Designed by Randy Ashenfelter
The menacing creatures that are often associated with Gothic architecture have actually evolved from lowly rainspouts. The word “Gargoyle” comes from the French word “Gargouille” and is the same root word that “Gargle” comes from. As architecture progressed, these rainspouts became more and more ornate. They reached such a point that they were no longer functional. Non-functional figures are technically called “Grotesques”, but most people still refer to them as Gargoyles. Gargoyles on buildings also served another purpose. They act as “Apotropaic devices,” or items intended to scare away evil spirits. Apotropaic devices have been used since ancient times to scare away not only spirits, but also foreigners and would-be attackers.
This lesson provides opportunities for students to:
·Create a gargoyle in clay while learning techniques for pinch/slab construction and building using armatures.
·Learn the functions of gargoyles & other apotropaic devices from an Art History perspective.
·Learn about the significance and symbolism of gargoyles in Gothic architecture.
Complete Lesson Plan Gargoyle (PDF)