Art Snacks: Activities for Young Artists
Calling all little artists! Get a taste of a work of art and get your creative juices flowing with monthly activities for 3- to 5-year-olds and their caregivers.
This month look closely at Barbara Hepworth’s sculpture Stringed Figure (Curlew) (Maquette) and create a curved sculpture using everyday materials. Keep reading to learn more!
Image: Barbara Hepworth, Stringed Figure (Curlew) (Maquette), 1956, Brass and cotton string with wooden base, H. (w/o base) 9 1/8 x W. 7 x L. 13 in., Bequest of W. R. Valentiner
What do the curving lines and smooth shapes of Barbara Hepworth’s sculpture remind you of? The artist took inspiration from the natural landscape she saw around her home in St. Ives, Cornwall, a seaside town in England.
Learn more about this sculpture by watching the video below. Plus gather inspiration to create a curved sculpture of your own!
Follow along to create a sculpture that curves and bends! First gather the supplies you’ll need:
- Paper plate
- Metallic paint or markers
- Dark paint or markers
- Small box
- Hole punch
- String or thread
- Glue (hot glue works best)
Step 1: Create a curved shape.
- The curved shape in Hepworth’s sculpture was inspired by a bird. Think about what you want your curved shape to remind you of.
- Using your pencil draw your curved shape onto your plate.
- Cut out your shape. Feel free to use scrap paper to add collage elements to your piece.
Step 2: Paint your shape and base.
- Paint your curved shape using your metallic paint or markers.
- Using a darker color, paint the small box, which will be a base for your sculpture to sit on.
- Let both of these pieces dry.
Step 3: Punch holes.
- Once your shape is dry, punch holes along the inner curve.
Step 4: Thread your shape.
- Cut a long piece of string and tie one end through a hole in your shape.
- Thread your string in and out of different holes. Feel free to go through the same hole more than once if your string fits through.
- Observe how your shape bends when you pull your string tighter or make it looser.
- Tie the end of the string through another hole to secure it.
Step 5: Attach your shape to its base.
- Glue your shape to the small box. Be sure to ask a grown-up for help if you are using hot glue.
- Observe your art. Look for new shapes that formed in between the lines of your string.
- How did your shape bend as you wove your string through the holes?
Barbara Hepworth said, “I think every person looking at a sculpture should use his own body. You can’t look at a sculpture if you are going to stand stiff as a ram rod and stare at it.” How can you move your body while you look at the artwork you created today?
Share your finished artwork with us by tagging your photos with #NCMAArtSnacks.