MATERIALS & METHODS
Sculpturing need not be limited to solid forms, but can sometimes be created with just a piece of wire. It is very interesting to give each child about a yard's length of soft stovepipe wire and permit him to carry out his ideas with this material. The thinness and flexibility of the wire will send the child off exploring in entirely new directions. Wire sculpture is an especially desirable activity in the upper elementary grades, where children are becomeing conscious of body joints and bends, such as knees and elbows, in their drawing and painting. Wire allows them to bend figures at the knees, ankles, wrsits, and elbows, and lends itself to a greater flexibility than any other material that they have used before. This is a sort of sculpturing that permits the figure to throw the ball and be quickly bent in time to be the catcher. Wire sculpture lends itself to a sort of action sketching in three dimensions, with great consciousnes and awareness of movement and, unconsciously, greater sensitivity.
Aluminum wire is about the easiest for boys and girls to use. This is very economical, extremely pliable, and noncorroding. The teacher can generally get a good supply of wire for sculpture and other activities simply by asking the newsboys in the class to save the wire that binds their bundles of newspapers together. As a rule, such a request to a group of elementary school boys brings an overwhelming response.
Wire sculptures are more attractive if they can be mounted upon a small piece of wood that the children can sand and wax, stain, or paint.
[Mattil, Edward L. Meaning in Crafts. 3rd Ed. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1971.]
AN EDITORIAL NOTE: Consider the qualitlies of the wires --the sheen, density, weight--and how these characteristics will impact upon the quality of the linear, descriptive drawing narrative.
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