Grecian Storytelling Vessels

Teaching Art

I love papier-mâché! Knowing I wanted to use papier-mâché to create a sculpture with Year 4, I checked to see what they were studying in class. Students were learning about Greek History and Mythology so I came up with the idea to create Grecian style earns or Amphoras using papier-mâché to make the forms.

Students began by covering a balloon with papier-mâché to create the body of the earn. Once dry, they attached a cup at the top and a hot glued a paper bowl at the bottom for the foot and covered it with strips of newsprint covered in the floor and water mixed. Lastly, students shapes tin foil to make handles, attached them them using tape and covered them in papier-mâché.

Using the artist Cleon Peterson as inspiration for the style, figures and designs, half the students painted their Amphoras black and the other half white. Introducing the 7 Literary Themes of Conflict, students began writing stories of conflict they would depict on their vases.

Using cut paper, students added either black or white figures and imagery to begin telling their stories of struggle on the surface of their earn. They then added white or black Posca paint markers for final details and designs.

I approached the Neilson Hayes Library in Bangkok to see if we could display the vessels at the library. With having a connection to storytelling, Greek History and mythology, the library seemed like the ideal place to showcase the vases. From Greek antiquity and classic literary themes to a modern graffiti artist and current themes and events, these storytelling vessels have figurative and literal layers of meaning.

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