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Sculpture of home

This activity provides instructions to create a 3D paper artwork inspired by the theme of 'home'. It was devised by artist Lisa Traxler, funded by Daisie Rich Trust and Arts Council England.

Many sculptors have explored domesticity and the home in their work. Examples can be found on Art UK.  

The spaces and structures of home

Lisa Traxler's interest in the home focuses on architecture, history and protection, as she explains:

'Our home is our place of safety, refuge and sanctuary. It is a place where we are shielded from the elements, where we are fed and rested. It is where we create memories.'

The RAF radar station near Lisa Traxler's home

The RAF radar station near Lisa Traxler's home

'My home and art studio on the Isle of Wight are located on the site of a former Royal Air Force radar station constructed in 1941 as part of a Second World War coastal defence building. The site played an important role during the Second World War, providing early warnings of incoming bomber attacks.'

Lisa Traxler's photos of the RAF radar station

Lisa Traxler's photos of the RAF radar station

'During the long days of lockdown in 2020, the radar station and the landscape around it became very important to me. Watching the sun cast shadows over the building inspired me to take a series of photographs and make drawings in my sketchbook documenting this time.' 

Discussion questions

Before you begin making, here are some questions to consider or discuss:

  • How do you feel about your home?
  • Has the way you feel about your home changed over time?
  • Do you have a favourite room in your home?
  • Do you know when your home was built? 

 

Materials

Each student will need:

  • a photo of their home
  • a sheet of A4 paper
  • light card (cereal boxes work well)
  • ruler
  • pair of scissors
  • a pencil
  • black marker pen
  • coloured pencils or pens

How to create your sculpture of home

Lisa Traxler discusses her work, the RAF radar station that inspired her, and demonstrates how to make a paper sculpture in this short film.

1. Begin by looking at your home. Look at the architecture of the building, the shapes that make up the building, and at the outline of your home – this is its silhouette.

Example: a line drawn through a building

Example: a line drawn through a building

2. Find an imaginary line you can draw along the edge of your home. In this example, Lisa drew a line down through the building: across the roof, down past the window, back across the top of the door, down along the doorframe, across the front wall, down the steps to the pavement.

Cutting the line drawn on paper

Cutting the line drawn on paper

3. Draw your imaginary line in pencil on your sheet of A4 paper. Cut this shape out. This is your template.

Using the cut paper as a template

Using the cut paper as a template

4. Place the template shape onto the edge of your sheet of cardboard (or cereal box). Draw around it. Flip the shape over, place it on the card, and draw around it again.

Three lines drawn on card

Three lines drawn on card

5. Place your template on the card and draw around it one last time. You will now have three 'edge' lines across your sheet of card.

Card shapes cut out

Card shapes cut out

6. Cut along the lines to create two shapes.

Openings cut into the card shapes

Openings cut into the card shapes

7. Draw some door and window shapes from your home onto your card shapes. Carefully cut out these openings.

Grids drawn onto the card shapes

Grids drawn onto the card shapes

8. Now it's time to add a design to your card sculpture pieces. Look again at your home, and notice how the doors and windows line up to form a grid. Draw this grid onto your shaped cardboard. 

9. Use a ruler and pencil to mark out and draw a narrow slot from the top to the centre of both card shapes. Cut out the slots.

Card shapes coloured

Card shapes coloured

10. Look at the colours of your home from the materials used to build and decorate it. Use these colours in your design. Decorate both sides of each card shape.

A competed sculpture inspired by 'home'

A competed sculpture inspired by 'home'

11. Slot your sculputure together to complete it.


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