Coil Sculptures

Grade Level: 9-12, 25-30 students per class

Curriculum Links: History and Social Studies

Classroom Time: 6 weeks, 60 min. meeting once a week

Materials:

o   Images: Achilles and Ajax, The Death of the Children of Niobe, Examples of Greek Vases, Zulu Beer Basket, Zulu Basket, Geometric Zulu Basket

o   Demonstration coil sculpture

o   Color wheel

o   60 pieces of sketch paper

o   30 pencils

o   150 yards of cording

o   Yarn: various colors, textures, thicknesses

o   30 pairs of Scissors

o   6 rolls of tape

o   30 Blunt needles

o   Extension

o   30 pieces of nice white paper

o   6 packs of colored pencils

Objectives:  The students will

o   Learn about functional and sculptural elements of pottery through Ancient Greece and African Zulu cultures

o   Create a coil sculpture

o   Learn the difference between neutral, monochromatic, analogous, complementary and triadic color systems

Motivation:

            How do we use containers in everyday life?  What kinds of containers do we use and what are they made out of? Class will brainstorm and discuss various containers used daily.

           

Containers have been used in a variety of different ways and for a variety of different reasons in all different cultures.  Show image 1.  What kind of culture do you think may have created this container?  What do you think it may have been used for?  Class will brainstorm and discuss.

            Pottery and ceramics was extremely important to the Ancient Greek culture, which goes back as far as 800 B.C.  This particular vase was created in 450 B.C.  The Greeks used these vases for water, to pouring oil, for mixing wine, as drinking cups, and for storage purposes. 

            This particular vase was called an amphora, and was used for storing liquids.  The technique used to paint them is called black-figure painting. This terra cotta pot was painted on with liquid black clay, and then scrapped away to show the orange color of the terra cotta.  You might recognize terra cotta as the material used for many flowerpots today. 

            Show image 2.  What do you notice about this piece that is different from the last piece?  Class will brainstorm and discuss.  This style of painting is known as red-figure painting.  For this, the process of painting was reversed, using the terra cotta pot as skin color and the black liquid clay for the background.  The shape of this vase is also different.  Known as a krater, it would have been used for mixing wine and water.  How is the shape different from the shape of the amphora we first looked at?  Why might they be shaped so differently? Class will brainstorm and discuss.

            Show image 3. Here are a variety of shapes the Greeks used to create their pottery.  How are the shapes all a bit different?  What do they seem to have in common? Class will brainstorm and discuss.

 

Lets take a look at a container used in a different culture. Show image 4.

            This basket was created in South Africa by the Zulu people. How does this container look different from the Greek pottery we just saw?  The class will brainstorm and discuss.  

The Zulu culture of South Africa has long practiced a master technique of weaving baskets out of natural materials. These baskets are traditionally used for functional purposes.  Often, they are used to hold herbs, grains, and in some cases, even liquids.  This particular container is used to hold beer as apart of an important tradition in the culture.

These baskets are created from marsh and grass coils wrapped with “iLala palm fronds.” The colors incorporated into the baskets are often dyed from berries, roots, or other plants.  The practice of weaving was once the men’s job, but is now usually done by women as the men work.  Weaving was almost lost to the tribe, but was revived in the 1960s and 70s. Today, this craft is becoming a source of income for these families. 

            Basket patterns come in many different geometric shapes: from checkerboards, to diamonds, to triangles and even zigzags.   Colors also vary.  Show image 5 and 6. What types of colors do you see here? Class will discuss. What does the form of the basket itself look like? Class will discuss.

            Think about the different types of sculptures and containers that you have at home.  Maybe you drink hot chocolate from a mug, maybe your parents have an expensive sculpture in the living room.  Some of these containers have a practical and functional use.  Some of these containers are more like sculpture, and are really only created for aesthetic, art purpose. We are going to be creating either containers or sculptures that are weaved in a process very similar to the baskets of the Zulu culture. 

Process:

            Week/Day One:

o   Teacher prep:

o   Lay demonstration coil pot on teacher table

o   Lay color wheel on teacher table

o   Lay sketch paper and pencils in center of student tables

o   Lay scissors, cording, tape, needles, and yarn on teacher table

o   Collect images for demonstration

o   Begin Lesson:

o   Show completed demonstration pot

o   Explain the added elements (handles)

o   Discuss the form with the class

o   Where does form narrow?

o   Where does form bulge?

o   Does it sit “heavy” on the ground, or does it seem to sit lightly?

o   How is it finished on the top?

o   How do the added elements add to the look of the form?

o   Explain how the cording spirals from the bottom to the top of the sculpture to create the piece

o   Explain the use of analogous colors

o   Discuss Color Systems

o   Review colors on the color wheel

o   What are neutral colors?

o   Have students brainstorm ideas

o   Explain that neutral colors are brown, black, white, grey

o   What are monochromatic colors?

o   Have students brainstorm ideas

o   Explain that monochromatic means one color, and that a monochromatic color system is one color plus shades (black added) and tints (white added) of that color

o   Have students name monochromatic combinations

o   What are analogous colors?

o   Have students brainstorm ideas

o   Explain that analogous colors sit next to each other on the color wheel

o   Have students name analogous color combinations

o   What are complimentary colors?

o   Have students brainstorm ideas

o   Explain that complimentary colors lay opposite from each other on the color wheel

o   Have students name complimentary color combinations

o   What are triadic colors?

o   Have students brainstorm ideas (what does tri mean?)

o   Explain that triadic colors are three colors equally spaced throughout the color wheel

o   Have students name triadic color combinations

o   Continue with Lesson:

o   Explain that students will sketch possible ideas for sculptures

o   Sculptures can be functional or more artistic

o   Explain that students will add an element to the outside of the sculpture

o   Brainstorm possible ideas (handles, lids, foot, sculpted piece)

o   Explain that students must use one of the color systems when choosing yarn colors

o   Demonstrate starting a coil sculpture

o   Approximate how long a piece of cording may need to be

o   Cut no longer than 10 – 12 feet

o   Choose yarn, no longer than arm span

o   Thread needle, take it half-way down the yarn, so that there appears to be two pieces

o   Lay two inches of the end of the yarn along the end of the cording

o   Begin by wrapping the yarn tightly around the very tip of the cording, allowing the wrapping to cover over the end inches of the yarn

o   Continue wrapping about three inches down the cording, then start to spiral the end of the cord so that it makes a disk shape

o   Shape can be circular or oval

o   Reinforce by threading a “figure eight” through the newly formed coils

o   Continue wrapping and reinforcing every inch or so, until desired size of the bottom piece of sculpture is reached

o   To continue coiling upward, so as to create the sides of the piece, simply lay wrapped cording on top of previous coil.  Reinforce with a figure eight

o   To sculpt out, lay wrapped cording on top, yet slightly to the outside of previous cord

o   To sculpt inward, lay wrapped cording on top, yet slightly to the inside of previous cord

o   Every one to two inches, reinforce with a figure eight

o   Continue Lesson

o   Allow students to begin sketches, and have them finish for homework if needed

o   Allow students to begin sculpture when ready

o   Have students write name on piece of tape and attatch to bottom of sculpture

Week/Day Two

o   Teacher prep:

o   Have demonstration coil pot available on teacher table

o   Have color wheel available on teacher table

o   Lay scissors, coiling, tape, needles, and yarn on teacher table

o   Lay any student projects on teacher table

o   Begin Lesson

o   Review the steps of creating a coil pot

o   Measure cording

o   Begin by wrapping yarn around end of cord

o   Start spiraling coil into a spiral disk

o   Reinforce with a figure eight every few inches

o   Review that students much pick a color system discussed in class for their projects

o   Review the five color systems discussed

o   Allow students to continue with their sculptures

o   Demonstrate adding a second piece of yarn

o   To add a second piece of yarn, allow a few inches from the last piece to trail off along the end of the cording. 

o   Repeat beginning process of laying down two inches of yarn

o   Wrap yarn right up against the wrapping of the previous yarn, and continue wrapping along cording

o   Demonstrate adding a second piece of cording

o   When coming to the end of your cord, cut the end on a diagonal angle

o   Measure a new piece of cording, and cut the end on a diagonal as well

o   Meat the two slanted ends of cording, so that the cord looks as though it continues as one long rope

o   Simply wrap right over the “meeting place” and continue with process.

o   Continue lesson

o   Have students continue with sculpture

o   Cycle around room and help students where needed

Week/Day Three

o   Teacher Prep:

o   Have demonstration coil pot available on teacher table

o   Have color wheel available on teacher table

o   Lay cording and yarn on teacher table

o   Lay student projects on teacher table

o   Lay scissors, tape, needles, and on student tables

o   Begin Lesson

o   Allow students to continue coiling for the entire class

o   Cycle around and help students where needed

Week/Day Four

o   Repeat Week/Day Three

Week/Day Five

o   Teacher Prep:

o   Have demonstration coil pot available on teacher table

o   Have color wheel available on teacher table

o   Lay cording and yarn on teacher table

o   Lay student projects on teacher table

o   Lay scissors, tape, needles, and on student tables

o   Demonstrate how to end sculpture

o   When piece reaches desired size, cut the end of cording on a very slight angle

o   Continue wrapping and reinforcing continuously with figure eights until the entire end is covered with yarn

o   Demonstrate how to add additional elements to sculpture

o   Handles or attached items to outside

o   Measure cording to desired length of attached element

o   Place one end of cording on sculpture

o   Thread needle with yarn, and knot end of yarn

o   Beginning from inside the pot, thread yarn to the outside, and wrap across end of cording, coming back into the inside of container

o   Continue sewing inside – outside – inside the container, and over the added element

o   Allow thread to diagonally cross cording, making “X” patterns across end of attached element.

o   Once end seems successfully reinforced, begin wrapping cording

o   Attach the end of cord identical to how the element was first attached

o   Use series of “X” patterns across end

o   Finish with a knot on inside of container

o   Foot for pot

o   Measure desired length of cording

o   Begin by laying cording alongside the bottom of container

o   Lay two inches of yarn end along unwrapped cord

o   Thread needle with a figure eight from coil piece of bottom of container

o   Continue figure eight and wrapping of the foot until it seems rather secure

o   Continue wrapping foot just like the process of creating the container itself

o   Reinforce every few inches with a figure eight

o   Continue process until the foot reaches desired height

o   Cut end of cording on a slight angle

o   Tuck end alongside the inside of foot

o   Continue wrapping and reinforcing with figure eights until end is completely covered with yarn

o   Lid

o   Measure desired length of cording

o   Weave with the identical process of creating the sculpture

o   Once lid is created, attach to sculpture if desired

o   Place lid on top of sculpture

o   Create loops that thread from top coils of sculpture to the first few coils of lid

o   Continue with Lesson

o   Allow students to continue weaving

Week/Day Six

o   Teacher Prep:

o   Have demonstration coil pot available on teacher table

o   Have color wheel available on teacher table

o   Lay cording and yarn on teacher table

o   Lay student projects on teacher table

o   Lay scissors, tape, needles, and on student tables

o   Begin Lesson

o   Allow students to finish sculptures

o   Cycle around and help students where needed

 

Extension:

o   Have students create a display mat for sculpture with paper and colored pencils

o   Require students to create a pattern that utilizes a separate color system than the one chosen for their piece

Evaluation: Use a four-scale rubric

o   Did student create a nicely crafted project?

o   4 – sculpture is beautifully crafted, going beyond expectation

o   3 – sculpture is adequately crafted

o   2 – sculpture is somewhat poorly crafted; gaps are easily visible between rows or coil, strings of yarn hang out from piece, piece is loosely put together

o   1 – sculpture is poorly crafted; large visible gaps are present, piece is severely and unintentionally lopsided

o   Did student utilize a color system? (neutral, monochromatic, analogous, complimentary, triadic)

o   4 – sculpture clearly utilizes a color system that strongly complements sculpture

o   3 – sculpture utilizes a color system

o   2 – color system is somewhat difficult to find, one color may not exist within system

o   1 – student has clearly not utilized any particular color system

o   Did student successfully add an additional element?

o   4 – added an additional element that strongly complements form or function

o   3 – added an additional element

o   2 – added an additional element that is either poorly constructed, or doesn’t at all add to the asthetics of the sculpture

o   1 – did not add an additional element

o   Is an understanding of the coil sculpture process shown?

o   4 – understanding of the coil sculpture process is clearly shown, project goes above and beyond with additional elements and form

o   3 – understanding of the coil sculpture process is somewhat shown.  Added elements show a basic understanding

o   2 – understanding of the coil sculpture process is somewhat poorly shown.  Gaps in yarn on coil, bulging on coils, and failure to adequately reinforce

o   1 – poor understanding of coil sculpture process.  Clear gaps, large bulges, no reinforcement of coils

o   Did student create a nice form, whether sculptural or functional?

o   4 – beautifully created form or sculpture, highly aesthetically pleasing, utilizes the discussion of form in class

o   3 – nice form to sculpture

o   2 – relatively poorly formed sculpture

o   1 – poor form to sculpture, no sense of design

Visual Standards:

            National Standards:

                        NA-VA.9-12.1

                        NA-VA.9-12.2

                        NA-VA.9-12.3

                        NA-VA.9-12.4

                        NA-VA.9-12.5

Pennsylvania Standards:

            7.3.9.B, 7.3.12.B

            8.4.9.B, 8.4.12.B

            8.4.9.C, 8.4.12.C

            9.1.12.A, 9.1.12.B, 9.1.12.C

            9.2.12.A, 9.2.12.C, 9.2.12.D, 9.2.12.G, 9.2.12.J, 9.2.12.L

9.3.12.A

            9.4.12.B