Gustav Vigeland is by far, my favorite artist. I have loved by his work since I first discovered him in May of 2011 during our visit to Oslo.
I shared with you yesterday a post about Gustav Vigeland: Artist and Visionary. Today, I invite you to join my Barnesklubb kids as we use his work as inspiration for our own.
Parental Advisory :: Vigeland’s work is predominately nudes.
I opened the lesson by showing the video, The Vigeland Park and Museum. The kids were then directed to the tables where I had distributed a number of photographs of Vigeland’s work. I took a few minutes to read a short biography and to share a few of the details of my favorite pieces. I put emphasis on the emotions expressed in their faces.
Method #1 ~ Air Dry Clay
I then distributed the materials (air dry clay) and encouraged the kids to create a sculpture of their own. They were not limited to human figures but most chose to sculpt something simpler – an airplane, a bird nest with eggs, Mjölnir (Thor’s hammer), and even a little spouting whale.
I was most impressed with the youngest artist in our group – a super sweet little girl, just 3 years old. She took pieces of the clay, rolled it into little balls, squished each ball to make something of a pancake shape, and then layered these. She pointed to her finished work and told me, “Pile.” She then pointed to the photograph I had on display of Vigeland’s A Pile of Babies.
Working with the air dry clay turned out to be more troublesome than I had anticipated. It became a little crumbly rather quick and cracks appeared on the surface of their work. The kids all expressed frustration with the medium. Some chose not to finish the project.
Method #2 ~ Plaster Gauze
I thereby gave it another go with my own children at home, using a tutorial I found at Art Rocks. This format worked a lot better and we were much more pleased with our work. Rather than use the tuna cans, as she described however, we used pill bottle lids. The only wire we had on hand was 24 gauge so it was very thin. Our sculptures were very small and thereby a little tricky for the kids to wrap with the plaster gauze.
In the end, we had a lovely collection of miniature statues – Buddy says his is a basketball player and Sweetie was aiming for a runner. She wasn’t happy with her end result until I told her it resembled Vigeland’s Sinnataggen running through the park.
I would certainly use this method again. However, I would use tuna or cat food sized cans and larger gauge wire.