Thursday, April 11, 2013

Lesson Idea :: Mehndi Hand Sculpture - World Art study

This lesson idea originated from two different sources that I combined into one workable one for the high school art classroom. They are the following...

Dick Blick's very intriguing Mehndi Art Gloves lesson plan for multicultural art studies

A pin from Pinterest that makes the Dick Blick idea three-dimensional and, in turn, more interesting I think. 

I have been wanting to do this project for a good while after initially seeing it on Dick Blick but I couldn't bring myself to do it because I didn't like how the design work was on gloves which would essential leave the finished project flat and deflated. I don't remember when I stumbled upon the possible solution from pinterest (see above) but I was really excited about it because it really seemed to combined Dick Blick's idea with something ensured a (literally) solid product in the end.

Doing some backwards planning and visual deconstruction, I figured that plaster of paris would work very well to fill the glove. The question remained of how I would end up doing it because, based on my experience of working with plaster, I knew it wouldn't just be so easy to just pour wet plaster in and be able to call it done. I did about two trial runs very quickly by myself before I did it in class and took lots of mental notes and then I did an abbreviated demo for the Interactive Art History class. They previously worked with plaster of paris for the cave art project idea so that really helped them to know what to expect with the process required for this project.

Below is a video of the sculpting stage of this project where I was working with the plaster after it was poured into the glove and was starting to set and after the video (scroll down), you can see some picture of the students doing it themselves. Ideally you want to pair them up because four hands work best in order to make one finished sculpted hand. Kind of not totally efficient but... well.... I haven't figured out a better way than this so far.


And here is a picture of a sculpted hand that is finished that a student is now applying their mehndi line design onto the glove with Sharpie Ultra-Fine pen...

Because the students are all still working on this project, I don't have any finished work to show you but based on the time schedule that we are keeping, I suspect I can show you some finished work some time next week, so keep checking back to see some finished work!

Tomorrow I will show you the quick follow-up video to the above where I show you how to clean up dried plaster. [Updated: Finished student work can be accessed HERE via this link!]


  1. OOOH very cool! Can't wait to see the clean-up and the finished pieces. My 5th grader who was looking over my shoulder wants to make one now! Thanks for posting! Mrs. P @

    1. Today the students begged me to push the due date out so that it isn't until next Friday! Originally it was supposed to only take up maybe half of next week. The application of the design is definitely tedious though so I am likely to oblige their desperate pleas - especially since I know it will mean higher quality finished work! I just hope we don't run short of time in order to complete the mini masterpieces for Mother's day! It's always a favorite and I would hate to have to shove it off the to-do list. So glad you enjoyed the video! I should have posted the bloopers from me trying to poor it into the glove by myself. You could hear one of my students laughing at me while I tried (and failed) doing it.


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