Art Lesson: Introduction to Sculpture

Henry Moore: Two Large Forms

9th Grade High School Art Lesson
by Gloria Rabinowitz

Resources Used:
Sculpture as Experience by Judith Peck
PowerPoint presentation — What is Sculpture?
Photo: Henry Moore — Two Large Forms

To experience sculptural form through observation of the world around us, through a PowerPoint presentation showing examples of sculpture (Michelangelo, Henry Moore, Frank Stella, Rodin) and through the creation of a 3-dimensional object made out of wire and aluminum foil.

Instructional Objectives:
The student will:
— State how sculptural form is a relation of space and matter, heaviness and lightness, straight and curved.
— Use their hands to make sculptural forms that appeal to them and state what makes them interesting.
— Describe forms that appeal to them in the art room
— Describe why some forms they see are not as appealing
— Create a sculpture with wire and aluminum

Motivation: Ask the students: WHAT IS SCULPTURE?

1.    First ask the question, “What is Sculpture?”
2.    Show an example of the sculpture they will make from this lesson
3.    Show a few slides from the PowerPoint presentation, “What is Sculpture?”
4.    Have the students use their hands to create sculptural forms. Seek volunteers from the class to show others the hand creations they like (use the projector – make hand shadows)
5.    Describe forms that appeal to them in the art room.
6.    Have the students look around the room and note forms they like, forms that are not as appealing. Discuss.
7.    Describe why some forms they see are not as appealing
8.    If time allows:
— Give wire to the students and have them create their armature
— Give aluminum foil  (possibly other materials – newspaper, masking tape) to the students to create their sculpture
— Explain that they will be covering the aluminum foil with Pariscraft (in a later class) to solidify their sculpture

Student Activities:
1.    Students will write down ten things they learned from the PowerPoint presentation & lesson
2.    Students will create moving sculptures of their hands.
3.    Students will create an armature (skeleton) for their sculpture with pliable wire. They will then cover this inner skeletal structure with aluminum foil to begin to create their sculpture.
4.    Creation of the sculpture will when they cover their work with ParisCraft.

Evaluation/Review (of completed sculpture):
1.    Is your sculpture balanced?
2.    How do you see the relation of space and matter in your work?
3.    How do you see rhythm? Where does it have rest? Where does it have motion?
4.    How do you see the relation of heaviness and lightness in your sculpture?
5.    How do you see tension? Where do you see contrast?


One thought on “Art Lesson: Introduction to Sculpture

  1. Hi Gloria, I am going to try this one. I have never used aluminum foil to wrap the wire armature. I have wanted to do a hand sculpture based in part on the expressiveness of Rodin’s works. I will post some of my plans when I return to school after break. Presenly my sculpture class ( 10th -12th) is going to start a larger than life mask made with chicken wire and coveren with paper mache/ paricraft and some paperclay. I am hoping the masks will reach from below a persons waist to just above their heads. part of the criteria is that each mask must make a social statement. I’m excited to start.

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