Scrap Wood Sculpture Art Activity

Getting Started: For those of you educators who like to save and recycle, this is a good stand-by project that kids love. I have a few baskets of wood scraps that I keep filled. I keep wood glue on hand, which dries quicker than regular white glue, and a base piece of wood to work on. The topic follows kids imaginations.

Art Techniques: 3-d collage or sculpture
Grades: Kg - 12
Ages: 4 - adult

About this project:
A nice book to refer to is Beautiful Stuff! Learning with Found Materials by Cathy Weisman Topal and Lella Gandini.

Materials needed:
• Box of scrap wood
• Sandpaper
• White glue, or wood glue (wood glue dries faster)
• A large flat piece of wood to build on top of (optional)
• Small hand saw, hammer and nails
• Masking tape
• Acrylic paint in the primary colors, white and black
• Paint brushes and container water
• Paper towels
• Varnish (optional)
• Larger, thin pieces of wood to use as a base for the project
• Newspaper to cover the working surface

Directions :
This project can be divided into three sessions.

Session 1
• Empty wood scraps on center of work space.
• Have one bottle of glue for each student and one large piece of wood per student to use as a base.
• I begin by asking students to play with the wood and make different arrangements. I might play music in the background. Once they like what they see, they can glue the pieces in place, or nail them.

Session 2:
• When the pieces are firmly set, students may paint their project.

Session 3:
• Varnish the art piece.

Art Therapy Ideas:
An excellent book to refer to is: The Art of Art Therapy, by Judith Rubin. Once the art piece is assembled, I would take turns creating a story with young children, or encouraging older children to make one up by themselves. This art piece can also become part of a painting or drawing. If you have any small plastic people, a drama can be enacted on your art piece. Another sculpture can be made as well.