Bottle-Body Sculptures Lesson Plan

Bottle-Body Sculptures Lesson Plan


[THEME SOUNDS] We’re at the Blick Summer
Series of Workshops at the NAEA Association
in Alexandria, Virginia. For our next project, we’re
going to work on our bodies– and our arms, and our
necks, and maybe some tentacles while we’re at it. These are the bottle
body sculptures. Bottles come in all kinds of
sizes, shapes, and colors, just as human bodies do. And one human body that I’ve
been recently intrigued by is Niki de Saint Phalle. Niki Is most widely known
for her nana sculptures, which were a large part
of her body of work. The word nana is a French
slang term, much like the words that we would use chick or
broad in our American slang. Nanas reject the
stereotypical roles of women and the ideals of small,
soft, quiet, feminine beauty. They’re bold and colorful in a
way that you just can’t ignore. They demand attention. They exude exuberance. And they demonstrate
the fact that beauty comes in all sizes,
shapes, and colors. Taking a cue from
the nanas, we’re going to create a
figurative sculpture today that rises from a base. And it can strike a pose. Decide what type of figure
it is that you’re creating– human, animal, imaginary. The bottle will probably
tell you what type of figure that it’s supposed to be. In your packet, we’ve
given you a little bag of aquarium gravel. We’ve also given
you a length of this is 11.5 gauge sculpture wire. Put a loop in each end and
then put it in the bottle. Then take your bag
of aquarium gravel, cut a small hole in one corner. And you should be able
to feed the gravel in. Once you have the
gravel in, we’re going to wrap masking tape
around the wire and the neck. This is kind of
an important step. Because we want to be
able to close this off. Next thing we’re
going to do is we’re going to start filling out
the body of the sculpture. And there’s a few different
things that you can use. You can use fabric scraps. You can use pillow
foam, stuffing. I’m going to use a
little bit of paper towel to first start
defining the neck. The point is, is we want
it to still be flexible. How about a cotton ball? Did you know that cotton balls
can be rolled and make more of an actual strip of cotton? You can use glue with that,
or you can use more tape. Just a small amount
of glue here. I like to use the cotton balls
to start forming the head. Because we want
to build that up. I’ve also put in your
bag a clothespin, just a good old fashioned spring
loaded wooden clothespin. This can be a beak, perhaps. On the little examples
I have here of crabs, these clothespins
have become claws. But if you just hook that
around the top of the wire and bend it, you can see how
that could open and close. Let’s give this poor
thing clothes, shall we? I do like using a
fabric material. Because that’s really what
keeps it very flexible and allows it to be able to
be bent in different poses. With muslin– we’re
giving you a sheet of it– it makes it very easy to tear. About 2-inch strips, perhaps. Then we’re going
to take our glue and just apply the
glue to the strip. And start wrapping around
the bottle, around the neck. It doesn’t have to
be perfectly flat or perfectly lined up at all. All right, so I would
continue to wrap and to build all the way
up and cover the sculpture. Ideally, I would let the glue
dry completely, of course, before starting to paint it. But because we’re short on time
today, our time is limited, we’re going to go
ahead and paint it. There’s other things
that you could apply to this– raffia, sequins,
yarn, some of the things that we’ve already
used in the workshop. If you wanted to add fur or
if you wanted to add a mane. [MUSIC PLAYING] I’m laughing, man. There are going to be some
tall ones here, aren’t there? [MUSIC PLAYING] The good thing about
this is that you can do– I’m very open. You can do real animals
or just fantasy animals. So it kind of creates more of– maybe a little more imaginative. Because sometimes
kids really like that when they combine
different animals instead of just being it has to
be an animal that’s real. [MUSIC PLAYING] And so where will your
sculpture– when it goes home and you take it with
you– where will it go? Is it going to go on your desk? Is it going to hold onto things? Mine is going to be an art fairy
that’s going to announce things in the classroom. That is a great idea. She’s going to be kind
of a little guest art lady in the room. It’s so fun to see
them in this stage. Because you think you
understand what it is. But you could be a long way off. [MUSIC PLAYING] These bottle bodies are
turning out amazing. Each one of them is so unique. Why don’t you make one too? We have all the supplies,
except for the bottle of course, at dickblick.com. While you’re there, look
for a free printable PDF of this lesson
plan with examples, step-by-step instructions,
and the National Standards for the Visual Arts. Thanks for joining us. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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