Jan 14, 2013

Sculpt Like a Master : GHIBERTI

Lorenzo Ghiberti - so in the early 1400s he wins this contest to be commissioned to design the baptistry doors for a big church in Florence, Italy (Battistero di San Giovanni). Apparently, he dazzled the judges with his gold leaf technique and his green chile stew (I made that last part up).

And with skads of people working under him, it took 20 years to finish those doors.

Michelangelo (yes, THAT Michelangelo) said that they deserved to be displayed at the Gates of Paradise. They were that good!

I'd like to see those doors.

Also I'd like to contemplate taking 20 years on one art project.

Or any project for that matter. [I don't think it counts when you take 2 years before you even start it.]

Today, my class and I did a Ghiberti inspired, easy breezy project.

Take some cardboard. Glue a bunch of stuff on it. The more varied the texture the better. We used wiki-sticks, yarn, pipe cleaners, cardboard pieces where the corrugation was showing, and fabric leaves.

Cover the entire piece with foil wrapping around the edges to the back. Then have the kids use all those little fingers to smooth, pat, and form the foil around each texture.  Next, paint the whole front with black tempura paint. After it's dry, go over the texture with steel wool. The foil shines through on the raised portions!

I liked this project because littler kids can just glue stuff on to their hearts' content while older kids can focus on creating a 3D scene. I think the kids liked seeing how it turned out after the steel wool step. Next time I'll try to give them more time to create and also bring a sample so they can see where things are going. The only girl in the class would really have preferred pink paint.

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