2nd Grade - Assemblage Sculptures

Louise Nevelson - Assemblage Sculptor
So, I had BOXES, I mean BOXES of just stuff -- milk bottle caps, empty thread spools, wooden spools, cedar chunks, other wood chunks, styrofoam balls, and all sorts of other things.  I was sick of having them stacked in a closet in my room.  I decided it was time to come up with a project I could use it all for.  Then I remembered seeing a picture of this cool sculpture at some point in my life - where there was a lot of rhythm and texture but no color -- everything was one color.

So, aimed with the knowledge of sculptures that were busy and all one color, I searched and searched till I found it, or rather - her.  Louise Nevelson.  Louise is known for her assemblage sculptures full of texture, rhythms, objects, and always painted a solid color.

I had prepared a slide show with some of Louise's work.  I asked the students to look at them and raise their hand when they could tell me something they noticed.  I then had the students pair share what they noticed.  After a few minutes of further discovery we talked as a class.  We talked about what we thought they were made of, what individual pieces they saw, the rhythms and NOT patterns, layering, shadows, lights - we even discussed why they thought she painted her work all one color.

Next I handed each kid a piece of mat board and let them start their own assemblage sculpture.  I did put a few rules on the project -- layers and no taller than their own hand.  Students tend to want to build towers with these, and I wanted them to layer - so thus the height rule.

Kids used wood glue and hot glue to assemble their projects.  (Yes, 2nd grade used hot glue. We talked about safety and how hot glue is HOT -etc.)  It took us a good two classes to get everything glued they way they wanted.  Then the third class, students got to pick what color they wanted to paint their projects.  I reminded them that they needed to be ALL one color.  When kids were  'done' we got down at eye level and turned their project all the way around to make sure they really got it all painted!

I then took their projects and hung them on the bulletin board by color so that they kind of mimic Louise Nevelson and her rhythm of rectangle boxes.


Mrs. P, Art Explorer said...

Great project, with lovely results! I've done something like this too, but used cardboard trays from the supermarket as the "base." The children really enjoyed the process, but I found it to be time consuming (I try to limit my multi-day projects b/c I have a limited semester with my kiddos). And the "stuff" to put in the pieces does take up some space while you are collecting! But well worth the time and effort, I think! Thank you for posting. Mrs. P

Mrs. C said...

Great project! Love the results! :)

Ms Novak said...

Awesome Mrs. P! Luckily I didn't have to collect anything - it was all just sitting around, but it did take up the entire coat closet in my room. The art teacher before me, bless her, collected LOTS of stuff. I am still trying to come up with projects for most of it.

Ms Novak said...

Thanks Mrs. C! It was a blast!

Chesterbrook Academy Elementary said...

A beautiful and creative project.

Anonymous said...

What kind of paint did you use for this project?