Sunday, November 17, 2013

Stocking sculptures!

I know, you've seen these kind of sculptures posted elsewhere many times, but I wanted to share anyhow.  My five rambunctious DragonWing Arts students were beyond excited to make these, and didn't want any direction how to paint them.  Evidently they NEVER paint in their art classes in school, so I make sure we do some painting every week I see them.  For these sculptures, I gave them lots of colors, and advice on keeping brushes and paints clean, and let them at it.

 Here they are, hard at work.  And yes, I do have permission to use photos of them on this blog.
 Here are a few views of their work.  I don't know if they are all done, butI know that some are.
 
You probably already know how to make these, but if you have any questions, please ask.  Basically, my materials were galvanized tie wire (2 pieces per sculpture, approximately 2' long, 4x4x4 blocks of wood, nylon knee highs, some old house paint for primer, and assorted colors of acrylic paint.
Next post I promise to get back to some images from MASS MoCA and will talk in particular about the bizarre crash-landed Airstream trailer installation by Michael Oatman.  Bye for tonight!

12 comments:

  1. I always wanted to try these! They look great! How do you not ever paint in your art class at school? Sometimes i feel like thats all we do!!! :)

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    1. Mrs. C you should try. Them! They are easy and really don't cost much at all. I bought a 4x4 at Lowe's to cut up, and a roll of wire. Lots of people use coat hangers, but it find them difficult to cut and not as easy to bend and shape.

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    2. If I don't get to them this year(after April 4th I will be done with all my SGO data so I am saving some goodies to do with the kids when its all said and done...) I will definitely do them with my summer school kids this summer! Thanks! :)

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    3. They can be out together very quickly, so most of the time spent is actually painting time.

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  2. How many holes are drilled into the wood to hold the wire? Love these!

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    1. Debbie, I drilled 4 holes and let the kids use 2 pieces of wire each, though I have done it with 2 holes and one wire also.

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  3. Love this project (although I've never done it myself)!! It always makes me a bit sad to think there are kids out there that have such limited opportunities to paint and make the messier kinds of art.

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    1. Yes, Christie, I agree. Which is why, in just a few days, I'll be teaching a workshop called 'Say YES to the MESS!' at my state conference. No matter how challenging the teaching situation, I feel it is our responsibility as art teachers to provide a rich tactile experience for our students in art class.

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  4. Does the primer end up hardening the nylon or does it stay soft? I teach K-6, what grades do you think could handle this project?

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    1. Kelsey, this class of students is currently a mix of 3rd and 5th graders. I had a low temp glue gun plugged in, and I hot glued the ends of the wires in the drilled holes for the kids, and also hot glued down the edge of the sock and the bottom edge of the block. Everything else the kids were able to do themselves. I used discarded latex house paint as primer, and it worked great. They are somewhat stiff, but not completely, if that makes sense. Ideally you'd paint more than one coat of the sealer paint but we did just fine with one. I did give the kids a barrier hand cream to put oven, because they got a lot of the latex paint on their hands trying to prime it all at once, and I was worried that it doesn't wash off easily. You could do it with a gesso for primer too but that is pretty costly. Our primer wasn't even white, it looked like the color of makeup (if you look closely at the photos you will see it on the base of one of the sculptures - that girl still needs to finish painting). When I did this project in my classroom, I believe I did it with 4th and 5th graders.

      It's so easy - stick in the wire/glue it in place; slide the sock over and glue down the sock edges; pull, ben, and shape the wire till you get an interesting shape! Sometimes with one wire they look organic, like kelp, or O'Keeffe flowers petals, or sometimes with two wires they remind me of Boccioni sculptures. Try one yourself before you do it with kids. It's easy. By the way, I bought nylon socks in bulk at walmart I think.

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  5. I've seen these before but never tried it with my classes. I'm not sure what tie wire is! How thick is the wire...is there a gage number? Also where do I get the wire? I have art camps next week for Thanksgiving break. Could this been done in 3 hours? Thank you so much. Great Inspiration!

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    1. Jsf, I got the wire at Lowe's. I just looked for wire that seemed to hold a shape ok and also bend easily. Honestly I don't recall the gauge offhand, but it was close in thickness to a cheap coat hanger, maybe a little thinner. A roll cost me about $5 or $6 I think. If you look around at Lowe's you should find something to work.

      As far as how long they took, building them, maybe 1/2 hour (it will help if you have someone at a 'hot glue station' to get them quickly glued before priming. It took maybe 1/2 hour to prime them. This is an essential step and you need to have time for them to dry and harden. My kids painted them with the colors in about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. We used school-grade acrylics. I'm not sure whether tempera would hold up on them at all; I suppose if you added some glue or acrylic medium it would make tempera workable. So - as for your 3 hours - it's do-able if it isn't 3 hours straight. You absolutely need to get the primer dry before painting with color.

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