Thursday, September 27, 2007

Edventure Family Art
Project #3:

Sculpey Sculptures

Special Note: The day totally got away from me so I did not get to finish answering the questions asked of us the other day. In a nutshell we're putting together a blog entry about how to approach exceptional children and their families. It's such an important topic that Joan (my wife) is contributing to it as well. We're roughly halfway finished, not because it is such a complicated issue but we both just saw each other for the first time today about 15 minutes ago!

Which reminds me to let you know that we have another secret to share later this weekend. This time it's not about any television appearances or media coverage for Ben. It involves something I've just recently become a part of that is extremely exciting as a working artist within my community.

In the mean time let us tell you about our final project that we have put together for our visits to EdVenture museum this month. Since we've gotten such a great response from you I'll share more art projects your family can do at home in the coming months!

Materials: Sculpey III Oven Bake Clay, plastic picnic cutlery, metal thumbtacks, and wax paper used for cooking.

Overview: Sculpey is soft clay that remains pliable until you bake it in an oven. Think of a softer version of Play Dough that never dries out! It comes in almost a limitless amount of colors including some that glow-in-the-dark. The great thing about this product is that you don’t have to make the artwork permanent. Once you’ve completed an art therapy session just put the clay aside for another day! I've had our package of clays for about two months and it's just as pliable as the day I bought it! We've even left some of it sitting out for about a month on Ben's art table and actually used it last weekend.

For permanent artwork bake the clay on an oven-proof glass surface at 275 degrees for 15 minutes (add an additional 15 minutes for each ¼” of thickness). Once you’ve baked the clay it can be sanded, polished, drilled, carved, or painted (with your acrylic paints from the second project!).

Uses: Limitless! We recommend starting with simple projects like making buttons grandmother can sew onto a sweater. We also found a neat creation mom or dad can carry to the office to show off to coworkers. Make a small button and then wrap the clay around the flat part of a metal thumbtack allowing the pin to protrude through then bake it (do not use the plastic push pins since they will melt). Now they will have a special push pin to post memos on the office bulletin board!

There are so many projects that Ben and I suggest you visit Sculpey's website and check out the hundreds of ideas they have.

Tips: Use the extruders sold by Play Dough to add more fun at art time. Also if your child is like Ben and has limited fine motor skill in his hands, work with the clay yourself to make it more pliable. The longer you work with it the softer it becomes. Also we discovered that it's better to glue the thumbtacks onto the the back once they are baked.

Total Investment: $25 or less. We started with the Sampler Pack which includes 30 1-ounce bars of clay. We’ve yet to replace any of the bars but replacement bars (2 oz.) are usually around $1.50 each. The Multi Pack includes 10 2-ounce bars for around $15.

Where to find: the same craft stores mentioned before but we’ve seen it at toy stores and even at WalMart.

1 comment:

Gretchen said...

These are soooo cool. Maddy and Natalie will love them. I personally am going to make some thumb tacks! :) Thanks for the fun ideas!