Posted by: MiniMonets | July 11, 2018

Calder Inspired Mobiles

For our next project, we moved into mobiles inspired by the mobiles created by Alexander Calder. Calder was a 20th century sculptor who focused on creating art with movement. This later became known as kinetic art. We started the class by viewing a collection of Calder mobiles. Some gently move and rotate while others are meant to spin quickly. We talked about how the mobiles were rarely symmetrical, but had balance to them. He also tended to use organic shapes in place of geometric shapes to dangle from his mobiles. To get our mobiles started, we drew out a plan on a piece of paper. Just like an architect will draw out plans for a building or home, I wanted the artists to draw out their ideas for how their mobiles would look. I encouraged them to keep with the asymmetrical look of Calder’s mobiles. While the sculptors were planning their mobiles, we talked about having a theme for their shapes. Since Spring began right as we were beginning this project, I encouraged them to use spring shapes in their mobiles. After drawing their mobiles, we rolled out Model Magic to act as the arms of the mobile, and used wires to connect the arms, and the organic or spring shapes that hung at the bottom. I encouraged them to keep to their planned layouts, but acknowledge that sometimes what works on paper, will not work when created. I had the artists lie out their pieces and connect the wire on top of the paper so that they would dry that way.

For the second class, instead of painting the mobiles, I brought in fine tipped markers so the artists could decorate their organic or spring shapes and the arms of the mobiles with patterns of color. We watched another video of Calder working in his studio where he narrated about the inspiration for his mobiles while talking with a young boy. The artists were amazed at how many he made and would be working on at one time.

The objective of this lesson is to learn the similarities and differences that a drawing will have to actually creating that drawing in 3 dimension.

Our next project will be creating a low and high relief paper sculpture with a seaside inspiration.


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