June’s Gold Leaf Sculptures Family Art Lab was one that I had been looking forward to. I love working with clay and using gold leaf is something fairly new (and exciting) to me. Not only did we get to experiment with these fun materials, but we also got to visit the newly opened From India East exhibition! We began in the Art Studio by having a small discussion about what a sculpture is (it has depth!), how gold becomes gold leaf, and the technique of gilding (applying gold leaf). This talk prepared us for our experience in the museum, where we used our Activity Guides to search for gold sculptures.
From India East is an exhibition exclusively of sculpture, some big and some small, and some made of stone, wood, bronze, and gold. The exhibition really excited the children (especially with so many large sculptures) as they made drawings and posed like the artwork.
We left the museum feeling inspired to go make our own sculptures. We began by working with air dry clay, feeling it in our hands first, squishing it, and molding it into unique creations. We learned what it meant to add slip (adding water to clay to smooth cracks and “glue” parts together) and made our finished products smooth and ready for gold leaf.
Adding gold leaf (we used copper and silver too) proved to be slightly challenging due to the thinness of the leaf sheets, but everyone was up for the challenge. To adhere the leaf, we used paint brushes and special (very sticky) glue. It didn’t take long for everyone to get used to applying the leaf. Some families were even able to complete two or three sculptures!
The finished products were unique and beautiful! All of the families were proud to show them off.
I even got a special gift from one of the youngest participants!
I am looking forward to July’s Family Art Lab, Making Mountain Music, where we’ll be exploring the music of the Himalayas and making our own instruments from recycled, natural, and found materials!
Until next month…