These giant kinetic sculptures appear to shift and move from every angle!
Kinetic sculptures are a fascinating form of 3D art for students. We started with simply a wire attached on one end to a wood platform. We used 14 gauge pliable sculpture armature wire and attached the wire with a staple gun. Oh! And a table piled high with interesting upcycle materials, wood scraps + random do-dads to stimulate their epic sculpture-making imaginations!
Students started by spending some time at the supply table, touching & feeling the materials available for them to select for their sculpture. We brainstormed as a group and talked about ways in which certain pieces & parts could be incorporated into their sculpture. It was a joy to watch them slowly go from standing still with blank stares on their faces, to excitedly coming up with ideas and digging for pieces that could work!
Everyone was free to create either a representative or abstract sculpture. For example, did they want to make their sculpture look like something in particular — a park, an enchanted village?? Or just look like an interesting assortment of shapes?
If they opted for an abstract sculpture, we encouraged them to be thoughtful of their overall design – they weren’t allowed to just randomly grab materials & attach them. They had to think through a color pattern, balance, pattern, etc.
Students who chose to create a representative sculpture had the extra challenge of trying to make random objects look recognizable. This moss covered forest bed of mushrooms in the image below is a great example!
Younger students of course sort of melded both approaches – they arranged random objects and then interpreted what it looked like to compare it to something recognizable. “This is the diving board!” Their interpretations changed quite frequently while they were working and adding and moving pieces around.
Students worked for a good while on arranging, coloring, & painting their wood bases before we passed out the glue. They had to be able to articulate their ideas to us as they worked through challenges involving gravity + having the stretch their imaginations.
After their materials were glued to the base, they were able to start attaching materials to the wire. They could use things with holes that slid onto the wire, along with washi tape to prevent things from moving where necessary, smaller wire and pretty much anything else they could slide, twist or tie to the wire. They had to experiment with the arrangement of the wire, to get it to look pleasing, tie into the theme of their sculpture, and not just topple over onto the table!
When all else fails, blow on it!