Monday, August 31, 2009

Stabile Staples

I have been using my summer time to scan the internet and look up art projects in books so we can have fresh projects for this next year. I have been inspired by many sites that give detailed instructions on how to complete projects at home. I have decided to do the same. Hopefully by doing this I won't be giving you a reason not to come to art class.
Today we studied Alexander Calder. You can learn more about him in the artist of the week section. He was the inventor of the mobile. He also created sculptures he called stabiles. The first moved, the latter didn't.
So the project went like this...

Styrofoam block
stem wire or pipe cleaners
needle nose pliers
paper or foam shapes.


Check out pictures of Calder's work. Give these parameters...
You may use two pieces of wire.
You may use no more than 3 different colors of paper or foam.
You can use no more than 2 different types of shapes, but you can repeat them in both a positive and negative way(ie: circle and heart, can be repeated with a circle cut out of a heart of vice-versa)

Have children plan their sculpture by drawing it out first. They can even practice with string. Once the wire is bent, it is really hard to get straight again, so string is a good way to practice how to get the feel of bending the wire.

Good elements to stress here are contour lines and how the wire is very much a line, but instead of drawing with the line we have to shape it.

Have the children anchor their sculpture in the styrofoam base. They must work out engineering and balance so that their sculptures do not tip over to one side or the other.

The younger kids had a great time with this project. They seemed to flow with the freedom and fun in this assignment. The older kids got a little frustrated with it. I think they thought it looked easier than it really was.
When it is deemed finished, you can paint the Styrofoam base or cover it with paper or cloth to match the colors used in the sculpture. Below are two samples that I completed.

1 comment:

Joanna said...

Looks cool, I especially like the second one.