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Level: Junior, Middle School, High School
Grades: K - 5 Age: 5 - 11 yrs | Written by: Jeanne C. Wolf
[Jeanne is an artist and teacher from DeLand, Florida USA.]

Students will use reusable objects and individual creativity to create wonderful sculpture.

What You Need:

IMPORTANT NOTE: Younger students will require adult assistance!

What You Do:
  1. With the hammer, pound two small holes in open top side of can, 1" apart. This is where you will lace 2 inches of wire through for hanging when it is finished.

  2. Place can on sidewalk (or other hard surface) with the two small holes directly in the middle, flat against the sidewalk (or other hard surface).

  3. Slam the hammer down on the top middle of the can to flatten it. When the bottom round part comes forward, adult assistance will be required. An adult can gently press the round part flat against the smashed part of the can with his/her shoe. The round part will be the front of the sculpture (see photograph above).

  4. Paint the can in a bright colored paint.

  5. Let your creativity run wild after the paint dries as you fill the can with wonderful found objects.

Recommended Books/Products:

The Fine Art of the Tin Can
by Bobby Hansson
In a newly revised and expanded version of his original success, celebrated folk artist Bobby Hanson takes the humble tin can and elevates it to art. On display in attention-grabbing photos are an array of quirky objects that will delight and amaze--and all it takes to make them are a few simple tools, some cans, and these simple instructions on cutting, shaping, riveting, and soldering. The charmingly fun projects include some childlike objects such as whistles, trucks, and airplanes; a "Tin Pan Alley" series of musical instruments, including a "canjo" and chimes; and even stunning jewelry and sculptures. Artists, metal crafters, and anyone seeking a new creative outlet will find inspiration aplenty in these uniquely original ideas and projects.

American Folk Art for Kids: With 21 Activities
by Richard Panchyk
Panchyk begins with a general introduction to folk art, and then explicates the main categories of these traditional crafts. He covers a variety of decorative arts, including painting, fabric work, woodworking, and found objects. Each chapter contains several related projects ranging from reverse painting on glass to quilting, stenciling, and tin-can sculpture. The activities might be best for individuals or families as some of the crafts can be costly, but most are easily adapted for classroom use.

Tin Can Man
by Marcia Leonard
A girl and her father build a figure out of tin cans that wins a blue ribbon.


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