Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I have been asked many a times, what is the best medium for sculpting with kids?
My usual answer is the non hardening clay, Plastelin(a) as it is often called. I get mine from Dickblick.com
No, not play dough. Here in the US, play dough seems to be the medium of choice offered in every pharmacy and very very commonly used to sculpt with kids. However, I find it very inflexible, the colors can not be mixed and small details can not be made. My test for kids clay is if you can roll a long long "sausage" as I call them out of it, and it does not start braking and will not stick to your hands so that it makes you uncomfortable--than it's a good choice.
I had my private lesson with kids yesterday. My 2 year old daughter is always part of the lesson, and I have to tell you that I was majorly amazed at her yesterday. She stayed the whole time (a bit over an hour) and she was busy making a hedgehog. He he, it must be in the blood.;) Not only did she keep herself busy, but the hedgehog turned out quite reasonable and hedgie like. I am super proud of it. Almost as proud as if I made it myself.
I love using various objects with plastelina. Buttons, sticks, beads, wiggly eyes (those make the figure instantly come alive) and kids love to incorporate these objects into the figure. I try to keep the lesson a game. We do not study , we talk, we make, we play, we learn. We learn proportions, we learn anatomy, we learn Art history (I keep a ton of books at hand), we learn color combinations, we learn about composition and balance. I believe in serious education, yet I feel it is absolutely necessary to keep it a game. I hate underestimating my students. A 5 year old CAN make a figure that IS NOT a stick figure. But it takes time and discipline to stay focused on a task.That's why we play. When they play--they stay focused on the game, of course provided they enjoy the game.