Thursday, May 1, 2014

Schoolhouse Review: ARTistic Pursuits' Sculpture Technique: Model #hsreviews

ARTistic Pursuits Review

I love, love, LOVE being able to add a little ART educational FUN to our homeschool days.  Although I'm not the least bit artsy (all those genes went to my children), ARTistic Pursuits makes it incredibly easy to teach and learn right along with my children -- and Sculpture Technique:  Model is a wonderful way to have fun, get messy, and create together.  The newest arrivals in the ARTistic Pursuits family, both Sculpture Technique books (Model and Construct) work best for students ages 11-18 (think middle school and high school).  I've been using Model with my 7th and 9th graders and they enjoy making small scale masterpieces out of clay and felt.

ARTistic Pursuits Review

We have had the privilege of using ARTistic Pursuits curriculum twice before with Middle School 6-8 Art and Composition and Senior High 2 Color and Composition and were blessed each time.   It is super-easy to incorporate art into our daily lesson plan when following the ARTistic Pursuits plan of instruction.  As much as I long to create, I want to make sure to give my children as many opportunities as possible to make things and get messy.  It is absolutely no trouble doing that with ARTistic Pursuits as your guide.  Supplies needed are easily found and instructions are written with the student in mind.  (The Durham's Rock Hard Water Putty needed for Model Unit 1 was at Lowe's Hardware for only $7.  The paint was on my art shelf = free.  The hours of smiles and laughter we shared together was simply PRICELESS.)

With 3 teaching units of 20 - 25 pages per unit, we have had the opportunity to create mass (3 projects), create scale (4 projects), and create surface (5 projects) using putty, clay, and felt fiber. This has allowed us the opportunity to fill the desires of our hearts through hands-on creativity and to fuel the GOD-given talents of my children.  We have read through the written lessons of each unit together and I have turned my children loose on projects (12 total) -- allowing them to work through each one at their own pace.  Things have gotten a bit messy at times as they expanded upon the assigned projects, but we like mess at Long Leaf Academy.  And to make it even more fun, we actually got to spend some time "creating" with friends.  Now, that's how great school should be done.

ARTistic Pursuits ReviewSculpture Technique: Model ($47.95 for an 83-page, comb-bound curriculum packed with expert advice and challenging projects) is the second in the Sculpture series, but can be used as a stand-alone curriculum. Although we look forward to making some of the larger-scale projects of papier-mâché and wire and cardboard found in Sculpture Technique: Construct, it was no problem for us to begin with the second book.  The clear instruction did not necessitate students having read and worked the projects from the first book, but I did have to pay close attention to the detailed instructions to make sure that we were following the steps in the correct order.  I made sure to closely examine the accompanying pictures to make sure that we had fully completed each step before moving on to the next one.  

Another important thing to note, the units do not have to be completed in any particular order.  We started with the wet felting of Unit 3, then moved into the modeled mass in Unit 1.  My princess enjoys making miniatures out of clay as we read aloud each day -- it's a way to occupy her hands and help her focus on what is being read -- so she read through Unit 2 on her own the minute the book was delivered.  Sculpture Technique:  Model has offered her the chance to independently study the technique and methodology behind what she considers a "craft."  I so enjoy bringing the things she loves full circle in the educational realm.  Isn't that why we home educate?

As with all art projects, we've seen success and faced failure through the pages of Sculpture Technique:  Model.  We've learned quite a bit about what works -- and what doesn't.  Did you know that putty crumbles if you wait too long after mixing it up to begin forming it?  We know that now.  After carefully following the instructions and measuring the water to powder ratio, the Princess had it all mixed up and ready to go.

She divided her putty into three equal parts:

Got slightly sidetracked trying to decide what to make and ended up with a bit of a crumbly mess:


Lesson learned:  It's better to think about what you might want to model before your putty begins to dry out. But, the Boy Scout was quick to come to the rescue (and we had plenty more that we could mix up).  His snail is definitely unique.  Don't you agree?

Through the eyes of a boy . . .

Another one of our favorite projects was wet felting found in Unit 3.  How beautiful the colors are, how special the completed felted sheets become. I'm not sure if the appeal of this project was more the pulling of the wool and meshing it into marbled concoctions or more of the water squishing on the floor as they rolled, but whichever aspect appealed the most, they loved this project.   From choosing their favorite color blend of wool roving, to pulling, shaping, stretching, wetting, and rolling, wet felting was a fantastic experience.  It does take a bit of patience, but the finished product is well worth the time spent getting it just right.  

This is definitely not a project that I would have been able to come up with on my own.  I am so thankful that we have had the opportunity to experience felt making -- and I look forward to seeing what my children choose to fashion their felt sheets into upon completion of the unit.    

Finished Felted Sheets

We have thoroughly enjoyed spending time being artsy together.  {Okay, truthfully, I have enjoyed taking pictures of my children being artsy and living vicariously through them, but it's all good.}
They've learned technique and methodology, they've been stretched creatively, and they've laughed and smiled more together through Sculpture Technique:  Model than they have in a really long time.  That's a win-win for me.  I feel like we are building great bonds as we work on creating fond memories and ultimately that is what life has to be about.

It's been a fun adventure -- and the best part is that it will continue.  We're learning to relax and enjoy the process more and more these days and ARTistic Pursuits is a great tool for our exploration.

You can connect with ARTistic Pursuits through FaceBook and be sure to visit my friend Jennifer over at a glimpse of our life and check out the beautiful needle felting she did with her children. They are a bit more crafty than we are, but we are hoping to be like them when we grow up. Many of my fellow Crewbies have had the opportunity to create through the pages of the many different ARTistic Pursuits books, so please be sure to visit their reviews and see for yourself how many different ways you can introduce an art program into your homeschool. You'll be glad you did.

This day has the potential to be your most creative day yet . . .

Crew Disclaimer

I was given the opportunity to review Sculpture Technique:  Model by ARTistic Pursuits as a member of the Schoolhouse ReviewCrew.   You can check out the Crew Review and see what other members of the Schoolhouse ReviewCrew thought of this and other products as well (or just click on the banner below.)

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