Special Sculpture

November 22, 2011

First!!  Sorry for the delay about the winner.  The winner of the vintage sheets bundle is…

Screen Shot 2011-11-22 at 8.27.54 AM
That sounds adorable!  Congratulations GS.  I would love to see a patchwork animal from vintage sheets.

Over the past few weeks my oldest daughter Elsie has been having a special program at school.  Her art teacher, Ms. Henry raised funds outside of the school to bring an artist to the school to create a lifesize sculture of one the students.  His name is Dave Poulin.  We had such an amazing experience with him.

I visited 2 class sessions with "Artist Dave" and brought Cal with me.  The 3 week program begins with students in grades 3-6 submitting stories (the theme was Freedom since we live in Freeport, PA) on which to base the look of the sculpture.  The student whose story is chosen gets to be the model for the sculpture.  The story of this sculture is that a girl is at a birthday party and she is holding a big bunch of balloons.  The balloons begin to lift her up into the air and she is surprised but also excited.  This is her idea of what freedom feels like.

The kids helped the artist by adding clay to the sculpture.  The older kids do a little more with shaping but for the 2nd graders (Elsie's class), the sessions were about thinking creatively and pushing yourself to solve problems.  He gave each student and visitor a small chunk of clay and he would give us assignments about shaping the clay with eyes open and then shaping with eyes closed.  It was wonderful to see all the kids concentrating so hard and really getting into the experience.

Above was Elsie's favorite part.  On their last session with him, he had a sculture of a head without ears, nose, eyes or mouth.  He divided into groups and each child was assigned a part of the face to add.  

This head was separate from the main sculture.  Elsie did ears.

Cal and I were also assigned face parts…

After all this scupting, we smooshed up our face parts and added them to the main sculture.

The sculpture was completed last Friday and Artist Dave (as Elsie called him) took the whole piece back to his studio in Jamestown, NY.  There he will cast the clay part and using real balloons, in plaster.  From there he will create a bronze casting that will be returned to our school in the Spring.  The process of going from the clay to the bronze is truly amazing.  Here is the link to his process.

This was so fun and I was so proud of our little school for coming together and  bringing this artist to rural Western PA.  It wasn't cheap!  But to have this experience and to have a beautiful bronze statue at their school is truly something special.  Elsie loves all things art but it was also easy to see that all the students were equally inspired and had a great time learning with this project!



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