This is a plaster sculpture project my Grade 5/6 class created which was inspired by the book: "How are You Peeling? Foods with Moods". The food illustrations are by New York based artist Saxton Freymann. He essentially uses only an x-acto blade and black-eyed peas (for the eyes) to create his expressive food characters. The illustrations in this book are so original- some are funny, some are sad and it's the perfect starting point for discussing emotions with students. Even though this book is geared towards younger students, my Grade 6's loved it and I own a copy myself!
Here's a short video that shows the illustrator discussing his process of creating
these edible art characters.
So students were asked to think of any type of food and then create a character that expresses a specific emotion. I have to say that 'happy' was a very popular emotion, I think, in part, because, well, my students are very happy overall! But looking at it deeper, I think we're all kind of taught that we have to be, or should always be, or at least appear to be, happy, and not to engage with other emotions, like sadness, or jealousy, or suspiciousness, etc. So I really tried to encourage my students to think of different types of emotions that they've had and that they're all valid and important for our personal growth.
We built the initial creatures simply out of wadded-up newspaper held together with masking tape. Some made their eyes out of separate balls and then hot glued them on at the end. We then used plaster gauze strips to cover it all and painted them with acrylics. We've also done this with simple papier mache strips and it works the same. The kids really enjoy this project, in part, because it uses their all-time favourite medium of plaster!!
"Very Happy Orange"
um... the, errr, "Scared Banana" was much discussed in the staff room and has become a long running joke amongst the teachers!
A student adding a final coat of varnish to her fruits in chocolate sauce. She brought the bowl in from home.
Yes, the hallway walls are in desperate need of a paint job!
The characters below were all made from papier mache (no plaster).
The yellow guy has to be one of my all-time favourite creations: a "Suspicious Horned African Melon".
I love how he has that old-timey suspicious look from old cartoons complete with a twirly moustache.
The "In Love Litchi" was made with toothpicks pushed into the newspaper body.