The idea behind naturally plastic sculptures wass to merge a “plastic” material, with a “nature” inspired theme. I began the lesson with a powerpoint showing how nature has inspired artists all the way back to Paleolithic times. It included painters, architects and contemporary artists like Katy Stone and Priscilla Fowler
The main problem the students needed to figure out was how will they create an organic looking sculpture using a type of Dura-lar (non-traditional “man made” material). After experimenting with it, I found that you can paint on it and also create fabulous stiff shapes by shaping the material and heating it in boiling water. The Dick Blick site had a Chihuly lesson which is cute for the younger set- but I wanted to give a lesson with more depth, and give more choice in materials to the students. They will also be using foam core, paint, acrylic gloss medium, modeling paste, copper and silver wire, and fishing line. It could be a tabletop, wall relief or hanging chandelier sculpture.
The compositions they created needed to look and feel organic. Rather than just have them sketch from printouts, I thought it would be so much more interesting to use real objects. I was able to borrow specimens from the science room, from home, and from my yard for the students to work off of. A project wall visually displayed anything they needed to know about the project- along with the printed slides from my presentation. Below are photos from the classroom.
During the process, the students had many opportunities to assess their own work, to decide if it is complete, to decide on the direction of their piece and to choose work for display.