Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Oh, What a Relief It Is

I always show my age when I title my posts, but this is one of those oldie-but-goodie projects that is always a crowd pleaser in the art room. I loved this project as a child.

We started with a presentation on relief sculpture. Many students were surprised to learn that the largest relief sculpture in the world is actually right here in Georgia, the Confederate Memorial carved on Stone Mountain.

The carving has an interesting history that also connects to the carving on Mt. Rushmore. Several of the students have seen both and were able to share their experiences and observations.

I shared a 2009 photograph of 2 of my boys with Nick Clifford, the only living Mt. Rushmore worker. (The "boys," now 17, were horrified that I posted this)
Mr. Clifford was only 17 when he started working on the carving.
He made 50 cents an hour working 8 hours, 6 days a week.

Here are a few of our relief designs that we made using mat board, glue, foil, and black tempera. The students were encouraged to "carve" additional designs, texture and pattern into the foil using a dull pencil. Can you guess our Language Arts related theme?

You're right! Alliteration.
All the subjects were from nature and start with the letter F.
flower, fish, fish bones, fowl and firefly


  1. Great project - do you use ordinary kitchen foil?
    Found you through pinterest, and will be following with interest :)

    1. Thanks, Elizabeth. It is ordinary foil. I tried the heavy duty but the regular worked just fine and is cheaper. I pre-cut the foil using a rotary tool and a self-healing mat to keep the foil as smooth as possible and the students also traced the glue lines before adding the patterns and details. Just a couple of tips I learned during the process.
      Laura Toney
      Art Education
      Malcom Bridge Elementary

  2. Hello from another GA blogger :) The connection to Stone Mountain through relief is really cool! This is a very cool idea.