CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio

CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio
CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Plaster and Papier Mache'

Plaster and papier mache' are always available choices at the sculpture center in our studio/classroom, but these materials are usually overlooked and don't seem to be integrated into the creative thinking and planning for most of my students. Instead, plaster and papier mache' tend to make a special appearance from time-to-time, usually after a student asks about one or the other, or I decide to feature them to shake things up.

Plaster usually starts innocently enough - as a covering for wire armatures, hand casts, maybe a mask - but all it takes is one 8th-grader to get things rolling: "Can I plaster my face?!?!?!?"
From there it is contagious - one plastered face leading to the next, until everyone brave enough gets a chance under wraps. 
We have a tradition - once the plaster is applied and all that is left is the waiting, the plasterer reads a story to the plastered. 
This gives the plaster a few more minutes to harden, and the person under the plaster a relaxing, nostalgic experience, while the plasterer does a little nurturing.
At least that's how I see it. 

Meanwhile - 
Papier Mache' starts like this, always:

Them: "Can I have a balloon? "
Me: "What for?"
Them: " I want to papier mache'"
Me: (groan) (eye roll) (arms crossed)
Me: "Tell me your plan, because everyone who ever wants to papier mache' thinks the only thing to papier mache' is a balloon. And you know what? When they are done, the result looks exactly like a balloon, only with papier mache' on top."
Them: "No, really, I have a great idea."
I rest my case. 

But - maybe all that whining, eye-rolling and complaining (mine, not theirs) is starting to pay off, because look what I found as I left the studio on Friday...
Giant ear, by "M" - grade 7

Bucket of puppets, grade 6

Mixed assorted works-in-progress