Today @ AK
Home > Education > Lesson Plans > Create Your Own Sculpture

Create Your Own Sculpture

For Grades 4–12

Edgar Degas (French, 1834–1917). Study of a Horse, 1880s. Bronze, cast executed between 1919 and 1921 from original wax, 7 5/8 x 10 3/4 x 3 1/8 inches (19.4 x 27.3 x 7.9 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Bequest of A. Conger Goodyear, 1966.

Table of Contents

New York State Learning Standards and Core Curriculum


  • Create a Edgar Degas, Louise Nevelson, or Marino Marini–inspired animal sculpture
  • Write poems about their sculptures


  • Telling Tales Presentation, Slide #11
  • Sculpture wire
  • Wire form mesh, scissors, glue, Styrofoam, paper, and drawing materials
  • Tissue paper (multiple colors)
  • Alternative (or addition) to tissue paper: Yarn, string, twine, etc.


Show students the sculptures of horses on Slide #11. How are they different? Have students choose one species of animal to sculpt and one of the three artist’s sculptures from which to draw inspiration.

  • Start with the sculpture wire to create the basic shape of an animal.
  • Use the wire to attach the form to a Styrofoam base.
  • Pre-cut the wire mesh into pieces. Use the wire mesh to cover the sculpture and squeeze tightly. It can also be used to create additional parts of the animal.
  • Cut the tissue paper into small squares. (see illustration)
  • Take the center of each square and twist it until it is into a point.
  • Insert the pointed part of the tissue paper into the small holes of the wire mesh. (Glue can be used for extra hold.)
  • Cover the entire sculpture with tissue or, if using the alternative materials, wrap the completed mesh form with twine, string, or yarn.

Additional ideas:

  • Have the students title their finished piece and write a poem/story about their animal.
  • Ask classmates to guess which artist was the inspiration for each sculpture.


  • New York State Learning Standards for the Arts (Visual Arts) 1, 2, 3
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language 2, 5
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening 2, 3
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standard for Writing 10 (5 and 6 if poems are drafted, edited, and presented)