Sculpting the Outside In

By Carmel Dor

These days, we are sitting inside a bit more often than usual. Why not use this as an opportunity to look out our windows and think of ways we break the boundaries of what counts as inside and outside?

The architects who designed the museum made sure to create a space that was welcoming and open. This is expressed in details throughout the building, from the perforated canopy to the curved glass walls that let you see through the space. Sometimes it can feel like you’re not in a building at all.

In this week’s activity, we are breaking boundaries of what it means to be inside or outside!

Brightly colored paper, scissors and tape on a wooden table.

Things you will need

  • Assorted colors of paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape or glue stick

Make it!

1. Start by playing around with different kinds of textures and creating different shapes by folding and cutting the paper. You can use the tape to build cubes or cones and cut in interesting ways to make spirals or fringe.

Take your time with this step and get creative!

White paper cut and folded into abstract shapes like cones, cubes and swirls.


 

2. Once you decide on your favorite paper experiments, lay them out and start thinking about the blueprint for your sculpture. In this stage, don’t tape anything down just yet. Try out different combinations and move the pieces around.

Brightly colored paper cut and folded into abstract shapes like cubes, tubes, and swirls.


 

3. If you’re happy with your layout, you can get started on construction! Use your tape or glue stick to secure your pieces to the base sheet. This is another step where you can get creative with how you glue bits down. Secure your paper in a swirl or bend it in arcs!

Brightly colored paper cut and folded into abstract shapes like cubes, tubes, and swirls.


 

Add your finishing touches! You can use the bits from your cut outs to add smaller features to your sculpture. Make adjustments to your arrangement before your glue dries or by moving the tape until you’re satisfied.

Brightly colored paper cut and folded into abstract shapes like cubes, tubes, and swirls.


 
Brightly colored paper cut and folded into abstract shapes like cubes, tubes, and swirls.


 

Questions to experiment with

  • How can you add color to your sculpture? Can you repurpose paper for this project? Change up colors with coloring tools?
  • What other ways could you build with paper? We mentioned tape and glue sticks but what about sewing or other non-adhesive methods?
  • What happens when you shine a bright light on your sculpture? How does light and shadow affect the mood of the building?
Share your masterpiece with us by emailing it to manettishremmuseum@ucdavis.edu along with your name, age and a sentence about it to include in our Community Gallery. You can also tag us at #manettishremmuseum.