Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Coal Fair

Since we live here in Coal Country, the school doesn't have a Science Fair, we have a Coal Fair.  The kids can choose a subject to which their project applies and pretty much make whatever they want as long as it relates to the coal industry.

Babe Jr chose art.  She found this illustration online, a lot of people in our area have this logo as a decal on vehicles and such.  She decided she wanted to make a clay model.

 We went to Walmart and purchased some fast drying clay and a set of poster paints.  With minimal help from Mom, she came up with this:

I helped her decide how big each body part should be, then she would roll them out and I stuck them together bracing the joints with tooth pics.  She then formed his little hat and light, I helped with the eyes nose and hands since they were so small and fiddly, last she smoothed it all out and added his belt.  We then let him dry and harden a few days after which, as it shrank... both legs fell off.  There wasn't time to let another one harden and set up before the fair so we just super glued them back on.

Once he was put back together, we got out one of Mr Backwoods' work shirts and decided where the reflective stripes needed to be.  Babe Jr started painting and I mixed up the bright blue and black poster paint to get a more authentic uniform color.  She let him dry, added a second coat the next day, and he looked great.  So great in fact................................that she got first place!

coal fair project

Please overlook the dirty table, I took him out on the porch so I could get a shot in good light and the outdoor furniture has not yet been spring cleaned.  She now gets to enter him in the regional coal fair and compete for cash prizes!  She's going to touch up his paint job again and make a little platform with a few pieces of real coal to serve as a sort of diorama backdrop and give him a base that we'll sticky tack him to in hopes that he's less likely to break.  Wish her luck!  I'm already such a proud mama, just hoping he holds together so that we can keep him and display him proudly on a shelf at home after the big completion.


  1. Awesome!! Looks like she's taking her talents after her mom...Supergreat....

  2. Way to go getting first place! That is a wonderful project. Very well done!

  3. Babe Jr. is so talented! This is one of the best school projects I've ever seen! Good luck to her!

  4. Beautiful job!! She is very talented! She deserved 1st prize for sure!

  5. Its my pleasure to tell you that your article has fascinated me. You are doing a great job. Keep the spirit high.And yes i have bookmarked your site backwoodsbabe.blogspot.com .