Sunday, February 3, 2013

Remember the Aluminum Alamo?

I created this lesson many years ago after having difficulties with a clay Alamo lesson in my curriculum.  I had to use air dry clay, since I had no kiln, and many projects fell apart. Sad teacher and kids! ..... I was flipping through an Arts and Activities magazine (pre pinterest) later in the school year, and found a lesson on Metal Tooling. I recalled an aluminum Alamo plaque I purchased while visiting San Antonio. Light bulb Alamo lesson. 

On Day 1, we discussed the Alamo and the missions they had preciously learned about in their Socials Studies class. I picked up from there and we discussed architecture of the past and present in Texas. They created a contour drawing of the facade on manila paper cut the same size as the 32 gauged aluminum. I encouraged them to make it their own interpretations. 

On Day 2 we taped the drawing to the aluminum and discussed metal tooling. We used ball point pins to transfer the design into the aluminum with felt underneath. The second step was to retrace the lines with dull pencils or a wooden stylus. 

Day 3 involved more metal tooling. Since the Alamo is a symmetrical structure we could flip over the aluminum and continue creating the relief sculpture with reprousse techniques. I tried to cut the tops off of the Alamo to create facade shape before classed ended. We also painted the "front" surface with India ink and soap to age the metal and create contrast. 

Day 4 was the finishing day this week. I had the students use still wool to polish the "hills" of the raised relief texture of the aluminum. They printed a background paper using Fiskar brayers and silver Dick Blick ink. I hot glued the Alamo Relief sculptures and we are finished!


  1. Beautiful! This architecture is perfect for using with metal tooling foil. Thanks for sharing!


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