Making Trees

posted 3 Mar 2013, 07:05 by jason@ilfracombe-inf.devon.sch.uk   [ updated 3 Mar 2013, 08:00 ]
This half term we are focusing on sculpture in Art. We will be using a range of materials, sculpting techniques and tools to help us make a number of different art works. We began this week by getting ready to make our own spooky forest full of sneaky, cunning wolves. Today we started to do this by using clay and found objects to create the trees for our forest. 

We were all excited to use the clay as we were excited to explore it as a material and think about its properties. We were also excited just because it feels weird to hold and use! We noticed straight away that it was very cold and squidgy.Some of us already knew that clay comes from the ground and is almost like a kind of mud. Others knew that although it was very soft and easy to squeeze and squash into different shapes, that it would get very hard if we left it for a few days and become very strong.

We had already had a big hunt around the school gardens to find as many spooky looking sticks as we could, but knew that we would need something to keep them altogether and stop falling over, and the clay seemed like the perfect thing to do this. We thought this because the clay was so heavy and we knew that it would get super hard when it dried. So we decided that we would start making our trees by using the clay to make the trunks of our trees.

We each had a lump of clay and used our hands to shape it so that it would stand flat on the surface and would be tall enough to hold the branches of our tree. We all thought the clay was very slippery and jasmine said she could feel it ‘squishing through her hands’. Tish also found that she could make shapes and textures in the clay by using her fingers, and fingernails, to push and scrap the clay in different ways. It was so much fun to explore the feel and texture of the clay and mold it into lots of different shapes to decide on the shape we thought would make the best trunk for a spooky tree. We chose the shapes we did because they were large enough to fit our branches in, and steady enough to hold the tree up once when finished. Or at least we hoped they would be!

Once we had created our trunks, we looked through the spooky sticks we had collected and chose the spookiest looking ones to add to our trunk. As soon as we began to add these our trees began to look spookier and spookier, just like those in the story of little Red Riding Hood. We took care to arrange them so they looked like real trees and make sure we pinched the clay tightly around them so that they would hold really tight and not fall out. We also tested them to make sure that our trees would not fall over. In the end we decided that our sculptures were just as we wanted them to be and collected them together to make our spooky forest. 

Now that we have begun to work with clay and thought about, and practiced how to change its shape with our hands we are looking forward to making the wolves to go into our forest. To see all of our hard work making our spooky trees please have a look at the slideshow below.

Tree Sculptures