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Challenge yourself by trying this activity in the American art galleries of a museum. First, look for a gallery that holds a variety of objects made out of metal. You will notice that many of these works of art look very similar. Choose one and describe it like you would if you were an alien that just landed on earth. Below are some helpful hints as to what to describe. Then trade your description with someone else’s. Using the other person’s description, can you find the object that they chose?

Size and Shape
Estimate the dimensions of the object using the metric system and describe the shape using geometric terms (disk, cylindrical, conical, parabolic).

Color
Describe the color by using the gray scale, and if necessary, the visible color spectrum, both of which are illustrated here.

Appearance of the Finish
Describe the finish with words such as matte, glossy, reflective, highly polished, rough, pitted, or brushed.

Manufacturing Method
Describe how you think the object was made. (Hint: some objects were made in several pieces that were joined.) Do you see any seams? Do you see marks from special tools that may have been used (hammer, chisel, etc.)?

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