As part of a unit on the Middle Ages, 5th through 7th grade students created gargoyles and grotesques.
In addition to looking at a variety of pictures of gargoyles on the internet, students also read "Night of the Gargoyles," by Eve Bunting and David Wiesner, and "God Bless the Gargoyles," by Dav Pilkey.
They began creating their own little monsters by making an armature of newspaper, posterboard, cardboard, and masking tape.
Plaster gauze strips that were approximately 1 by 2 inches in length were next applied. Each table had a small bowl of water in which to dip the strips.
When the plaster was bone dry and hard, faces and features were either chisled out or built up using modeling paste. Because of the difficulty we encountered with the faces using the plaster gauze in this way and working relatively small, if we do this again we'll make gargoyle "busts" instead of the full figures....
After exploring several possibilities as to how to get these little guys to look like stone, we hit upon the perfect solution that also fit our low-cost budget. Using tempera paint--though acrylic would have provided better coverage--students painted their gargoyles a medium shade of gray, and then used white paint and stiff brushes to spatter them. (By the way, smocks are mandatory while spatter painting!)
They repeated the spatter process with black paint, and while it was sometimes difficult to control the size of the spatters, the gargoyles really began to look like stone! As a final step, some students chose to emphasize the features using either white or black paint.