Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sculptural birds

I'm very excited to see the results of a project I just began with my fifth graders and will post the completed results after break.  I discovered these cute little sculptural birds on Pinterest.  Here isThe site.  I found a huge box of the plaster strips in the classroom when I was transfer into a new building several years ago but had no idea how I wanted to use them.  I am a paper mâché' person and wasn't much interested in the strips.  They've been nicely tucked away until I saw this post.  Luckily I had also order some nice bendable sculpture wire this year and had all the materials I needed readily available.      
I measured off about 6 1/2" of the wire so each student would have almost the same size bird.  I didn't measure real closely because I was not striving for carbon copy birds.  The students found the center of their wire and curved it into a "u" shape over two extended fingers.  At the bottom of the wires, ovals were bent to form the feet.   I instructed all students to work on the balance of the wires at this point.  They can be adjusted a bit later but balance is important if the completed birds are going to stand.  One section of gauze about 8" long was enough for each bird.  The first step was to cut off a section about 2" wide off of the top of the strip this will be for cutting the wings and bill.  The remainder of the strip was cut in half lengthwise to make two long narrow strips.  Each was wrapped, overlapping around the metal armature.  The remaining piece was folded in half and wings of student design were cut.  Cut off sections were stacked and cut into a triangle to form the bill.  They are already cute.  We will paint them with fluorescent tempera paints when we return next class and add google eyes.
So here are the birds.  I have them laying flat so the wings will dry in the position the students placed them without the interference of gravity.  There is another similar Pinterest post that shows what I would think of as little monsters created in the same fashion.  Here it is.


  1. Great activity - I look forward to seeing them finished!

  2. Gee, I just left a comment at the finished product asking what they are made from, and then I found this! I love plaster bandage, and this is a really cute idea.