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Students Adapt While Creating Paper Sculptures

Students created a 3D animal, object or creature sculptures
IB Visual Arts 7 students learned how to make paper sculptures by taking a 2D net of a solid and turning it into its 3D form by careful cutting, folding and gluing. They started off practicing on printed templates, just making the basic geometric forms like cubes, rectangular prisms, square-based pyramids, icosahedrons and dodecahedrons. 

For their summative, students were tasked to design a creature, animal or object while keeping in mind which basic forms would help them achieve their desired outcomes. Students displayed their creativity by making a variety of shapes including altars, flowers and jellyfish. 

Olyn Pan ’26 made a crystal for his 3D sculpture, along with other classmates. Olyn said he picked the idea of a crystal because of the examples he saw. 

“They looked kind of hard to make, and I knew we wouldn’t have that much time, but the crystal looked complex and easy to make,” he said. “I was able to stick with the same process, but it took more time than I expected, so I had to limit the number of crystals I made. Which was four. Overall, the design was good for a first start. I hadn’t done anything like this before, but when I’m older I might be able to make bigger sculptures.”

Some students collaborated on a theme for their sculptures, including Jessica McDewar ’26 and some of her classmates who worked on dragons in a cave, with treasure. 

“We thought a whole scene would be nice,” she said. “We started thinking we would make some dragons and a couple of jewels. We weren’t sure about the dome at first. It was fun working as a group and getting it done, and looking at the complete picture.” 

Throughout the project, students learned that it was okay for initial ideas to evolve, and mistakes were opportunities to improve their designs. In some cases, ideas changed completely towards the end of the unit. 

Sophie Lucas ’26 made a flower sculpture, but her original design was for a bunny. 

“My original idea was a little complicated with the bunny. It took me a few classes to make the body, so I decided to move on and create something a little easier,” she explained. “I really enjoyed how my sculpture turned out. I think it would have been worse if I had stuck with the bunny idea, so I’m happy I changed.” 

Students learned throughout the process that while it is important to create a vision and persevere through to the end, it’s equally important to be flexible and to trust their instincts when they feel something else might work better. 

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