Architectural Letters – Lesson Plan

Architectural Letters – Lesson Plan

(♪♪♪) WOMAN:Well hello there.

One of the definitionsof the word 'architecture' is the art and actionof building or constructing.

In today's project, we're going to builda large letter, structural letter,than can be decorated with descriptivewords and images that are personally meaningful.

This is a papier mache project,and when I say that, you immediately think that it's going to bewet and messy, right? Actually, the method I'm going to show youis very tidy, and usesvery little water at all.

Start by drawing a large letter on a piece ofsingle ply chip board, making sure that it's no thinnerthan three inches at any point.

Chip board is very very strong, but it may be difficultfor little hands to cut, so if you're doing thiswith elementary ages, you could useposter board instead for a slightly lessridged project.

Cut the letter out.

You're going to needa front and a back, so it will take a full sheetof chip board per letter.

Once you have one side cut out, use it as a templateso you can get the back sideto match perfectly.

Now we're going touse paper cups to give it some dimension, so let me movethe front side aside.

We have Blickmulti-purpose white glue, and just some paper cups here.

I'm going to run the glue along the surface ofthe cup like this, and put it in place, making sure that it doesn't over hangthe side of the letter.

Stagger the directionthat you put the cups down, and that will give youthe most strength in the letter.

You don't need touse a lot of glue, but make sure thatyou have it covered.

Okay, now I would go aheadand I would fill up this entire letterwith the paper cups, put the glue onthe top side like this.

I will run off,don't worry about that.

And lay the front sidedirectly into the glue.

Alright, now I'm a little bitfurther along on this.

I've started wrapping it, but you can still see the paper cupsover on this side.

I've been applyinggummed craft paper tape.

It's packing tape.

Two inches wideon a 600 foot roll, with adhesive on one side that just needs a littlemoisture to make it stick.

I've cut the packing tape intosome manageable lengths here, and I havea sponge handy and wet, just run the packing tapeover the surface of the sponge, and then apply it on the letter from one sideto the other like so, and smooth down the edges.

Take the next piece, and overlap the piecethat you just put down.

Smooth it gently as you go, making sure that it's snugand it doesn't wrinkle.

Continue until you've wrappedthe whole surface in two layersof the paper tape.

Now once it's completely dry, you will have avary hard, smooth, and durable letterto work with.

So let's talk aboutways to finish it.

first of all you could usecollage material and apply them directly tothe tape surface.

This example uses yarn.

You could decoupage photos,papers, tissues, and other materials.

Use a little bit ofwhite glue to do that.

you could also usedrawing materials such as markersand coloured pencils.

Before you do that, I would recommend coatingthe craft paper surface with acrylic gessoto make it white and smooth.

If you're notfamiliar with gesso, it's an acrylic primerthat's very opaque, and you canpaint on the gesso too with acrylic colours.

This example right hereis a sculpted letter, and if you're working withhigher grade levels, you might want to trythis antique look here.

I'll give youa brief demonstration about how it's done.

First, you're going to needgel medium.

It's a really thick acrylicthat's white in the jar but it dries clear.

Working on one sideof the letter at a time, spread the gelwith a knife or craft stick.

I'm using itdirectly from the bottle, and spreading it like so,about a 16th of an inch thick.

Alright, then you can come backwith paint scrapers, or modelling tools, like such.

You can write words in it,create patterns, and if you do make a mistake, just smooth it outand start all over again.

Now, here's what it looks likewhen the gel is dry.

It turns clear again,as you can see, but if I move it around I'm hoping you can catchthat texture that's there.

If I turn this over, I've already coated it with amatte black paint that's dry.

I've got a couple ofmetallic colours here.

These areSergeant Metallic acrylics in gold and copper,and a foam brush.

I'm just doing to dabthe surface like so, pick up some ofthat spongy texture.

I want some of that blackcoming through.

Especially in thecarved out areas, like this, and just continue until you'vecovered the whole surface.

Let's take a look againat the finished piece, and you can see how it was done.

Of course you don'thave to make a letter.

You could spell outentire words, or make a shape,such as a star, a heart, a music note, or in this exampleover my shoulder, a lightbulb.

If you stop and think about it I bet you couldcome up with all sorts of creative waysto do this project, so get your paper cups,and your packing tape, and get started.

All the materials and instructionsfor this project are listed atDickBlick.

Com/lessonplans, and if you're a teacherputting together lesson plans, we list the national standardsfor visual arts education just to help you get startedwith all of your paperwork.

Thanks for joining us.


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