Welcome to another Wacky Workshops project – super easy sculpture.
Sculpture is three-dimensional art that can be created by carving, modelling, casting or assembling.
Sculptures created during the Stone Age have survived thousands of years and the elements and are still intact today.
One such sculpture, The Venus of Brassempouy, is about 25,000 years old and is believed to be one of the earliest known realistic representations of a human face.
It is now preserved in a museum near Paris, France.
One of the reasons for the longevity of ancient sculptures is the material they were made from.
Many were made from stone, and others from animal bones and ivory.
These days, sculpture is made from all kinds of materials, including paper, plastic, wax and food.
The kind of sculpture created depends on the materials used. Stone and wood are among the materials that can be used for carving. It involves cutting and chipping away at the material to create an art form.
Sculptures that are cast are made from materials that can be melted, often a metal. They are melted and placed in a mould where they are allowed to dry and harden.
Modelling involves materials that can be manipulated, such as clay and wire, and shaped to create a form.
Assembling involves gathering materials and joining them together.
We often think of statues when we think of sculptures, but even coins are a form of sculpture (casting).
Today’s Wacky Workshops sculptures use cardboard, clay and wire.
EASY SCULPTURE – CARDBOARD
Just by cutting a few simple cardboard shapes and joining them, you can make a sculpture. This project is to make an elephant but you can use the same technique to make anything your imagination comes up with. This is an assembly form of sculpture.
- Thick cardboard (like from a box)
- Template. You can get that here or draw your own.
- Download and print out the template, if using.
- Use the template to trace onto thick cardboard.
- Cut out the shapes – elephant body and two sets of legs – plus two tusks and the ears.
- Use scissors to cut slits at the bottom of the body, towards the back and one towards the front – where the legs should go.
- Cut slits in the middle of the top of the leg pieces and slide them into place.
- Glue the tusks into position and draw on the eyes.
EASY SCULPTURE – WIRE
Wire is a wonderful material for sculpting and lots of fun for children, though they made need adult help using pliers.
The beauty of this is that, unlike sculpture made from hard materials such as rock or clay, these wire sculptures can be continually transformed. This is a wonderful project to enhance imagination and creativity.
- Wire – the exact gauge doesn’t matter as long as it’s not too flimsy yet bends easily. It’s useful to have some thin wire handy to add the embellishments.
- A wooden base
- Random items, such as buttons, pipe cleaners and washers – whatever you have on hand. Set up a collection and let your child choose.
- Staple gun
- Cut a length of wire and wind both ends together.
- Use the staple gun to attach the joined end to the wooden base.
- Bend the wire for form a face shape.
- Use the random items you chose to create hair, eyes, ears and so on.
- The face can be manipulated to become happy, or sad.
- Extra embellishments can be added at will.
ABSTRACT WIRE SCULPTURE
A different play on this, maybe even better for younger children, is to attach several pieces of wire, different lengths, to a block of wood.
- Have the children load the wire lengths with colourful beads.
- When the wire is full of beads, bend the end part over and twist it around the main length of wire.
- Push a bead over the join and add glue to secure – you don’t want those beads flying off all over the place.
- Have the children discover what shapes they can create by bending the wire.
EASY SCULPTURE – CLAY
As someone who used to make and sell my own pottery (I even won a few art show awards), clay is my favourite sculpting material.
I love the feel of it and its versatility.
I used to fire my creations in a kiln to stoneware, to give them more strength and, depending on what I was creating, make them waterproof.
These days I just play around with air dry clay and it’s one of the favourites with my students. It costs about $13 for a small block from craft stores.
THE GOLDEN RULE
Instructions vary, depending on what shapes you want to create but there is a number one rule to share. When joining two pieces of clay together, ALWAYS scratch both surfaces with something like a toothpick to roughen them up and add a tiny bit of water before putting them together. Then, take the time to meld the join together, using a toothpick and just your nail, to ensure it stays intact when dry.
Air dry clay is not as durable as fired clay and you cannot make it waterproof. However, you can paint it (acrylic paint works well) and then varnish it, or use nail polish to make it a bit stronger.
To make a little person, roll the clay into sausage shapes. A large one for the body and smaller ones for the arms and legs.
Roll a ball shape for the head. We used an old garlic crusher to create curly hair.
Join the pieces together, remembering to roughen them a little, and use a toothpick to create facial features.
Check out how the Goddesses and I used assemblage to create our own version of The Wizard of Oz.
Happy crafting and have a gleeful week, Tamuria.