Spinning Sculptures

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Spinning Scultures

This post is a throwback to a very cool project we did in the Fall of 2019. These little cubed sculptures were part of our “Back-to-Basics” session for the 7-10 yrs. group. Our work focused on three of the Elements of Art: line, shape, and color throughout the session. These mini 3D paper sculptures also include form and contrast to make a well rounded lesson on the principles of art and design. In this final project, artists were encouraged to create imaginary creatures or characters on the eve of Halloween, a holiday that provided us with additional inspiration.

How we did it:

For this project we used (3) 3″ cardboard boxes, wire or pipe cleaners, and a pompom or bead to secure the wire. We used POSCA paint pens, Chalk markers, and Sharpies to decorate the cubes. I have seen this done with bigger boxes, but the minis were a fun hand-held size. This is in no way an original concept that I pulled from my brain. I have seen similar things done on Pinterest and other sites on the Internet. I’ve seen this done with life-size boxes and on wooden cubes. In fact, the book, “Think and Make Like an Artist,” by Claudia Bolt and Eleanor Meredith, presents a similar project in the form of a game for a group of artists, which could be an excellent community-building project. If you plan to do this with your children, I would remind the kids to carefully draw the head, torso and legs on the same panel of each box so they line up correctly when first assembled. It’s fun to spin the limbs and mix the characters, but it’s also great to see the original figure in its entirety. If the body parts aren’t drawn on the exact same panel on each of the three boxes, it won’t work quite right. Another important thing to consider when designing the characters is the use of attributes. To make a character look unified on separate boxes, artists need to use distinctive features or details that would help identify a particular character. I assembled the cubes for the children by using an awl to puncture a hole in the top and bottom of each cube, and then threading a wire through all three boxes. The pompom on the top is attached to a wire to prevent the wire from slipping down. The children were able to be as inventive with their characters as they wanted. One child combined his love of MindCraft with  Superheroes to make an innovative spinning sculpture.
FOR TEACHERS: Pop art sculptor, Marisol Escobar, could be a wonderful tie-in for a connection with art history.