Claes Oldenburg (born January 28, 1929) is an American sculptor, who is known for his installations of large sculptures of everyday objects. He is also known for making soft sculpture versions of everyday objects. Many of his works were made in collaboration with his wife, Coosje van Bruggen. Oldenburg, now 88 years old, lives and works in New York city.
His cherry on spoon fountain is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
My 2nd grade students create two projects inspired by Claes Oldenburg's work. The first project is a popular one, the stacked cheeseburger. In creating this project, students learn how to stack, overlap, and add details to make the collage appear more textured.
-10.5" x 16" black paper
-12" x 18" colored paper for frame
-Each color paper cut down to 6" x 12"
*Light brown or mustard (bun)
*Yellow (cheese, mustard, and fries)
*Red (tomato, ketchup, bacon)
*Green (lettuce, pickles)
*White (onion, bun seeds)
This project takes about 2 40-minute class periods.
Day 1: Use the first 10 minutes to go over the artworks and biography of Claes Oldenburg. Once finished, demonstrate how to begin the collage. Start with the bottom bun and work your way to the top. The students want to see how you complete each step, and with the limited amount of time, I share how to create the bun, hamburger, cheese, onion, and lettuce. Show students how to fold the paper in half, then draw a shape from the fold:
*The bun, hamburger, tomato, and onion will be a rainbow.
*The cheese will be a triangle
*The Lettuce will be a wavy rainbow.
After the shapes are cut out, show how to glue the pieces down. Demonstrate how to stack halfway up and not directly on top of each other. Use the crayons to draw in the textures of each layer.
Day 2: Use the first few minutes to go over what was started. Continue to demonstrate how to create mustard/ketchup, pickles, bacon, the top bun, seeds, flag, and fries if needed. Once students have completed their cheeseburgers, have them frame their paper to display. Here are a few examples of the finished products!
Once the collages are done, we move into the second project, which is the sculpture!
-Primary classpack of Model Magic (red, yellow, blue, white)
-Baggies (to store unused clay)
-Small plates (students write their names on the plates)
This project is for one 40 minute class period. The size of the cheeseburgers will be small, almost like the students are making food for their dolls! The students will be mixing the primary colors to make their own green and brown. Give each student a small plate to write their name on. Once projects are dry, you can place the small plate and projects in baggies to hand back.
Start by having students mix their greens (blue and yellow) and browns. The buns requires a little of each (red, yellow, blue, white) for the lighter color, and the hamburger requires just the three primary colors.
Next, show the students what forms need to be made for each layer of the cheeseburger. Make sure you practice making the example beforehand.
Once students are done with the cheeseburger, they can use extra clay is available to make accessories, like fries, milkshakes, chicken nuggets, and more!
Here are a few finished examples!