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Wrapped in Texture

If a tea cup was suddenly made from fur could you use it in traditional ways? Creative and unexpected use of textures will transform ordinary objects to function in new ways. Camouflaging a rolling pin, a hammer, or a ladle, in new textures will allow us to break from conventional thinking, and imagine fun, silly, and surprising ways to invent new ways to use our common everyday objects.

  • Grade 5
    Grade 6
    Grades 7 and 8
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. Present “Meret Oppenheim. Object. 1936. Fur-covered cup, saucer, and spoon” for inspiration and discussion. Is this art? Ask students: How did Ms. Oppenheim use her imagination to transform this cup and saucer? What feelings do you experience when looking at this sculpture? What do you think the artist is trying to say to us by making this work?
    2. Ask students to choose a common household object that has a simple shape, and would be easy to cover in tissue paper. Mix one part water-soluble white glue with three parts water in a small bowl. Cut white tissue paper in 25.5mm to 80mm width strips. Begin to wrap the object with tissue strips, one at a time, brushing the strips with a coating of the glue and water mixture as you go. Be certain all tissue edges are smoothed down with the glue mixture.
    3. While waiting for the covered object to dry completely, invite children to brainstorm with friends and classmates about a fun and unexpected texture to apply to the object that would be opposite to the object’s original texture. No solution is incorrect! Encourage totally unexpected and fun solutions. For example a furry ladle would totally transform the function of a common ladle.
    4. With a texture in mind, use a photo resource to copy the texture that will transform the object. Point out to children that textures are created by patterns of lines, colors or shapes. For example a pattern of short lines would create a furry looking texture while a pattern of small dots would create a bumpy texture. Remind students to use 2 or 3 values when creating their textures to create the illusion of depth. Once the covered object is completely dry, and the textures have been practiced, begin by applying the texture to the object. Stand back from the object from time to time to reflect on the effectiveness of the texture.
    5. Students pair - share with a table mate to discuss how the new texture has transformed the function of the original object in new ways. Reflect on how a texture can make such a difference in how an object is used. Decide what the function of the object will now be. Cite specific observable attributes about the texture and the shape to support your ideas.
  • Standards

    LA: Pose and respond to specific questions with elaboration and detail by making comments that contribute to the topic, text, or issue under discussion.

    LA: Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.

    LA: Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.

    VA: Apply media, techniques, and processes: analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of their choices.

    VA: Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics, compare multiple purposes for creating works of art.

  • Adaptations

    Challenge students to think more deeply about the meaning of their work by providing the option of writing a short poem or spoken word performance about their objects, or an illustration of how the newly designed object might be used.

    Children who enjoy independent research could compare the work of Sandy Skoglund and Meret Oppenheim to analyze, describe and demonstrate how factors of time and place influence visual characteristics that give meaning and value to a work of art.

    Support children who may be challenged by fine motor skills with the opportunity to paint their objects to mask the objects’ surface qualities. A couple coats of paint maybe required.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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