Friday, February 25, 2011

William the Hippo Sculptures

I recently taught a lesson about William the Hippo, who is the unofficial mascot of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He is a small sculpture found in the Egyptian galleries, and is quite a popular artifact with museum visitors. William was found in an ancient tomb from about 4,000 years ago. Among many other objects, the hippo helps one on his journey to the afterlife. His blue color and lotus flower decoration represent the Nile River. It can also represent the celebration of the hunt. I thought, what a great idea for a sculpture project!

We worked in air dry clay, and started by forming a large fist sized ball of clay for the body, one about half that size for the headand neck, and then rolled a coil and cut it into four sections for the legs. The children then scored and wet the pieces to fuse them together and worked on forming a realistic hippo shape. After the clay was dry, we painted our "Williams" with Cerulean Blue acrylic paint. The last step was to draw on the lotus decorations with Sharpie marker. Here are images at work and of our final projects. I love them all!


Kristyn said...

I have been wanting to do this project for some time now. I bought some model magic, but am wondering if air dry clay would work better. Do you recommend a certain type of air dry clay? Your students' results are great!

Renée Collins said...

Hi Kristyn! We used Amaco White Air Dry Clay. I bet Model Magic would give great results too. I'd love to see your final pieces.