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Ode to Self: Whimsical Plaster figures inspired by figure drawings and Niki de St. Phalle

A primary focus for my 8th grade curriculum is self.  I like to give my students opportunities to explore a variety of materials and to create two and three dimensional work in the process of self discovery.  This project meets all the criteria.

We begin the project with figure drawing.  Students who feel comfortable posing for the class hold a 1, 2  or 5 minute pose.  We also do some drawing in small groups with one group member posing while the other group members draw.  With the short drawing time frames the students focus on gestures.

Next, I share images of sculptures by artist Niki de St. Phalle.  Her large scale figures are fun and flamboyant.  My students enjoy seeing her whimsical forms.

040408niki23  Niki 46art2  Niki 1379b  

Next, the students use wire to create armatures which are inspired by their favorite gestures.  They consider favorite activities and other important aspects of self which they may choose to incorporate into their sculptures.  Then the students add tin foil to give volume and form to the figures.  When the figures are structurally sound the students cover the figures with plaster wrap and paint them.

   Plaster figures 004  Plaster figures 001  Plaster figures 002 Plaster figures 003

My students really enjoy the process and the end products are great!


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