Grade Level

7-8, 9-10


13 classes, 45 minutes


I used clay but this could also be done with paper mache



Lesson Objectives

For the student to…
Understand form and how to construct basic forms using slabs
Gain undersstanding and appreciation for Pop Art and artists

Introductory Activity

For this project I introduce students to artists who are inspired by food and other every day objects including Wayne Thiebaud and Claes Oldenburg. Both these artists took objects from the everyday world such as a cakes, lipstick, a flashlight; lifted them out of their usual context; and forced viewers to reassess their preconceptions about the objects. They updated the traditional still-life genre for the age of mass production and consumption. You might challenge students to think about every day mass produced objects and what they say about them or their generation.

We then talk about how basic forms are created from flat slabs. Students are shown how every object can be deconstructed to basic form is fundamental to both drawing and sculpting. Students come to understand that we work from big picture, like what form are we working to construct, to the details. Sometimes I use oak tag to show how the flat shapes can become the frame of a triangular wedge shape that could become a piece of cake or a wedge of cheese.

Lesson Process

I have students brainstorm a list of ten everyday items they could recreate, possibly, but not limited to food. With input from peers and myself, students select their everyday item to create in clay. To prepare, they collect images or even bring in items to reference. Next they develop sketches and notes for the process they will use to create the object from clay. At that point, they are ready to start executing their plan in clay. After construction the pieces dry and are fired. Students then will glaze to continue the sense of realism.


slab, glaze, form, modeling, 3-D


Basic forms in settings
Modeling | The Science Behind Pixar

Author & Website/Blog

Supporting Images