Cartoon Clay Sculptures
Submitted by: Jennifer Auble, Westfield Middle School, Westfield Indiana
UNIT: Cartooning - Sculpture
LESSON: 3-D clay sculpture of original comic character
TIME LENGTH: 1 -1 ½ weeks
Create a 3-D model from 2-D design of original cartoon character
Understanding how to model clay from a basic shape to a finished detailed sculpture
Know the stages clay goes through and how to use sculpture tools correctly
White Sculpture Raku Clay (Many sculptors recommend Polymer Clay), Clay Modeling Tools, Sculpture Stand, sculpture boards, plastic bags, Acrylic Paint, Acrylic Gloss Medium (If you want a shine. It also makes a good sealer), and Brushes.
DVD: Sculpting Characters with Clay - Hollywood clay animator Mark Sawicki, shares his secrets and techniques for sculpting cartoon characters. This program describes the properties of polymer clay and the tools used to sculpt, bake and paint the material. Teaches basic forms, the fundamentals of posture, anatomy, the creation of character and painting techniques.
Encyclopedia of Sculpture Techniques - This book include details on techniques and offers guidance on a wide selections of materials, from bronze and concrete to polystyrene and glass. There are hints on adapting tools and producing unusual finishes all give sculptors greater versatility in their craft.
How to Make Clay Characters - Polymer clay figures used as characters in cartoon films are familiar to us. Because the clay is so easily worked, it is not difficult to make one's own figures to use in doll houses or other miniature settings. Carlson's manual includes general information on supplies and techniques as well as step-by-step projects for a variety of representative figures from a wide range of age groups.
Sculpture: Principles and Practice - This authoritative introduction to sculpture covers forms of sculpture, how to construct an armature, build a model stand, carving, much more. Invaluable for beginner but skilled sculptors will find its broad scope useful.
Create Anything With Clay - New techniques and all new projects from the authors of the million-selling Incredible Clay Book. Comes with eight blocks of colorful polymer clay and a ton of terrific ideas.
Sculpture books, stages of clay, vocab, and sculpture technique posters, finished examples
2-D, 3-D, model, carve, pinch, Slip, score, even thickness, self supporting, wet, leather hard, bone dry, bisque, fire, kneading, bust, full figure, base, Kiln, Acrylic Paint
Bringing the drawings to LIFE!
Demonstration of the process of modeling, detailing, hollowing, firing, painting
Day 1: Photocopy the 2-view drawing to have a working copy of character, decide if clay sculpture will be a bust or a full figure. If it is a full figure how will it be self supporting and structurally strong – will modifications be needed from the original drawing? Example: A bird with long thin legs might be a seated bird with crossed legs instead. A horse might only be crafted from the neck up. Make sure they understand a sculpture may need to be simplified or altered to be strong and self supporting.
Give students a soft ball sized piece of clay, prepare clay for use by kneading and checking for air bubbles, shape clay into the basic shape of character, gather storage boards, plastic bags, put name on plastic bag, identify storage areas, clean-up time 10 minutes or more today!
Day 2: Using modeling, carving, additive techniques students will begin to "see" their character in the block of clay. Remind students that it will be rough in the beginning and clay has to evolve just like the story of the Ugly Duckling to become a finished sculpture. Daily reminders about not allowing areas to become too thin or they will dry out quicker and fall off. It is best to pinch out the main shapes rather than adding many small parts. If parts are added be sure to score and slip so they will be strong. Make sure it is self supporting as they work.
Day 3: Begin to detail and fine tune sculptures, remind student about score and slip if attaching parts, keeping clay moist, etc. All greenware is very delicate and special care may be needed for storage of certain shapes. Use extra clay to help support parts that stick off.
Day 4: Continue to modify, add detail, begin smoothing and working on surface texture, and finalize the clay before hollowing. I like to allow the projects some air time once students are finished with all modeling. They bring them to a designated area on their board with their bag sitting under their board. I give them 2-3 hours of open air and then I wrap them for the hollowing procedure the next day. This gets them near leather hard but not quite.
Day 5: Demonstrate hollowing of sculptures using a wire loop tool. Reminder – the goal is even thickness near the size of your index finger all the way through the project. Hard to reach areas may need to be cut off, hollowed, and then reattached with slip and scoring.
DANGER! Bumping, holding upside-down on the table (flat head disease), or any non-gentle handling will result in a broken project. Break-throughs will happen if you do not keep checking the thickness by sight and by touch.
Day 6 & 7: Finish hollowing, smoothing and allow projects to slowly dry out.
Once clay is bisque fired we use Acrylic Paint to decorate – this usually takes 2-3 days depending on detail.
Comparing drawings to finished sculptures. Class display
Teacher rubric, self evaluation