Posted by: MiniMonets | August 14, 2019

Wire and Bead Butterflies/Dragonflies

Greetings Parents!

This project was the first time that all my sculptors would be working in muddy clay. I chose a butterfly for our subject since we’ve finally entered the spring season! I began the first class by showing a video from Sci Show Kids: How a Caterpillar becomes a Butterfly. There are 4 steps from egg to butterfly. These are Egg, Caterpillar or Larva, Pupa (while in the chrysalis), and finally Butterfly. This became a perfect tie in to learning the 4 S’s process to allow the muddy clay to bind together. We used air-dry clay to sculpt 3 round shapes for the head, thorax, and the abdomen. Next came the 4 S’s process for attaching each piece together. First, Scoring the clay by creating tiny dots on the surface of the head, thorax, and abdomen. The Second step is applying Slip, a fingertip of water to the scored area. Third is Sticking by pressing the clay together. Fourth is to Smooth the two pieces of clay together. Next, the sculptors were given Twisteeze wire to make the wings. We looked on the diagram to see that some butterflies have forewings and hind wings. We bent the wire into the shape of the 4 wings. Some sculptors even added the 6 legs, antennae’s, and proboscis. 

To begin the second class, I read the National Geographic Book for Kids on Butterflies. After the clay was dried during the week, we painted the bodies of the butterflies. The sculptors were given a rainbow of colors and could paint them any color they liked. This clay absorbs the paint much quicker than Model Magic so it gave the artists the ability to layer colors and patterns without mixing layers of paint.

For the third class, I wanted the artists to add to the wings by creating the veins in the wings. We looked at the anatomy of Butterflies by using a diagram of a butterfly. I gave the students more twisteeze wire and beads to thread onto the wire. Once the wires were beaded, we began to weave and attach them to the wings. I showed how to twist and wrap the wires to stay on the wings and then helped sculptors who needed a stronger twist to keep the veins in place. 

The butterflies will be going home this week and we will continue working in wire on our next sculpture inspired by the super moons we have been lucky to view within the last few months.

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