Sunday, March 15, 2009

Lesson: Bas-Relief Memory Tiles

Fifth-graders were invited to view objects of historical significance, such as a bust of George Washington, Shepard Fairey's print of Barack Obama, or Augustus Saint-Gauden's Shaw Memorial. Then, they were asked to reflect on a significant event in their lives, and illustrate the symbols of their story through a bas-relief clay tile. Afterwards, the students were instructed to write a "label" for their piece, describing the event that inspired their work.

Materials: air-dry earthenware clay, modeling tools.

Basic instructions:

1. Think about why people and events are sculpted.
What important positive events have you experienced in your life? What symbols do you think represent you?

2. Consider how a historian would understand your
tile. What are the most important elements that you need to include?

3. Add to the surface of the tile with clay shapes. Keep it simple!

4. Score the area on the tile where you will attach the shape. Then score the back of the shape, and add a tiny bit
of water to make sure the shape sticks well.

5. Use the sculpture tools to add texture to the surface.

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