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Move over, Picasso.

Move over, Picasso

The diversity and detail of the simple wooden sculptures created by my sixth graders astounded me. Operating under an extremely limited budget may limits supplies but not imagination.

After looking at some of Picasso's small wooden sculptures of people, I instructed my students to build a figure out of wood scraps donated by the shop teacher. Using wood glue and a large dose of ingenuity, students began to build their "people." A few reclining figures, but most standing on firm footing, began to emerge - some reaching eight to twelve inches (20 to 30 cm) in stature. Body parts were chosen - arms, legs, torso, head and feet lay strewn on tables awaiting assemblage. Some parts were exchanged for others until compatible pieces were found.

After body parts were glued together, they were painted with tempera paint. Then students added details made of yarn, string, fabric, pipe cleaners, buttons, wire and cloth. Suspenders on striped trousers, crisscross strapped sundresses, hair ribbons, shoe laces and robot control panels sprang up. Hair alone came in many guises: coiled colored wire ringlets; yarn, braided, fluffed and coiffed. Some students painted the clothes right on the wood while others actually constructed clothing out of fabric.

Most of the students made their people the same sex as themselves with the exception of one boy who portrayed a vain woman looking in a mirror. Pets loyally accompanied some people. The most unusual results emerged from the most simple and inexpensive of materials - wood scraps.
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Author:Aborjaily, N.C.
Publication:School Arts
Date:Jan 1, 1990
Previous Article:1989 Scholastic Art Awards.
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