As a teacher, who has told my students not to say, "I can't," I kept running into mental blocks concerning the mobiles. Not only, how would we keep the hanging parts from sliding out of place, but how would I allow my students freedom without them getting frustrated by the complexity of the project? Additionally, where would we hang them when finished? Question upon question piled up in my mind, so I got on google and looked up Alexander Calder.
I wanted to know more about his process, but instead, I came across his wire sculptures. Playful, interesting, and turning drawing into three dimensions, I realized this was the solution.
Alexander Calder, Cow, 1929.
Scrapping mobiles, I gathered images of Calder's wire sculptures for the students to look at and talk about before designing their own.
Alexander Calder, Elephant, 1928.
We talked about drawing with one continuous line. I encouraged them to consider if they wanted to make their audience laugh, cry, or get angry. Then they went to work, first sketching out their idea using one continuous line, and finally working in wire.
The project proved quite a challenge for small, impatient hands, but I love the end results, especially the addition of dung inspired by Calder himself.