of Art: Coconut-Shell Cup
Frame: Two to Three Classes (45 minute periods each)
students will be able to:
their own "drinking" vessel from papier-mâché.
with different shapes for drinking vessels and different
patterns for them.
and skills. Complete TEKS
for 6th grade art.
2. Creative expression/performance: a. and c.
3. Historical cultural heritage: b.
the Work of Art
cups were indispensable to the daily aristocratic ritual
of drinking hot chocolate and were produced in large quantities
from the seventeenth century onward.
cups were indispensable to the daily aristocratic
ritual of drinking hot chocolate and were produced
in large quantities from the seventeenth century
shells were decorated with all kinds of engraved
motifs and equipped with silver bases, handles,
and rims, conforming to the traditional Western
design of a cup. The carved decorations used on
the coconuts' outer surface tended to be geometrical
motifs and figures of animals, birds, flowers, etc.,
according to the styles and fashion of the time.
would have it that the coconuts were cut, hollowed
out, polished, and decorated by the inmates of the
San Juan de Ulúa jail in the port of Veracruz. However,
given the large number of these objects within colonial
Mexican homes, they must have been made in many
parts of New Spain and not merely by groups of prisoners.
to image on exhibition web site - Coconut
students view the coconut-shell cup. Discuss how it was
used and how it was created.
What was the function/purpose of this work of art?
Which group of Mexican citizens would use this cup?
the decorations that adorn the cup.
is the first thing you notice about the cup?
might the ornate decorations represent?
the design fit into the Mexican culture of the time
traditional and contemporary patterns and motifs.
are some of the items we use today for the same purpose?
are the individuals that use such items?
do these items compare in relationship to this coconut-shell
will create a papier-mâché vessel (cup).
To make papier-mâché you will need"
balloons, water, flour and 1" strips of newspaper.
Mix flour and water in a large bowl (1 part flour to one
part water) until it makes a smooth paste. Dip in the
newspaper strips, one at a time, and lay the coated newspaper
on the balloon. Smooth out the wrinkles and continue to
place coated newspaper over the surface until completely
the papier-mâché is drying, create a stand
for the cup using poster board. Paint the stand. After
the papier-mâché is dry, pop the balloon.
Glue string in a pattern onto the cup. You can use the
string to create geometric designs, shapes or figures.
After the glue is dry cover the cup in foil and lightly
rub the foil so that the pattern of the string will show
through. You can also use the other end of a paintbrush
to create recessed designs in the cup.
students will compare their work of art with the coconut-shell
cup from the exhibition.
that you have replicated the work of art, what skills,
techniques and talents when into producing your cup?
of these skills would have been used by makers of
the coconut-shell cup?
other skills did they use that you did not in making
your cup (engraving, hollowing out shell, etc)?
types of decorations did you use in making your cup?
Does it represent the current trends of our time?
about the coconut-shell cup in the exhibition?
papier-mâché cup should be covered with foil
with a string pattern and have a painted base.
Studies: Decorations that could be fashionable at
Health: How chocolate affects the body
Science: How hot chocolate was made at that time
or the composition of the materials in the cup