Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Learning about Sculpture with Artistic Pursuits (Schoolhouse Review)


sculpturew1 cover

Product: Sculpture Technique: Construct

Company: ARTistic Pursuits

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ArtisticPursuitsInc

Age Range: 11-18

List Price $47.95



We have used several other books from the ARTistic Pursuits curriculum and I have always been impressed with their quality, so I was excited to have the chance to try out one of the brand new sculpture series. There are 2 sculpture books: Sculpture Technique: Construct, and Sculpture Technique: Model. We are using the Construct book.

Sculpture Technique: Construct includes 4 distinct units:

  1. Creating Form in Papermaking teaches papermaking, using a Grummer’s Dip Handmold. Once the paper is made, it is formed into various types of 3-dimensional sculptures.
  2. Creating Planes in Cardboard uses corrugated color paper and corrugated paper from cardboard boxes to create 3-dimensional shapes, models, and scenes.
  3. Creating Motion with Paper Mache teaches the student to build armatures from wire and other household objects, cover them with paper mache and finish by painting.
  4. Creating Volume with Wire covers building different types of sculpture projects from wire.

Each unit contains color pictures of examples, step-by-step instructions with photos for each project, and instruction about sculpture concepts, such as plane, volume, and motion.


When I think of sculpture, I immediately imagine projects involving clay, but as you can see from the content, the Construct book doesn’t even use clay. The student has opportunities to create using many different media. The projects go beyond simple “crafting,” because creativity and originality is always encouraged. The basic techniques are taught, and the student is encouraged to make each project her own. The authors explain that crafting concerns the techniques, and that the greater the skill in crafting, the more ability the artist will have to express ideas through his or her art.

Each unit includes an evaluation that encourages the young artist to reflect on what he learned about the materials and process, and to evaluate his sculptures, thinking about how he would like to make improvements in future projects.

Emily worked on Unit 1—Papermaking during the review period. First, she learned how to make paper by tearing up scraps of paper, soaking them in water, pureeing them into pulp in the blender, then pressing the pulp into sheets of paper, using the dip handmold. We used copy paper (destined for the recycle bin) mixed with scraps of colored construction paper to create different colors of paper.












She then used these sheets of handmade paper (dry or wet) to create various types of paper sculpture. First, she made a “low relief” sculpture, using tabs and curling and folding paper to create a picture with 3-dimensional elements.














Then she sculpted the paper into flowers, but cutting shapes, spraying them with water, then folding and curving the petals before gluing them.











Another fun project was making people by forming wet paper around wire armatures to form skin and clothing. Ours didn’t turn out just like those in the book, but I was still pretty impressed with what we could do! We are looking forward to trying out projects in the other 3 units, next.














I did most of the projects with Emily (I wanted to join in the fun!), but I think this book could be easily used independently by most students over age 12. 11 and 12 year olds might require some assistance.

The Sculpture Technique-Construct book had a bit of a different feel to it than the other ARTistic Pursuits books we’ve used. Instead of being set up with many sequential lessons, each one including both art history and technique instruction, each unit included several projects, each requiring different lengths of time to complete. At certain points, the lesson must be stopped to allow materials to dry, but other than that, the student may work from one project to another in a day, or may spend multiple days on more complex sculptures.

I highly recommend ARTistic Pursuits Sculpture Technique: Construct as a fun and unique way to add art to your home school.

Other Crew members reviewed the Sculpture Technique books (and worked on different units). Other reviewers tried out some of the other ARTistic Pursuits curricula. Click on the Crew Banner to read what their experiences!

Click to read Crew Reviews
I received this product free in exchange for my honest review.


  1. She did such a GREAT job! Those are beautiful models! We did this same book, and had such fun with it!

  2. Impressive! The paper turned out pretty, but the flowers and scenes and sculpture--wow!


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