Grade Level9-10, 11-12
Cardboard, cardboard, wire, scissors, glue (yahoo liquid glue), masking tape, steampunk embellishments found, scavenged, or bought (you can buy in bulk at Amazon (https://amzn.to/399d0AE, https://amzn.to/3LiqK9P), plaster bandage OR paper mache (wallpaper paste or glue/flour mixture), bowls, gesso, newspaper, brushes, variety of acrylic paint colors, including metallic.
Using Steampunk as your inspiration, the student will create a sculpture
Using various materials, the student will create an armature in order to decorate and embellish in a steampunk style.
Use the slide show, found in the resource section of this lesson, to introduce students to the steampunk genre. “Steampunk is an art, fashion, and culture movement inspired by the industrial revolution. A form of nostalgic futurism, steampunk imagines a future where technology never expanded past steam engines and tesla coils.”
Explain what an armature is in sculpture. Look at some armature examples, how they are built, and their purpose in creating sculptures.
Show students the teacher demo video, An Introduction to Steampunk, found in the Resources for this lesson. This video shows the construction of the armature and the application of plaster gauze. Nest, one to three layers of gesso is applied to the structure. After the gesso layers are dried, you can apply a base color and steampunk embellishments. Cover more embellishments followed by color. Apply a metallic acrylic and experiment with paint applications to achieve depth, detail, and a feeling of antiquity.
Once students understand the process, they can begin researching and sketching three potential designs which can be functional or decorative. Students must have sketches that show how the armature will be built. Then students start building. As it is a messy process, adequately cover tables as needed.
Vocabularyarmature, assemblage, paper mâché, steampunk
Steam Punk Presentation, https://myartlesson.com/steampunk-sculpture-presentation
Teacher demo, An Introduction to Steampunk, https://youtu.be/qj5Us9MnUHw
Example of a wire armature, https://www.instructables.com/Make-an-Armature-for-Sculpting/
Example of balloons for an armature, https://www.ultimatepapermache.com/super-light-armature-for-large-figures
Example of wire and mesh armature, https://www.susiebenes.com/blogs/airdryclayart/88058691-sculpture-foundations-i-constructing-a-solid-armature
Steampunk artist Igor Verniy, https://www.thisiscolossal.com/2014/12/steampunk-animal-and-insect-sculptures-by-igor-verniy/
Author & Website/Blog
Jules White, with examples created by the students of Hong Kong International School