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Welcome to another edition of the Virtual Refrigerator! This weekly blog hop is co-hosted by A Glimpse of Our Life, Homeschool Coffee Break, and Every Bed of Roses. We all cordially invite you to add your link sharing the art that's on your Virtual Refrigerator and then hop over to the other blogs and admire what's on their Fridges!
August's Art Challenge: Modern Art
During the month of August, I am sharing some short studies of a few modern artists and our projects inspired by their work. We'd be especially interested in seeing your modern art themed projects as well, so be sure to link them at the bottom of this post!
This week we did what turned out to be a very simple project, inspired by the work of Alexander Calder. Next week, we plan to feature M.C. Escher. (ICYMI: Week One was Piet Mondrian and Week Two was Gustav Klimt) Coming up in September and October, our other Virtual Fridge hostesses will be bringing us their artist studies, so keep an eye out for more info about what they'll be sharing!
Alexander Calder is the artist that invented the mobile in 1932. He was also famous for his paintings, sculptures, toys, and jewelry. His sculptures include bronze and carved figures, wire sculptures, wall sculptures, stabiles (his signature style of stationary sculpture), monumental sculptures, and both hanging and standing mobiles. Calder's sculptures were the first to have parts that moved in air currents. Calder came from a family of artists, but decided to study mechanical engineering. After a few years, he returned to his interest in art, especially kinetic art (or art that moves). One major influence in his art was his interest in the circus. He created a small portable circus of wire sculpture figures, with which he gave improvised shows. This Cirque Calder was the start of his interest in wire sculpture and kinetic art, and he embraced the abstract art movement after a visit to Piet Mondrian's studio in 1930. He created the hanging sculptures known as "mobiles" out of wire and abstract shapes. He preferred to use only black, white, red, and blue, in his kinetic art.
Each element can move, shift or sway back and forth in a changing relation to each of the other elements in the universe. Thus, they reveal not only isolated moments, but a physical law or variation among the elements of life. Not extractions, but abstractions. Abstractions which resemble no living things except by their manner of reacting. ~Alexander Calder
We started with a length of steel wire and taped a cardstock cut-out to each end. Yep, tape. We tried punching holes in the cut-outs to attach the wires as shown in many of the instructions, but cardstock isn't sturdy enough for that, and I wasn't about to go to the store for sheets of aluminum that we could cut up. Plus we didn't have the right kind of shears for cutting aluminum. So tape it was.
Then we found the balance point of that piece by - wait for it - balancing it on a finger! I used a needle-nose pliers to bend the wire into a loop at that point.
Then we took another length of wire with a cutout taped to one end, and made a hook in the other end. We attached that hook to the loop in our first wire, so the first piece was suspended from it, then found the balance point of the second wire, and so on until we thought the piece was big enough.
|This was the first one we did, and I put the loop on the bottom side.|
We put the others on the top side, and that worked much better!
As soon as we put a small hook in the ceiling, this will hang in Kennady's room. For now, it's in our dining room.
Now that we have the hang of it (<--- see what I did there?), I think we'll probably try some more elaborate designs, maybe even using shapes cut out of more durable material than cardstock.
|I don't know what's up with the goofy smile.|
You can view a large collection of Calder's work at the Calder Foundation website, and see some of his artwork and our ideas and inspirations on our Alexander Calder Pinterest board.
I found lots of good lesson material, but wanted to especially mention the Everyday Easels at SchoolhouseTeachers.com, which got us started on this project. There are lots of art lesson resources there, including art techniques and art appreciation studies, and until September 21st, there is a Back to School Sale, so you can get two years membership for the price of one.
What's on your Virtual Fridge this week? Leave a comment, share a link, and let us know!
You can grab the button above and add it to your post. Add your link here to share your child's art or your arts and crafts how-to posts. Please visit the other blogs and admire what's on their Virtual Refrigerators!
This post is also linked to the Crafts and Tutorials for Everyone Round-up (March 4, 2016) on the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.
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