April 26, 2012

I love doing sculpture with preschoolers; I love getting them to think three-dimensionally.  My first ever blog entry was about a mammoth Styrofoam sculpture, done in blocks and stuck together with bamboo skewers.  It’s gone now.  Pieces started falling off and I finally decided to get rid of it to make room for some newer piece.  I decided that I wanted to do a wire sculpture…because I happened to have a bunch of wire, mostly, and because I’d never done a community sculpture with wire.

Once again we depended on our trusty garden hook.  After years of sitting around holding windsocks and such, I can’t believe how valuable it’s become.  Our sculpture began with a rounded wire coat hanger on the garden hook and a pickle jar full of all kinds of wire. I twisted a thin, colorful piece of wire around the coat hanger so that they could see what I was looking for and turned the class loose.  Most of them headed off to other activities, but three or four stayed to get started on the sculpture.  Various kids worked on it at various times and, after a day or two, it looked like this:

Here’s a close-up of part of it:

The sculpture hung for a while in our room but it doesn’t exactly demand your attention, so I decided that we could do more with it.  Back it went outside, along with some colorful beads, some more wire, some clear pieces of a plastic box for holding ornaments and a package of translucent dividers for notebooks. I cut one of the dividers into amorphous shapes, just to let them know that they could and sat back.  Well, not quite… One of the girls immediately started stringing beads onto wire and losing them off the bottom of the wire.  I showed her how to bend the end of the wire to keep the beads on.  Then I sat back, knowing that she would show anyone else with the same problem.

We worked on it for a day (meaning two or three kids worked for about forty minutes) and now it looks like this:

And here’s another close-up:

It’s supposed to rain today and, Arizona wimps that we are, we won’t be going outside. That’s okay because this is a sculpture that we can take down and keep working on…the very best kind.