AEM Image

Enjoy this bonus article from our friends at Scholastic Art magazine!

Sculpt on a Large Scale

Use what you've learned about space to make your own colossal creation

You’ve seen how artists like Anish Kapoor work on a large scale. Now it’s your turn to develop a design and work together with your classmates to assemble a sculpture that incorporates space in a unique way.

Step 1: Develop an Idea

The class assembled many small towers, and then combined them to create a single large tower.

Together as a class, experiment with ways of using commonplace materials to create small, three-dimensional forms. Work with everyday materials that come in large quantities, such as plastic cups, Q-tips, or Popsicle sticks. Later, you’ll combine these small forms to create a single large-scale sculpture that changes the way you see the space in your classroom. Think creatively about how to use your materials. You might glue, paint, break, cut, twist, fold, or fasten to create a new form. This class considered working with a variety of materials but eventually chose to work with painted Popsicle sticks. As a class, select a design that uses space creatively, transforms the original material, and can be easily replicated.

Tip: Maximize the three-dimensionality of your materials.

AEM Image

Like what you see? Try Art magazine.

Step 2: Replicate Your Design

Work with your classmates to recreate your chosen design. Create as many small-scale forms as possible so you’ll have plenty to use for your large sculpture. The students in this class painted the Popsicle sticks in a variety of colors. They carefully cut notches in the edge of each to stabilize their design. Arranging the sticks in a rainbow pattern, the students built several small, spiraling towers. They used hot glue to secure each Popsicle stick in place.

Tip: Depending on your design, it might be more efficient to divide the tasks, working as an assembly line.

Step 3: Assemble Your Sculpture

Now that you’ve created a large quantity of small-scale forms, work in small groups to make any final adjustments to the design for your large-scale sculpture. Decide: Will you stack, glue, hang, tie, pile, or wedge your small-scale forms? Where will you install your large-scale sculpture, and how will it relate to the surrounding space? Present your ideas to the class and discuss your options. Once you’ve finalized all aspects of your design, work together to combine your small-scale forms to create a single large-scale sculpture. The tower that this class assembled connected the floor to the high ceiling in their classroom, drawing attention to the distance between them. 

Tip: As your sculpture gets larger, it will get heavier. Consider your materials’ weight as you finalize your design.

Prepared by Anne Goodrich, Sunset High School, Portland, Oregon

AEM Image

Share this bonus article from Art magazine with your fellow teachers!

Back to top