Tuesday, May 5, 2015

keep on rollin.

Before I start, I must say that I am disappointed in myself that I do not have the info to give credit where credit is due for the inspiration for this project. I attended a hands-on workshop at our San Diego County mega-art conference 2 years ago, presented by a fellow teacher. She had copies of an article from an art ed mag about using rolled paper to make sculptures and temporary installations. I can't remember the teacher, article, or magazine!

Anywho... my 4ths are LOVING this project:) So thank you to all my anonymous resources. Classes needed a little extra time to finish their Erik Abel inspired fish drawings, and after that they completed this project.
C'mon kids, let's get serious;)

Students rolled a bunch of newspaper and magazine paper cylinders to start. I modeled using just a small piece of tape to lock down the circumference of the cylinder.  I suggested they make at least 8- many students made between 12 to 15 pieces. No constructing at this point. Just creating their inventory!
 cylinder prep.

After about 20 minutes of rolling, I demonstrated how to create a strong base (Imagine me singing "It's all about the base" and kids following along:) But that base shape is important in creating something sturdy. They could use a square, diamond, or the sturdiest of all shapes... the triangle. I modeled overlapping pieces at hte ends to make the joints stronger and using tape on opposite sides of each of the joints. Then we looked at how you could build up and out from that base, creating an interesting looking sculpture. I emphasized that the sculpture needed to be strong and stable enough to stand and to pick up and carry back to their class. I also encouraged them to be mindful of tape usage- they needed to strike a balance between using enough to join parts successfully with too much and being wasteful with it.

 tape tearing technique.

Students could work independently, in pairs, or by themselves and join theirs with another at the end. These sculptural forms can be displayed as freestanding sculptures, hang as mobiles, or get mounted on a wall as a relief sculpture.

I love the variety possible with these. I also really like being able to do a sculpture project in one session, that the kids can walk out the door with and feel good about. My schedule being the way it is, it's tough scheduling longer sculpture projects and this one, I do believe, is going to be one that I revisit in years to come.


  1. Wow, I'm impressed. I rarely find an elementary sculpture project that a) I like b) looks doable for the kids and c) doesn't require specialty materials. Thanks Don!

  2. These are super cool -- I love the possibility for collaboration between artists!

  3. Very cool. I may try this next year. And I'm picturing them with fabric scraps wrapped and tied and dangling…hmmmm…. :D