My students and I worked as sculptors and created figures inspired by Alberto Giacometti. We talked about how the figures made us feel. They are tall, lonely, and held to their bases with heavy feet. They are textural and monochromatic. I showed them photographs of the artist with his works and they could see how he looked like his artwork. We then talked about the process of casting a metal sculpture and one of my students wanted to know why we weren't going to do our sculptures that way. Since my studio doesn't have the capacity for a foundry, I made things up to them by letting the paint their sculptures with metallic acrylic paint.
We each started with an 8" square base of corrugated cardboard and four 12" lengths of light garden wire to create an armature. I've seen this lesson done with pipe cleaners as well, but I just couldn't cover them up! We began by placing the legs onto the base where we thought our figure should stand, and then poked the wires through the base, bent about a 1/2 " of wire flat long the bottom, and taped it there. These two lengths of wire became the bottom of the torso and legs. The third length became the arms, and the fourth was shaped into the head, neck, and upper torso. Next we took large pieces of aluminum foil and molded them around the wire armature to flesh out the figure's shape. The final stages were to wrap the foil with strips of plaster gauze to harden and solidify the sculpture and then to add a coat of acrylic paint. The children got to choose from copper and bronze. The final projects are coming up on my next post!