind.

1. PAINTINGS. Seal it with gesso or water base flat wall paint and
use it to paint on. Most spray paint or oil paint solvents will
dissolve styrofoam unless it is protected first.

2. PRINTS. For printing, avoid lines. Try poking it down with a ball
point or pencil to make pointillist highlights.

2. SCULPTURE. Both free standing sculpture and relief work comes to
mind. It can be cut with sharp box cutter knives, utility knives, a
band saw, or with a hot wire (probably toxic fumes). Assemble
sculpture with white glue and tape. The tape can be removed the next

I might browse the drywall tape department of a building supply store
for various texturing materials for walls with which to coat the
completed styrofoam pieces. An assortment of dowel rods to combine
with the styrofoam shapes could facilitate planar-linear constructions
and relief compositions with negative positive interplay. Wheels
would be fun.

I would Google the images of Louise Nevelson and Moholy-Nagy to tickle
my own thinking about the kind of questions to ask and compositional
choices to pose in order to get them thinking and experimenting. I
might requiring a concept such as IMAGES or SHAPES in MOTION by using
repetition with variation. I would not show the Nevelson and Nagy work
until after they had developed their ideas and completed their pieces.
 This would facilitate an art history and composition discussion to
build on their own creative work.

On 5/11/06, <> wrote:
> I need an idea for Styrofoam sculpture for middle schoolers. I inherited
> the Styrofoam packing material from 60 new computer monitors. The pieces are
> flat, about 14 in. by 16 in., and about 1/2 inch thick.
> My "wheels are turning"!! I need your help!
> Carolyn in Va. Beach

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