This week Year 5 began a new art and sculpture project based on Taotie designs and masks. We have learnt that a Taotie is a mythical creature the Ancient Chinese people of the Shang Dynasty believed in. They were gluttonous and ravenous creatures who were always hungry, no matter how much they ate.
The people of the Shang Dynasty used Taotie designs to decorate and adorn their bronze items including dings, wine vessels and masks. We spent some time this week exploring the Taotie designs and finding patterns and features. Did you know, a Taotie face is always symmetrical, and contains features such a horns, fangs and quills? To really understand the designs, we had a go at copying some in our sketchbooks, have a look and see how careful we were!
We have also studied how the Shang people made their bronze items by ‘casting’. This is a process where molten bronze was poured into a clay mold and once cooled and solidified, was removed to reveal a complete item. Obviously, being inquisitive historians, we had to have a go at the process for ourselves to see how it works, so we made some of our own clay molds and have also used silicone molds to pour plaster of Paris in and make some of our own objects!
Have a look and see how we did! Using this as a learning curve, we will be putting these skills into practice again next week when we make some of our own Taotie designs, so watch this space for more amazing sculpture work next week!