Magazine article School Arts

Is There a Scribble Stage for Sculpture?

Magazine article School Arts

Is There a Scribble Stage for Sculpture?

Article excerpt

It has been more than fifty years since Victor Lowenfeld described a universal developmental sequence common in children's drawings. Known as the Stages of Artistic Development, Lowenfeld stated that, just as babies progress from scooting to crawling and finally to walking, children also mature predictably in their mark-making from the scribble stage to the schematic stage and on to the realistic stage.

Exploring Sculpture

Most parents and educators are not as familiar or comfortable with the developmental stages that may also occur in three-dimensional work, yet no doubt a similar progression exists. Is there a scribble stage in sculpture? Do children need to master one set of skills before they are able to move on to the next? Do students have opportunity and encouragement to spontaneously explore sculpture as they do drawing?

Balance and Support

In order to create a three-dimensional work of art, students must first learn about balance and support. Through guided experiences and a good deal of trial and error, students discover how to make two-dimensional forms stand up. They begin to attach one element to another and discover how to achieve height, width, and strength. Early sculptural attempts may look no more organized than the scribble of a three year old, but they are just as necessary and valid as those early marks with crayon or marker.

Fundamental learning is taking place when a student engineers a three-dimensional object. What materials are interesting and available? Should one glue, tape, staple, or lash? How does one support a heavy object? How can stability be achieved? Is the resulting object functional or decorative? Can one preserve moving parts? What surface treatment might be considered to add beauty, interest, strength, or polish?

Inventor's Workshop

It was my habit at one time to set up an Inventors Workshop in my artroom at the end of the school year. …

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