Sunday, March 8, 2015

Animal scupltures from cardboard tubes

Without a kiln and not being a huge fan of air dry clay, it is sometimes difficult to incorporate three dimensional projects in the art curriculum, but using recycled materials and paper mache makes this project economical and exposes students in second grade to three dimensional art. Not only that, but it has a cross curriculum connection to science by including research into animals and their habitats.
Using only newspapers, cardboard tubes, masking tape and paper mache craft glue (powder form), students can create a three dimensional animal. First step is to build an armature. Body and head shapes are created by crumpling newspaper into balls and wrapping masking tape around it. Legs, necks, and arms are created by the tubes. I tell students to use three pieces of masking tape to connect each tube to the body or head. Ears and tails can be cut from cardboard scraps and taped with masking tape to the body.

Once completed with the armature, students can begin the paper mache part. This can be incredibly messy, but most students thoroughly enjoy this step. Another discussion we have during construction of the armature is stability. We really want our animal to be able to stand on its own, so we need to work through any problems, such as the example below where the head is too heavy and the animal falls forward.

Building the armature and adding paper mache usually takes a couple of weeks worth of art classes to complete and students can then begin on painting and final details.

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