Our volunteers are huge fans of his mobiles - especially the 60' wide ones! But, for the sake of a classroom project, we are opting to make pipecleaner animals in the spirit of his circus.
Alexander Calder created works of art throughout his childhood. While living in Pasadena in 1906 amidst the flourishing Arts and Crafts Movement, Calder was given his first tools and a workshop where he made toys and jewelry for his sister’s dolls. For Christmas in 1909, Calder presented his parents with two of his earliest sculptures, a dog and a duck made out of bent brass sheet. In his twenties, Calder moved to New York and studied at the Art Students League where he produced paintings congruous with the Ashcan aesthetic. He worked concurrently at the National Police Gazette, illustrating sporting events and the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and he made hundreds of brush drawings of animals at the Bronx and Central Park zoos, later published in Animal Sketching. Calder commonly used sheet metal and wire for sculptures and other projects during this period.
Here is another lesson plan resource - no need to reinvent the wheel! Thank you SDMart.org
Here's what we made testing out our plan:
The key to this is from the Pipecleaners Gone Crazy book - the coil around the foot/body technique. Makes it so much easier.