Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lesson idea: Egg Art

As I've mentioned before, I really like doing projects of the holidays. At Christmas time I did faux gingerbread houses with the students of 3D (never posted those pictures but I will try to at some point) and for Easter I thought it would be fun to do a twist on the traditional egg decorating.

I did these last Spring and they turned out reasonably well more than these. This is mostly because last year I used a white glue based mixture for the paper mache and this year I used real paper mache mix. (Playbox brand if you are concerned about that type of thing and I would link it here but Blick doesn't seem to carry it anymore.) Next year when I do this I will go back to the white glue based mixture because it created much stronger egg sculptures for cut designs and ones that were heavily sculpted overall.

The students started with balloons and then simply covered them with 4-6 layers of paper mache. We let them air out and harden over a weekend (I believe) and then we embellished them with acrylic paint, model magic, and other materials we had laying about the classroom. The goal I communicated to them was to take the egg shape and use it as inspiration for something that was definitely not of an egg but lent itself to the natural shape of the egg. Because of how delicate the structures ended up being because we used the Playbox brand of paper mache, many of the egg structures/sculptures barely survived the design fabrication process. I was as bummed for the kids as they were for themselves. I really hate it when things tank and projects get ruined.

Here are a select few that "survived" through every step of this creative process. Something funny to note: many of the students picked the color yellow as a major element of their design. *shrug* Perhaps they were thinking all of the yellow would bring the sunshine to these parts stat. Well, it worked since it's not in the 80s and 90s here.

Tips and Tricks I learned this round:

  • Do I have to say this one again? Well I insist because I'm serious about how much of a difference it made: USE A WHITE GLUE MIXTURE instead of the powdered paper mache mix.
  • Count on at least 2-3 balloons per student because they pop/deflate themselves easily during the sculpting process
  • This is a nit-picky thing but I'm mentioning it. If you want a more natural egg shape, do a layer or so of paper mache and let it dry, deflate/pop the balloon, insert another balloon from the opposite end and inflate it and you will get a less balloonish and more long/oval egg shape. The students and I figured this out on accident.

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