These paper sculptures in our 9 – 14 yr. old class were inspired by topographic maps. The final pieces of this middle school 3D art project looked so amazing!
We started by examining topographic maps and discussing how lines and shading are used with map making to create the illusion of depth for mountain ranges and valleys. Students then cut organic shapes out of heavyweight card stock, starting with approximately 2 inch pieces, and used a pencil to trace gradually larger shapes, altering the shape ever-so-slightly as they got bigger.
They were given the choice of using a particular color pattern such as all warm or cool colors, going from light to darker shades or vice versa, or any other color palette they found pleasing. Lastly, they glued a small cardboard spacer in between each layer, and we mounted them on a white poster board.