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Top tip for the classroom - Introducing sculpture…beginning to think in 3D!

Submitted by Education on Tue, 07/02/2017 - 09:36

From Artist Educator Julia Clarke

Start by looking at different kinds of sculpture and 3D artwork. Discuss what makes sculpture different to drawing and painting - being able to walk around it, inside it, scale, materials etc.

Look at three-dimensional objects, anything from tea cups to stuffed birds, to natural forms.

Allow the students to really handle the objects, discuss what they feel like, the texture, details, really look at the form and shapes from different angles.

Firstly draw using continuous line, not taking your pen off the paper. This makes students have to really look at the contours and shape of the object, the curves, texture and structure of the object as well as the outline. A fun exercise is to do this without looking at the paper too, it relaxes students and gets them to look in a new way. (We are so often creatures of habit, drawing what we think something looks like rather than what it actually looks like). Encourage risk taking and not worrying what the end result looks like but the shapes you are drawing.

The next step is to do this with thin wire. Your drawn line becomes a line in air - draw a simple outline of the same object but this time using wire. When you have done this you can pick it up, and suddenly instead of just a 2D drawing you have a 3D drawing! You can then begin to try to create the rest of the object, add the back and the sides…and soon you are creating a sculpture.

An extension of this could be to add different thicknesses of wire, or begin to add form with paper or thin fabric to the wire structure…or to wrap the wire with wool or thread.