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Art teachers were STEAM-ing before STEAM was cool!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Claes Oldenburg Giant Food Sculptures

I just started my latest after school art class and the theme is Modern Art! I'm so excited! I love Modern Art and children usually do too. For our first class, I wanted to do something that was fun and allowed for a good amount of creativity, so I chose to have the children create giant food sculptures similar to those by Claes Oldenburg. I had a HUGE roll of medium weight paper that was given to me from a printing company and it was easy to work with and didn't get flimsy when painted with tempera paint. 
Ummmm...I think I'm gonna need a bigger plate!

I began by showing the children some examples of Oldenburg's famous sculptures such as the huge soft sculpture chocolate cake he created. I had also created my own version of it (chocolate cake with white frosting, sprinkles and a giant birthday candle on top) that was about 3 feet tall so they could really see what I was saying about LARGE food. I brought the templates in for them to create a slice of cake (like Oldenburg's) or a slice of pizza (very simple to do), but the children had ideas of their own so I decided to go with it and let them create whatever food they wanted to. We had quite a selection: popsicles, chocolate bars, a cheese wheel, cupcakes and more!

I think next time, if I do this with a larger group, I would stick to the same food--have them ALL do a slice of cake or a slice of pizza, but it worked out and I think the children learned so much about constructing 3D forms. I could see this project also being linked cross-curriculum to math and have the children create a slice of cake and then figure out, mathmatically, what size paper they need to go around the sides of the cake slice. I'll need to explore this more....

Claes Oldenburg-Inspired Giant Pizza Slice

Supplies Needed:

  • Medium weight paper (large sheets or a roll of paper)
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Newspaper or paper scraps to stuff the form
  • Stapler with staples
  • Tempera paint, assorted colors
  • Paint brushes
  • Water bucket, paper towels
  • Paper scraps, optional, for pizza toppings, etc.
  • Glue sticks and Elmer's glue, optional
Directions:

1. Cut two triangles from paper for the top and the bottom of the pizza slice. They should be the same size. Our triangles measured 24" x 24" x 18" but that is approximate.

2. Layer the two triangles on top of one another and staple along the two 24" edges, through both layers. Leave the 18" edge open, creating a pocket.

3. Crumple up newspaper, lightly, and stuff the pizza slightly, to give the pizza slice some dimension. Leave about 4" unstuffed at the end (you'll be making the pizza crust with it).

4. Roll the 18" edge of the pizza slice inward a couple inches to create the pizza crust and secure with a couple of staples. You now have a giant slice of pizza!

5. Use tempera paints to paint the crust, sauce and cheese on your slice of pizza. While it dries, you can use paper scraps to create toppings.

6. When the paint is dry, attach the toppings to your pizza slice with glue OR just paint toppings on with additional paint.

YUM! Let's eat!

Giant Wheel of Cheese

Super-Giant Chocolate Bar

Yummy Cupcake
(This size looks like a regular serving for me!)

Giant Taco! Olé!

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