Mad Hatter Magic
Term: 4 Year: 2011
Our production of Alice in Wonderland provided the stimulus for these zany mixed media Mad Hatters.
Through the development of these works our Year 5 and 6 students had the opportunity to explore many different
materials on the one artwork. It also lent itself to researching the development of 3D artworks and introduced
them to the technique of using an armature as a basic structure for an artwork. The friendly staff at Bunnings cut
our MDF board for the backing of the work and our mixed media materials were found amongst our general art room
supplies. For specific components we purchased cardboard masks for the faces of the Mad Hatter and Magiclay for
extra detail and developing character within the work. Polystyrene was used to make the hat and bow ties.
Prior to the commencement of this work students had initially created black and white line drawings and designed very
individual interpretations of a Mad Hatter. We then transferred these ideas into our relief work.
Students placed their cardboard mask onto the MDF board and moulded polystrene into the shape of a hat and bow
tie. These were fixed onto the board and Magiclay was used to create large noses, eyes, eyebrows and any other
details that the students wanted to develop. When this basic structure was completed coloured tissue and fabric
scraps were used to cover over the armature. Simple pieces of polystyrene were put in place to create a border
that frames the work. All the basic components were held in position with masking tape and a range of materials
were placed at the student’s disposal to provide a variety of textures and choices. These materials
included items such as different wools, sequins, buttons, mosaic pieces, fabrics, paints and metallic pens. The
more choices students have the greater the variety of work that is produced.
The learning components and skills developed in the creation of this work cover a wide range of understandings and
allow for skill development in a wide range of materials.
I see this project being able to be adapted to many other topics including sea creatures and colourful fish,
clowns, magic wizards and witches etc.
Suitable for Level 4