This project was inspired by the Zart Art Nurturing Creativity 2022 conference. I did a workshop with Juz Kitson and her porcelain sculptures were just exquisite. She was the perfect starting point for a paper clay project with my year 7s.
We started by watching some beautiful videos about coral reefs and I gave the kids some handouts highlighting the works of Juz Kitson. During our workshop Juz explained that a source of her inspiration was German zoologist, naturalist, eugenicist, philosopher, physician, professor, marine biologist, artist and overall smarty pants, Ernst Haeckel. I popped together some examples of his jaw dropping artworks for the kids to look at too.
We painted them using water paints and gave them a quick coat of varnish (although I was hoping for a gloss finish which we weren’t able to achieve with any spray gloss varnish, likely due to the porous nature of the clay) I suspect a paint of varnish would work better but alas, time.
If I were to attempt this project again in the future, I would use earthenware clay and fire them. The air dry clay is super brittle and brittle/year 7s isn’t a great combo. Overall I was pretty pleased with the outcomes and the kids were asking when they can take their sculptures home, so that’s always great to hear.