For this Art lesson, the 6th graders and I spend nearly half our first session brainstorming as many varieties of cake as we could. We began with the easy ones: birthday cake, dirt cake, angel-food cake, marble cake, and on down the line. But soon, we were all trying to one-up each other on the creativity spectrum... Cake Michigan, batter up, and eggs & cakon. After "Justin Timbercake" was suggested, we knew we had reached the pinnacle of brainstorming and got to work.
1. Students chose a title for their cake sculpture and sketched their ideas. Using the title, the sketch/sculpture present a literal translation of the words: for example, "Marble Cake" might be decorated with actual marbles.
2. Student construct cardboard armatures. We used small paper plates as a base (the really thick kind), then taped together two 3x5 pieces of cardboard to half a toilet paper roll to make the slice of cake. The top of the cake slice was traced and cut out of tag board.
3. After covering tables and bundling up students in the most heavy-duty smocks I could find, and handing out stern warnings regarding the consequences of pouring plaster down the sink drains, we covered our armatures in several layers of plaster gauze.
4. Tempera paint is applied, and various found objects hot-glued to the work to complete the effect.
Art History connection: view & discuss the cake paintings of Wayne Thiebaud!