While creating artwork is something the girls have always loved doing, when we were given the chance to work on Sculpture Technique Construct I knew it would be a really fun challenge for Miss L who has always loved to construct projects from whatever she finds. ARTistic Pursuits Inc. has a magnificent series of books that teach art skills and techniques and this book – Sculpture Technique Construct – is no different.
ARTistic Pursuits Inc. is an art curriculum with instruction from PK through high school. This home school art curriculum teaches observations skills alongside the artistic skills and techniques, allowing the students to learn to see the world around them in a whole new way. Incorporating art history and art appreciation alongside the skills and techniques is just another reason our family has really enjoyed this program. We have reviewed Elementary 4-5: Book One in the past and we have been using Elementary K-3: Book One, as well. We like ARTistic Pursuits and so we were excited to get a chance to try out one of the Sculpture Technique books.
Sculpture Technique Construct arrived at the house and I knew I was going to have to change my plans for it. I had a very hard time getting it out of Miss E’s hands to get a look at it myself and I hadn’t planned on her doing any of the projects. Because of Miss L’s love of creating projects out of whatever she can find or has on hand or can scavenge from the recycle bin, my plan was for her to complete a project. Miss E, however, was drawn to the wire art construct projects. So, we added plans for her to use the book, as well.
Miss E, age 11, worked on the wire art. This was a terribly difficult project. I went to the hardware store and asked for 16 gauge aluminum wire. I purchased it and we tried to use it. Her contour for her first project, the fish, was done with this wire. But it was REALLY, REALLY hard to work with. I don’t know if we were given the wrong wire or if something else was at play here, but we went back and got some 20 gauge wire. After that, projects went much more smoothly.
One of the nice things about ARTistic Pursuits is that while there is a very specific example of how to complete a project, there is a lot of leeway given to the student in choosing the subject of their project. An example of this is the second part of the wire art. The example project was a person. Miss E knew that the difficulty level of creating a person was above her ability so she chose to create a paint brush instead, still focusing on the contour of the form and filling in with detail. It came out really nice.
So, Miss E completed a fish, a paintbrush, and several music notation symbols and will work on the final piece of it. Their example is a cat; we’ll see what she chooses.
One more note about the wire art – it goes very quickly into using the wire without practicing any. For older students, that might work well. We had to take some time and work with Miss E on the techniques of how to bend wire and to create some of the junctions that are shown in the book. It was a good thing to do but something to be aware of as your student begins the wire art section. We did not do this until after she completed the fish and we should have done so before.
Miss L took on the papier-mâché construct project. This project was perfect for her. She was able to dig through the recycle bin and find what she needed or to use some items we keep around the kitchen to form her panda. She then tore the newspaper strips as instructed. (Those were really quite interesting instructions and so helpful!) She did the papier-mâché, she allowed Ming to dry.
Following the steps in the book, she used gesso on the papier-mâché and then painted Ming. Miss L is quite detail oriented on projects that she is really interested in. That has actually made this project drag a bit for me. She did not want to finish painting Ming’s face until she knew exactly what it was going to look like. This means that she has pondered for a couple of weeks how to do the eyes, mouth and nose. She finally decided and drew it out. She is now finishing the painting of it. We’ll see if I have a finished project to take a picture of.
Miss L has absolutely LOVED this project. She is looking forward to trying the paper making section next. I don’t know if Miss E is going to tackle another or not. But, this has gotten her interested in using wire to create other items. She has made some necklaces using wire to create the pendant and really enjoyed studying some wire art jewelry at a rock and gem show a couple of weeks ago.
While my girls were on the lower end of the age level for this book, which is recommended for ages 11-18, it has been a very good fit for Miss L (age 9). It has also been a pretty good fit for Miss E (age 12), though more instruction on the wire art would have been helpful. If you know your student, I think you will be able to tell from the information on the website about Sculpture Technique Construct whether it is a good fit for your family.
If your child loves creating and learning new techniques, I cannot imagine that ARTistic Pursuits Inc. is not a good fit. The Crew have been reviewing all different levels of books for ARTistic Pursuits this go round, including:
There is something for every level here. They are all very interesting, informative, and helpful in teaching techniques I just don’t have yet. But I am learning alongside my girls.
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