Emotional Masks

This year, the culminating project for my Ceramics I students was a little different.  I still asked them to use a hump mold to make a human face depicting an exaggerated emotion, but instead of completing the project in clay, my students used a mixture of plaster and paper mache.  It seems that each year, we end up down to the wire, frantically hoping that projects dry with enough time to fire and glaze them.  This year, to alleviate that stress, the students made the basic armature for their project out of clay, but then covered the face with paper towels dipped in paper mache plaster.  This meant that their projects dried in one day and they could then pop the clay out of the back, throw it away and use acrylic paints to finish up the rest of the project.  I was much happier with this method as it gave the kids more time to work on details and a chance to experience a different sculpture material.  They look similar to the masks from last year, but were completed with much less stress!  Each mask is inspired by a song that depicts a strong emotion.

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