As I share what I did, I made sure to note alternative media and methods. I am a big fan of Nasco, so I have links to their products should you need some materials for this. I am not earning any "kickbacks," and always recommend you call ahead of ordering and ask for free shipping and a 20% off discount code when ordering. Many of the alternate materials can be obtained for free anyway. In my example, I used polyester stuffing, but if you would like to incorporate more recycling, I could have swapped that out for plastic shopping bags. (I just didn't have enough for a whole class)
Wrapping and recycling are methods and techniques used by quite a few artists including Christo & Jeanne-Claude's early work, sculptures by Judith Scott, and contemporary artist Jean Draper.
- Research an animal that best emulates their personality
- Recycling and its importance
- Artists Christo & Jeanne-Claude, Judith Scott, and, Jean Draper
- Vocabulary: Armature, Bind, Emulate, Recycle
Visual Arts National Anchor Standards
#1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
#2. Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.
#3. Refine and complete artistic work.
#6. Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.
#8. Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.
#10. Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.
#11. Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural and historical context to deepen understanding.
It is important that each work be unique to its maker, so students should start by making a list of 5 action words (adjectives) they feel describe themselves. Then looking at that list, decide what animal has all or some of those attributes. This ensures individualized outcomes.
Students then do a simple sketch of that animal showing legs, tail, ears. The instructor should do a large sketch as well.
(If you have made an example, this is the time you can show it. Do not show it before students have chosen animals or many may copy it.)
Explain that the animal needs a skeleton, but in sculpture we call it an armature. The best armature is one that is made from a single wire without any breaks. It is helpful to have students draw a single line armature ON their sketches so they can get an idea of how it might look. Let students know that the wire allows the animal to be posed.
When armatures are complete, tape corners and connections so they don't move. Then add bundles of polyester fill (or plastic grocery bags) to the fatter areas of the bodies like the head or belly. Thinner body parts don't need filler.
Polyester Stuffing (or recycled Shopping Bags)
Aluminum Armature Wire (or wire clothes hangers)
Fabric Squares (or old clothing cut into strips)
and/or Binding Fabric (cut into aprox. 4" x 48" strips)
Yarn, or Yarn, or Yarn
Eye protection (or borrow from science lab in school)