Notebook, 1993-

MATERIALS & METHODS - A Perspective on Art Education - Activities for Children - Themes & Topics

Drawing & Painting -- Modeling & Sculpting

Fingerpainting -- Mural Making -- Paper-Mâché -- Puppets -- Mask-Making -- Crayon Encaustics -- Crayon Resist Drawing -- Crayon Sgraffito -- Collage -- Mobiles -- Watercolor -- Common Earth Clay -- Salt Ceramic [recipe] -- Clay / plasticene Non-hardening -- Carving in the Round -- Newspaper Modeling -- Paraffin or Wax Sculpture -- Plaster Plaques or Reliefs -- Relief in Plaster -- Relief in Soft Wood -- Concret or Zonolite Sculpting -- Repoussé -- Sandcasting -- Working With the Coping Saw or Jigsaw -- Straw/Toothpick Sculpting -- Painting on Window Glass -- Diorama -- Peep Shows -- Whittling -- Wire Sculpture

[From: [Meaning in Crafts. Mattil,, Edward L. Chairman, Dept. of Art, North Texas State University. Third Edition, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1971.]

Concrete and Zonolite
Sculpture - Recipe

In recent years, art teachers have developed one of the most interesting of all sculpting materials. This permanent material, extremely easy to make and to use in most classrooms, is made from a combination of cement and Zonolite, or Perlite. The latter are concrete aggregates made of mica, a very lightweight mineral substance also frequently advertised as an insulating material. Both the cement and Zonolite can be purchased from any lumberyard or home supply store.

For elementary level children, a good beginning mixture consists of four parts Zonolite to one part dry cement. An ordinary mop bucket or lard can serve very well as a mixing container. The Zonolite and cement are mixed together, and then enough water is added to make the mixture moist or fluid. It is well mixed, then poured into a small cardboard carton. It is a good idea to place the carton inside a larger carton on the first attempt, in case too much water has been added. The excess moisture may weaken the side walls of the inner box, causing them to break down. Newspapers wadded up between the walls of the two cartons will provide ample strength to keep the inner walls from collapsing. This mixture is allowed to harden for about twenty-four hours. The box is then removed, and the Zonolite-cement block can then be sawed into blocks of whatever size the teacher wishes. A good beginning size might be 5" x 5" x 8" or 6" x 6" x 10". The mixture can be carved with the simplest of tools --an ordinary kitchen or paring knife, an old hacksaw blade, a wood rasp, and an old screwdriver will provide all the tools needed to do a good job. The mixture is very light and is, therefore, extremely easy to carve.

hen the student has created a sculpted form and it has been set aside to dry for several weeks, it will turn light gray, have a rocklike appearance, and be quite permanent. For junior and senior high school students, the same materials may be used an a finer texture created by cutting down on the quantity of Zonolite in the mixture. As the proportion of Zonolite is decreased, the density and hardness of the cast block increases. Of course, different tools will be required with the harder blocks. An inexpensive cold chisel and an ordinary hammer will serve for this type of carving.

Rarely does the classroom provide adequate facilities for each child to be carving at the same time. A good solution is to set up a carving table or a carving corner and allow one or two children to work at a time. Have each child bring in a cardboard carton and, when he is ready to start carving, fix the side walls of the carton so that he can work with his sculpture always inside the box; the dirt and chips that are cut away can remain in the box. When the piece is entirely finished, the box can be disposed of without any of the dirt ever reaching the classroom floor. This kind of procedure is almost essential if the classroom teacher desires to have the boys and girls work in carving plaster.

The procedure for plaster carving is about the same as that for Zonolite, except that the plaster creates a great deal more dirt and dust in the room and is extremely difficult to clean from the containers once it has set, whereas the container that has been used to mix Zonolite can easily be rinsed out and left in perfect condition. Plaster carving can be used most effectively in the junior and senior high school, but only under very controlled conditions.

[Meaning in Crafts. Mattil,, Edward L. Chairman, Dept. of Art, North Texas State University. Third Edition, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1971.]



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