Alebrijes -- Oaxacan-Style Animal Sculptures

Students created whimsical "alebrijes" in the style of Oaxacan art carvings as seen on this website and others:

Students used their drawings from a previous project as inspiration for their sculptures, and they started by creating an armature of wire and aluminum foil.


After they were satisfied with the size and basic shape of their animal (creating the "skeleton" and "muscle" structure), they covered the foil with a thin (approximately 1/4") "skin" of Sculpey clay.


Using Sculpey over foil reduces the amount of clay needed (which keeps the cost per piece down), gives students the opportunity to work with several different materials and engages them in creative problem-solving activities.

The pieces were baked in a regular oven at 275 degrees for about 20 minutes. After baking, students used sandpaper to very lightly smooth the surface. (Avoid aggressive sanding, due to the thin "skin"!)

They used acrylic paint and Sharpies to add color and patterns to their sculptures and applied a coat of Modge Podge to create a glossy finish.




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