When Ms. Chambers is away, the seventh graders will play…with the Upper School Sculpture I that is.
With their art teacher, Rachel Chambers, on a field trip during their Thursday class, the Middle Schoolers paired up with older students to learn how to sculpt, pour, and set a mold in a process known as bad relief casting.
All around the Reed studio, students were helping each other carve and shape forms. In one corner, a group of Upper School boys began filling buckets with plaster, while their younger counterparts mixed the white goo with their hands.
At one table, Norio Chan ’15 was showing some art students how to form the design and base to create an ideal form for the plaster. He said the idea was to avoid undercuts in the design.
“Say you have this shape that’s all rounded up,” he said, forming a dome shape with his hand and indicating the space below. “You’re going to have anti-space right here and you don’t want that in sculpture.”
Susanna White, who teaches the Upper School class, said she was always looking for ways for classes to collaborate, although she had never done so with the Middle School before. Still, the timing was serendipitous: her Sculpture I class had just finished their section, and the Middle Schoolers were ready to start a new theme.
“So I thought, ‘This is a great one-day project that they could do,’” Ms. White said. “It just happened to be that this would be a really great combo project for them. And I had just a small enough class that it would work well.”
For the older students, Ms. White said she considered the collaboration to be a “group test of their knowledge to see if they could relate the information to the younger students.”
As she made her way to the plaster area, Adeline Rogers ’20 showed off the moon she had just sculpted, free of undercuts or other potential plaster problems.
“I learned that if you have an edge that goes under, then it can get stuck when you’re trying to take it out,” she said of her form. “I learned how to mush it in.”