Throwback Thursday – Geckos

My Throwback Thursday art project is one from 2010, where my teaching partner Skipper Bennett and I created giant Geckos with our 6th grade advanced art group. I have a love/hate relationship with papier-mâché. Love the results. Hate the mess.This was a BIG, MESSY project, but boy it was fun. It was like a mini-science fiction movie, when the giant geckos appeared on the front of our school building. It was great to see the parents reaction as they came around to pick up their kids at the front drive. Geckos!

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Dragons Invade Travis

I try to do at least one papier-mâché project a year. Only one, because the process takes a long time and I only have each group of students for twelve weeks before they rotate to another fine arts class. Only one because I can’t stand the mess for any longer than that. (I’m sure the cleaning staff at my school agrees.) But the results are always worth the mess. This year it is 6th grade papier-mâché dragons.G. Dragon Profile

There is not any more inexpensive and versatile sculpture medium for children than papier-mâché in my opinion. Newspaper, tape, flour, water, paint. That’s the basics of what you need. The only limit to what you can do is your imagination.

For this 6th grade project I started the process by simply offering a dragon as the subject. The size and demeanor of the dragon (cute or scary) was up to the student.

Small is good.
Small is good.

I demonstrated how to make a simple substructure using newspaper and masking tape. We had poster board, beads, tooling foil and other odds and ends from around the art room at the student’s disposal. We looked at dragon images on the internet and then I turned them loose.

I love the fact that sculpture is something you have to build with your hands and you don’t always know where you are going when you start. So the act of creating is very challenging and exciting. We ended up with some very awesome tiny dragons and some very spectacular large dragons. Hope you enjoy them too!

Learning to balance the substructure.
Learning to balance the substructure.
His is still in progress, but here is where he ended up.
Still in progress. Love the foil wings.
Inspiration happened quickly.
Inspiration happened quickly.

Painting

EXO good
Cute is good.
The messy stuff. Mixing flour and water paste.
The messy stuff. Mixing flour and water paste.

Bug Eye

Blue GuyBrandon

Concentration.
Concentration.
Love the teeth.
Love the teeth.
Looks like something from Finding Nemo.
Looks like something from Finding Nemo.

Nemo Fish 1

Snake

TY

Smoke