Friday, March 30, 2012

Gargoyle Masks

Creating these masks are fun for students and a great lesson of the historical use of gargoyles in architecture.  I show students lots of examples of gargoyle sculptures and start the project by having them choose an emotion for their gargoyle.  This usually helps to dictate the shape, structure and features that their mask will have.

Start with a large slab of clay and cut out the general shape of the face, this could be round, oval, square; whatever the students chooses.  Then use some crumbled up newspaper to create a "pillow" and lay your slab of clay on top of the pillow, rounding the clay around the edges of the pillow.  This will help give the mask a more 3-D quality to it.  Next I have students push in features like the eye sockets, mouth and the hollows of the cheeks using their fingers and tools to get some general features started.  Then I have them add on the eyes, nose, horns, ears, warts, teeth, fangs--whatever they can think of and scratch-to-attach them onto the face. They can blend the features as needed, add texture and shape the mask to get the desired emotion to show through.  When students are finished building, I put a high temperature wire loop into the back of the mask so that when they are finished, they can be easily hung on the wall. Let the clay dry on the newspaper and  when dry pull out the newspaper carefully, bisque fire, then glaze ( I liked using a stony grey color on mine, but that's up to you!) and fire again.  You can display all of your students masks on the wall and have some Gothic looking architecture in your classroom!

!!! B CR8IV!!!

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