Friday, February 24, 2012

Paper Roller Coaster Sculptures

These roller coaster sculptures are super fun to make and a way to teach the art of  line to any age level.  You'll need a lot of drywall shims, they are available at hardware stores and are basically thin strips of cardboard that are about 2 inches wide by about 4 feet long.  The bonus is they're cheap too!

I start by giving examples of lines found in artwork both 2-D & 3-D, we may practice a few on paper as well.  Next I give students at least 3 cardboard strips and a selection of oil pastels.  You can use markers or paint here, but I like the brightness of the oil pastels on the dull cardboard surface and I don't have to wait for paint to dry.  Another option is giving them a coat of white paint first and then painting or drawing on them with your chosen material, if you have the time.  Have students use the oil pastels to color in the strips with 6 different types of lines (one for each side of the 3 cardboard strips), using lots of colors and experimenting with lines.  Once all of the strips are colored, let students experiment with 3-D lines by bending, twisting and folding the strips.  Eventually connect them with a stapler.  You'll need at least 2 well positioned staples at each connection point, maybe more.  Some of the younger students need help with this part, but I've done this with kindergarten and it worked just fine.  Encourage students to look at how they are connecting them together and what their overall sculptural form is becoming.  Have them play with what is the bottom of their sculpture, sometimes they look more interesting turned upside down.

HINT: Some of the little guys like to turn these into sculptural hats by making a loop in the strip that fits their head, it's a little crazy looking but fun!
HINT:  You can have students connect all of their individual sculptures together to create a group classroom sculpture and they are light enough to hang from the ceiling if you need the space.


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