SchoolArts Magazine

September 2015

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 31 Creating 3D Forms Most students chose to work with plaster over their forms, although one worked with raw foil. We also used hand-mixed plaster powder in new ways. Most students used a thin layer of liquid plaster to smooth their plaster forms, but we also discovered that if we poured plaster into small fabric paint bottles, we could easily apply it to a dry plastered surface to add additional texture. This applied texture sets up very fast and works very well. The only problem was that the bottle had to be filled with water and flushed out into a bucket every ten minutes so the plaster wouldn't harden. Expression and Embellishment When the forms were nearly com- plete, we had an additional class discussion in which I made it clear that these were not to become clini- cal models, but works of art. Art, by definition needs to be expressive, so students had to find ways to connect themselves to the work they were making. I also stressed that they would be adding layers of embellish- ment. They could use colors from the flags of their countries of cultural ori- gin, colors associated with their birth month, or colors that expressed their emotions and values. Understanding Decisions I explained to students that, when talking about their finished projects, they needed to explain their choices beyond just saying, "Because I like it." Choices needed to be based on expressive decisions, and I allowed students a lot of leeway when sharing their thought processes. As the project neared completion, students filled out a critique form for their own work and the work of a neighbor. They shared their information and then had an additional day to complete their work in light of the critiques. Students shared their suc- cesses and struggles with the process, and you can see the results. Eric Gibbons is an artist, author, inventor, origami master, gallery owner, and certi- fied art teacher who lives in Bordentown, New Jersey. egibbons@ N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Creating: Conceiving and developing new artistic ideas and work. W E B L I N K I made it clear that these were not to become clinical models, but works of art.

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