Thursday, November 18, 2010

Students Make Plastic Versions of Themselves


Topeka High student T. J. May is in the school library reading 24 hours a day. It’s not that he enjoys reading non-stop and never wants to leave the library. He isn’t physically in the library all the time, but a full body cast of him made of clear plastic tape is there for everyone to see.

Art teacher Carol Conner says she saw the plastic tape body casts in an art magazine and thought it would be a good project for her advanced sculpture students. “The students were excited about doing it and they have been doing a great job,” said Conner. The body cast is formed by wrapping each body part with a layer of tape with the adhesive side up so it doesn’t stick to the skin. Then another layer is put on with the adhesive down to form the shape of an arm or leg. A slit is then made in the tape and it is removed from the body. The slit is then covered with another layer of tape.

May, a senior, was the first of the four advance sculpture students to complete his project. He says it took about a week or two to make his full body cast. Response to May’s work as been positive. “The teachers, they like it. I’ve had questions like was it blown up? I tell them it’s a full body cast,” said May.

A second student has finished her full body cast which can now be seen in the Topeka High library. Conner says plans are in the works to eventually take the full body cast figures to every library in the school district so everyone can see the work of her students.