Friday, April 01, 2011

Art methods: Sculpture

Hank's "art box" consists of the staples: crayons, colored pencils, pens, paper, scissors. Many of these items encourage art in a 2-dimensional way. For a toddler, it is interesting to see how an idea to draw a dragon manifests itself on paper. Fortunately Hank is not at the stage where he gets frustrated that he knows his drawing looks nothing like a dragon, and seems to acknowledge that his skills in drawing and painting are limited.

Hank is, however, a good builder - even in his own eyes. He builds towers and animal-like shapes (even putting eyes in the right place) out of Legos. At the beach, we make tunnels, bridges, and drip mountains. Using 3-dimensional media, his expression of "Look, I made!" does not require his parents to ask the dreaded "Oh, and what is it, sweetheart?" as frequently as we do when he draws us a picture (we do still debate, though, if a piece of toast nibbled just so more resembled a cow or a elephant). Of course we ask him to tell us about any of his creations, but you can tell he is more confident about the pieces he knows look more like he envisioned in his head.
Given his propensity towards building things, sculpture was sure to be a big hit. We are well-versed in Playdough, of course, but this was supposed to be an "art" experience, so I wanted to provide something new. I chose kind of a weird one for our first art lesson - rubbery flubbery dough (the flour I buy is kinda pricey, so I wasn't up for making a homemade playclay dough that day). Rubbery flubbery dough is basically just cornstarch, water, and salt (here is a recipe). It feels like hair gel when it is wet and gumdrops when it is dry. Interesting stuff.
We enjoyed playing with the dough, and making shapes like balls and snakes. I asked questions about what the dough felt like, and what happens when you press on it, etc. Then, I brought out a few items I had on hand to press into it. Hank liked feeling the items on their own, and then pressing them into the dough. Here are our mixed media sculptures
I like that they kind of look like little islands. Hank must have agreed, because he pointed to the one in the upper left hand corner and said There's a tree there. Definitely will be looking for more 3-dimensional art projects to explore! ********** Favorite of the day: How did I miss this place the last few visits to SF?? Working on: Hanging with the girls


telfair said...

Very cool! Thanks for the great idea. Hank is definitely artfully inclined. Lily loves 'art' too so will be trying this out soon. xoxo

Viv said...

Wow, Hank is getting so big! He's so darn cute too!

What a neat idea for little hands! I think the one diagonally left from the "tree" looks like a turtle and the one in the lower right is definitely a doughnut!

Frank Zweegers said...

Nice job!