Paper Pulp Sculptures

I'm a little late updating the blog, but I couldn't pass up sharing this super special day in art class!  

The first week of January brought two cold weather days home for Hester.  The Friday we returned  to school there was a sizable group of students who were still home staying out of the freezing cold temperatures, so I decided it was a perfect opportunity for a little spontaneity!  Paper pulp sculptures to the rescue!




I used some powdered art paste to mix up a couple large batches of ooey gluey paste.  Then I used my blender and mixed the paste, some additional water and newspaper to make a nice mushy pulp.

Students were instructed to get a bowl (I keep a large stock of bowls for mixing, making molds, etc) and I gave them about a 1/2 cup of the pulp mixture.  Next, students tore up some additional newspaper and then hand mixed it all together to get a sculpt-able pulp. (The blender can't get a thick enough pulp on it's own)  I gave the students the option to leave their paper pulp plain or mix liquid watercolors, gloss tempera, or acrylic paint into the pulp mix to make a full spectrum of colors.  Students choose a recycled cardboard base and then sculpted away!  I was amazed at how engaged the students were just mixing the pulp - most of them had only a couple minutes to make the actual sculpture.

Things I learned from this activity:

  • My students just don't get enough hands on sensory experiences these days!  So much of life is tech based, that I need to make a conscious effort to add more sensory experiences to my curriculum.  
  • At first, students were hesitant, even scared, to do something so different.  After watching others "get their hands dirty" most students jumped right in!
  • Color mixing is effectively taught when students have free reign to mix colors and see what happens.
  • Mixing up the routine once in awhile is good for everyone! 
Here's some more pictures from this messy day: 
















































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