Hans Hokanson For Younger Children

Silhouette of sculpture



Hans Hokanson

American, born in Sweden, 1925–1997

Subject: Texture

Activity: Make a textured sculpture

Materials: Modeling clay and clay tools

Vocabulary: Carve, texture, organic, sculpture


Hans Hokanson was a master cabinet and furniture maker as well as an artist. He carved this sculpture directly into a very large cherry tree trunk. By carving into the wood, Hokanson changed its texture and shape. Now, instead of looking like rough wood, the sculpture looks smooth, like flowing water.


How would the piece of wood feel different before and after the artist carved into it?

Why do you think the artist wanted to change the texture of the wood?

What are some ways we use wood? What are some ways we use water?


Using modeling and tools have your child experiment with making different textures in clay. Show your child how to make the clay look smooth and rough. You can try pressing different items, like rocks or fabric, into the clay to change the texture. Choose an item to replicate in clay and try to recreate its texture as well.


Carve —To cut away from a surface

Texture —How the surface of something looks or feels (for example, rough or smooth)

Organic —Looking like shapes found in nature

Sculpture —A work of art that has height, width, and depth