Metalworking

Competence and confidence develop as our young artists craft treasured pieces of wearable art. They safely master processes such as pouring molten metal, manipulating metal with a torch, and utilizing industrial art tools to pierce and polish. Our students are exposed to art beyond drawing and painting and uncover unusual aspects of their artistic identities. Their preconceived notions of what makes someone an artist are challenged.

In sixth grade, each student designs and builds a symbolic three-dimensional object directly connected to a year-long humanities unit on community. They learn to manipulate sheet metal, master safety in the shop, work efficiently, and share industrial art tools. Techniques covered include texturing, sawing, piercing, filing, sanding, polishing, riveting, and assembling with copper and brass.

Seventh grade students explore biologist Ernst Haeckel’s book, Art Forms in Nature, for inspiration. They create freehand reverse-carved molds with plaster of Paris. They carve and pour the molten metal into the resulting cavity and directly experience the “thought into object” process.

We integrate art and computer science in eighth grade. After learning about electrical conductivity, the girls use the same physics principle to create an art piece through etching metal.