I promised this to you last week when I presented the lesson project idea of Mehndi Hand Sculptures and today I have the completed student work for you! This has been one of the most successful project endeavors of the Interactive Art History class in the (now) four years that I taught the class and I am seriously proud of how the students have done with this even with it only being the first time trying it. And? This is the second major project idea that I have done with Plaster of Paris so perhaps I have a signature medium for myself? I mean... does that even exist? Well, whatever, here is one more art education idea where Plaster of Paris is quite handy. *pun intended*
I feel like this is a great way to do the art of Zen Doodling and making it that much more challenging and impressive since it applies designs to a three dimensional surface. Some of the most interesting of designs were students who really attempted to depart from the minimum of simply sculpting the hand and then applying designs. The hands that were gestural were incredibly impressive and the students who attempted to add color to their hands - which made them decidedly less Mehndi in style - were even more successful overall. There were creative risks that some of the students endeavored to take and I am very proud of them for that alone.
This project held student interest from start to finish and I helped to keep them invested by encouraging them to make their design work as densely packed as possible. I did not discourage the use of color and while classic Mehndi designs have a sort of natural feminine flair to it that might have turned the guys off, I encouraged the guys to think of tribal design work instead of things that were floral in nature.
I will definitely be doing this project idea again and now that I have one round of experience with it I fully intend to try and raise the bar next year. I am already researching and working on how that will happen so watch out for me next Spring when it's time (again) for the Interactive Art History class. And if you do this project idea with your classes? Let me know! I love seeing how much better and different things look beyond my classroom.