APPLE students are learning about artist Alexander Calder. After reading about his toys, circus, mobiles and stabiles in Scholastic Art magazine, students set out to make some of their own Calder-inspired art.
First, students tried their hand at wire animals. In the 1920's, young Alexander Calder was fascinated by the circus. He wanted to recreate the event and made lots of little wire "toys." He would use found objects such as leather, wire, cork, and other materials to make his creations. His toys could even move! Using string and wire, he designed his small sculptures to move with his help, much like a wind up toy.
Students used "found materials" (wire that was given to me after the school was getting a new camera system!) and pipe cleaners to create their animals. Students tried to drawing 'one-line' drawings first (without picking up the pencil) to help come up with the design of the animals. Students also had to decide what features were the most important to include.
Next, students read about his mobiles and stabiles. Alexander's work is kinetic; movement is important in all aspects of his work. Students looked at his work, like the lobster and fish tail mobile, and The Eagle stabile (pictured below). We discussed what it would be like to walk through one of his stabiles. Students also talked about how the viewer is what is moving around, as opposed to the mobile moving in front of the viewer. They then tried their hand at making their own!