Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Teaching (M.S.T.) in Art






Plaster casts, Sculpture -- Study and teaching, Sculpture -- Technique



Physical Description

1 online resouce (44 Pages)


This thesis deals with an investigation of the feasibility of using the multiple-piece plaster mold as a vehicle for teaching the indirect method of sculpture to the adolescent student. It is based upon the assumption that the students involved in the processes described will have had previous experience with the tools, techniques, and materials to be used. The investigation centered around the ability of the students to express themselves through the development of a sculptural form. The teacher's role was to assist the student identifying, expressing, and evaluating his individual goals against those goals established by the teacher. Instructional goals were present, but relegated to being of secondary importance to those goals possessed by the student. My research established the physical possibilities of casting both in aluminum and concrete using the multiple-piece plaster mold. Research procedures centered around the investigations of industrial methods used in forming aluminum castings in plaster molds. My investigation revealed that solid aluminum castings in plaster molds offered exciting artistic possibilities, but that rigid control of the preparation of the molds and the casting process was necessary before aluminum casting could be introduced to the students. Concrete casting was also found to be of use in the secondary class room. Prior to the introduction of casting to the students, a questionnaire was given them to determine their sculptural concepts and their past experience with materials, tools, and techniques. The information gained gave support to the exploration of the casting process. I then formulated a unit of study designed around the student's successfully completing a solid casting in either aluminum or concrete using the multiple-piece plaster mold. This unit was presented as nine separate problems to be solved in the following sequence: designing in clay, constructing an armature, modeling a temporary clay form, forming a multiple-piece plaster mold, drying the mold, casting, chasing, applying a patina, and mounting a completed casting. The project was challenging and broadening for the majority of the students involved. They were able to use past experiences with implements, materials, and processes and incorporate these into this new learning situation. Group solutions were found to be the most useful method in solving problems in each step. Evidence suggests that group learning through association and cooperative problem solving is the most valuable result of this project. Aluminum proved to be the most popular material, but from an instructional standpoint it was found to be a much more demanding and complex material. I found that it was important for the students to have had previous experience in the use of similar materials, tools, and methods to those encountered in this project. Due to the complexity of this project, prior knowledge in sculptural concepts is also clearly indicated as being necessary. I conclude with the recommendation that this unit of study be undertaken by advanced students as a summary project after several years of study.


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