Cardboard Portrait

15MarquezStudent_2013smIn this project reclaimed cardboard is used to construct self portraits. The cardboard image and structure emphasize the importance of reusing and recycling materials and should provide an inspiring example of creative thought and innovation through repurposing materials.

Mission: Self Portrait

Develop a self portrait using an image of yourself, a word that reflects who you are, and cardboard. Any photo that shows a true likeness of your face can be used. A sheet of cardboard will be your canvas. The goal is to use a subtractive and additive method to develop a portrait using the layers of corrugated cardboard. The finished portrait should be a minimum of 11 x 17  inches. You may go larger.

Project Description/Outline:

  1. Begin with a photograph: A digital file will allow you to enlarge the image to fit your canvas. It will also allow you to add and compose text digitally.
  2. Prepare cardboard canvas. Sized to be fit with the chosen image. It is critical to have all image corners at 90º if you intend for the frame to be a true rectangle or square. Note: I usually refer to 90º corners as “square”.
  3. The image should be altered to black and white. This should be done to a point where the image is made up of positive and negative fields (areas). The average rendering can be made up of very little to no gray areas. This can be done by drawing or tracing the image paying close attention to these areas. You may expand the pallet to include multiple layers in accord with varying degrees of grey. Note: the image above has Three layers to develop the image: black, white and an exposed corrugated layer. Explore the possibilities.
*An alternative to this “hand and eye” design strategy is to put the image in photoshop and alter it to black and white and then the “Threshold” settings can be altered to get the image to your preference.
  4. Choose a word and font that best represents your personality. Develop them into your composition. The word or words must be at least seven characters.
  5. You will need to enlarge the image dimensions to the appropriate size.
  6. After a paper composition has been produced the image will need to be transferred to cardboard. Lightly mark the areas that separate positive and negative sections of the image. If you plan to strengthen the image quality with your own aesthetic this would be a good time to do so.
  7. Once transferred to the cardboard the image is ready to be developed by cutting, tearing and sanding away either the negative or positive areas. It may be necessary to darken the negative areas or pencil marks so they can be seen better in production. Your final image should have no pencil marks.Tearing and cutting away dark areas usually works best. What other methods can you explore and develop?
  8. Finally: Create a a frame of cardboard around your cardboard Portrait. 2 inch thick minimum. This can be done by layering strips of cardboard to create a thicker board. It is a good idea to experiment and create these strips/boards well in advance so they are ready when you are ready to complete the project. Be creative, What can be done to make the frame more interesting? Note: Exposed corrugated layers should be used as the face of the frame structure. The method demonstrated in class functions more structurally and can create an unexpected aesthetic to the project as a whole.
  9. Craft is important: Cuts and joints well executed. Clean up glue and pencil marks.

NOTE: Please refrain from cutting on table surfaces. Use a matt of cardboard or other material if you use the table. The floor works well to give one space to work and cut without damaging the table surfaces.


  • Low Relief
  • Rubber Stamps
  • Negative and Positive imagery
  • Cardboard: Material Properties
  • Texture by Exposing layers
  • Stencils
  • Screen Printing

Tools and Materials:

  • Utility Knife
  • Exacto or Hobby Knife
  • Cardboard
  • Card board paper
  • Pencils
  • Graphite
  • Adhesive (wood glue)
  • Masking tape
  • Transfer paper (optional)


Materials Characteristics:

  • Cardboard: Flat surfaces
  • Card board: Lamination
  • Laminated Layers
  • Skin
  • Corrugation (plains and patterns)


  • Elements of Design
  • Principles of Design
  • Composition
  • Texture
  • Pattern
  • Unity
  • Balance
  • Relief
  • Sensibility to form:
  • Representational Forms
  • Abstract Forms
  • Non-Objective Forms


  • Technique
  • Cutting Safely
  • Thinking from 2-d to 3-d, layers
  • Organizing the surfaces of a corrugated cardboard plane to alternate between textures.
  • Developing Craftsmanship

Note: Use only Cardboard and Glue. No crayons, paints, chalks or inks. Factory pre-printed or pre-colored papers are fair game.

Create a label for your project with these specifics:

  • Name:
  • Dimensions: HWD
  • Materials:
  • Year Complete:
  • Course:
  • Tape your label in upper right corner of the back of your project.


Project Gallery

Intermediate: Individual Research: Request for Proposal (RFP)

Bader 72A class of this level is a junior/senior level experience in sculpture.  As such the student is responsible for developing and presenting a digital file and printed statement of their intentions for the rest of the semester.  It should include a theme description, images of other artist’s works that are similar thematically, the materials and techniques believed appropriate for this theme. Personal deadlines are valuable assets for individual growth and will allow one to self check progress and stay on schedule to deadline. Develop this in the proposal to assist in staying on task. The instructor will consider the proposal and, if need be, ask the student to make adjustments that strengthen their ideas/concepts or stretch their creative reach.

Below is a brief outline of format and what is expected in the proposal. It is anticipated that the proposal be presented in a format of professionalism that expresses this advanced level course. Three to five pages is an average goal for this assignment.

Project Assignments:

  • Research Proposal: Statement of Intent: Due Date by instructor mandate
  • Minimum of 2 sculptural compositions: See syllabus for scheduling
  • Artist Statement for each composition (Focus on the individual composition)
  • Documentation: Photo images of finished pieces
  • Sketchbook: Research for each composition (5 page minimum per composition)
  • More information on these topics below.

Research Proposal: Statement of Intent

  • Cover sheet:
  •  Title: “Course Proposal: Sculpture “Course Number”
  • Prepared for: Instructor’s name, Advanced Sculpture (Semester and year)
  • Prepared by: “Student Name”
  • Date

Proposal Summary: One to two page

  • Objectives
  • Goals
  • Research
  • Personal Deadlines
  • Additional images and  documents to add to your proposal (See below)
    • Notes on imagery:
      • Artist research: Articles and Artists Statements
      • Images may be printed within the body text
      • Images may be printed on pages after the body text. Try to note these in your body text.
      • Your Sketch book or a copy: Sketches and ideas of your intentions


A presentation to the class will be expected on the due date of this statement. Be prepared with your statement of intent, drawings, rough sketches, lists, images and other information gathered for your research. This will be treated as a critique session in which student engagement, ideas and feedback will be expected during the discussion. Digital format should be the goal for this assignment. Please submit via email, yet a portable storage device may be used to transfer files to the instructor.

Media Presentation: (optional)
A Power Point/Keynote presentations may be delivered to the instructor and your peers in group critique. This type of presentation should set the bar for your peers. Please give a copy of your presentation to the instructor, and remember to have a digital copy in your final documentation for the course.

Minimum of 2 sculptural compositions required:

Unless the work you plan to create is very large in scale or requires extensive processes to create, you will be expected to produce no less than two compositions for the remainder of the semester. The instructor will consider your course proposal and, if need be, ask you to make amendments that will strengthen your ideas, concepts or stretch your creative reach. If there is no production or production is deemed very low at Week 12 the grade for this course will be greatly compromised.

See syllabus for due dates of individual projects:

Photograph your work as you finish or revise. This will gain focus and some flexibility if documentation requires editing later on.

Individual Artist Statement for each composition:

A one-page artist statement of two to three paragraphs, three to five sentences each, should be the goal for each sculpture created this semester. Printed/Duplicated statements should be presented at the beginning of the critique session or one class session after the critique of the composition to gain full credit. Initially the student should research artist statements. Develop these statements as an individual statement about each individual piece. They should not read the same. Do not reference the other works in the series. Envision the piece as it may be going to an exhibition without the other work. Speak about the work and not your personal experience and processes that have little to do with the viewers understanding of the finished product.  Use the responses you get during critiques to further develop writing and interpretations of the work.

Initially, one should research artist statements and art reviews in publications. Drawing from this research will no doubt provide a solid direction in understanding the variety of individual artist statements and in developing authentic statements. There are many opportunities to examine the variety of artist statements. Solo and group exhibitions usually host artist statements within the show. These are good examples as they usually inform the viewer of what “ties” the work together. Which is what you are trying to do for this course.  Artist websites may also have statements linked to them. There are many “How to do’s” as well; books, publications and websites. An internet search for “writing artists statements” will no doubt bring you many bounces to work from.

You’ll find many examples of artists statements and many differences in styles. My preference is to see that you can step away from the work and observe it as the critique/viewer. You’ll here me say strip it down, get rid of “I”s and “Me”s.  Challenge yourself to make the statement personal, yet do it with a vocabulary that  is of a professional level.These exercises will strengthen your writing skills and build your vocabulary.

Writing an artist statement should be much longer than a 30 minute exercise. Content and format should be well investigated. Spelling and grammatical errors will count. (There are too many word processing tools that can assist you in this area.) Proof read and have some one else proof read for you before your final draft. Your final draft should be a printed format and a digital format in a Word Doc. (No Rich Text Formats, “.rtf”)

“Develop a language that addresses the truth that can be found in the work.” 

Artist Statement Criteria: 

  • Header Top of Page:
    • “Artist Statement” (Helvetica, Bold 13 pt)
    • Title of piece or title of statement, (Helvetica, Bold 13 pt)
    • Your name, (Helvetica, Bold 12 pt)
    • Course , semester and year: “Art 3710_Fall 2015” (Helvetica, Bold 12 pt)
    • Your font choice should be in accord with your portfolio font choice
  • Body:
    • Write a minimum of Two Paragraphs on the subject.
    • Below is a list of topics to contemplate for your statement
    • Concept: What ideas are being communicated through the work?
    • Does the process add to the concept? How?
    • Do the materials add to the concept? How?
    • What design elements add to the concept/aesthetic. How?
    • What principles add to the concept/aesthetic? How?
    • Does content or context add towards the interpretation of the piece? How?
    • Does performance or audience interaction contribute to the idea? What and how?
    • Edit: Focus: Narrow the statement down to what makes sense. Delete superfluous information.

Artist Statement /Writing Style/ Presentation:

There are many ways to write an artist statement just as there are many ways to develop an artistic composition. Below are some strategies that will help and challenge your abilities to express in words the concepts of the work you develop.


Step away from the work. Speak directly about what the work exposes to its audience. Try to look at the work and define what you see. Some times the simplest observation carries a bulk of content. What are solid truths that the viewer can gather from the work? What are obvious connections that allow the viewer to understand or interpret the work?

Write with conviction and truth. If its not there it will not make sense.

Separate your identity from what you see. Develop your statement without the use of self declarative statements. Keep them at a minimum if they are necessary. Try not to use I, me, and my statements. This challenge will assist you in stepping away from the work, strengthening your analysis and statements of the work, not to mention develop your vocabulary.

  • Try not to be redundant in your statements.
  • Try not to use the same word over and over again. Use a thesauruses.
  • Try not to sound or come off as defensive.
  • Stay away from run-on sentences. Use periods for pauses, speak in complete thoughts, use fewer commas.
  • Develop grammar strategies.
  • Use proper tenses.
  • Have some one proofread and critique your statements.

Documentation: Due at Final Critique, Week 15

Your final will be in the format of a “Professional Portfolio”: (Digital format and a binder/folder)

  • Research Proposal:
  • Portfolio images: Digital Images of your work (Portfolio Ready)
  • Image inventory Sheet
  • Artist Statements (3 revised statements)
  • Sketchbook: Research for each composition (5 page minimum per composition)

Due on final exam day of this courses, the student will be required to present “Documentation” of their individual research in digital format.  Documentation should be turned in no later than the day of final critique for this project assignment. Below is a brief outline of format and what is expected in your documentation. A document and file naming system should be utilized to organize the materials submitted for review. These files will be useful for your professional career. Store them for future updates, maintenance and edits.

Research Proposal: A copy of your original proposal

Portfolio images / Digital Photographs:

Images should be in digital format. Jpegs at 300dpi (5x7in) or larger are preferred. If you need assistance please ask the instructor. A CD/DVD of images is preferred, yet a copy from an external storage device will be accepted. Develop a file naming system to organize your images. Do not embed portfolio images in word files.

Photographing your work is an important step for your portfolio and professional development. As you begin to show your work professionally, you’ll find that the images of your work are usually the only link between you and the venue you are attempting to enter. It is critical that these images show your work in the best light possible. Ample time should be devoted to setting up, staging and photographing the work.

Strategies to consider:

  • Research: There are many examples of good photography of 3-D work and many “How to do”s as well.
  • Neutral back grounds work well, eliminate clutter. I suggest a grey screen.
  • Lighting: Light forms well, yet eliminate as many distracting shadows and highlights as possible.
  • Composition: (Your Best Side), The side of the work that shows off your work.
    • It is 3-D, there is more than one side…
  • Composition: (In the Frame) Remember to compose in the frame of the camera.
    • What composition is the best translation of your work from 3-D to 2-D.
  • Remember the image is about the work, Your piece should be the center of the photo image.
  • Think positive and negative space as you crop into the work. These make for exciting compositions.
  • Detail shots: A detail shot can sometimes make the difference. Highlight your work by cropping into successful areas of your work, perhaps an area that shows off your craftsmanship or a dramatic composition.  Two to three of your best detail shots can be added to your main image submission.
  • Alternative Compositions for presentations: If you see that you will be using the images in a presentation that includes text or alternative compositions develop a strategy. Create images that will make these compositions stronger.
  • Take more images than you think you need. 

Artist Statement:

  • One revised artist statement for each required composition.

Sketchbook: Research for each composition:

A sketchbook is required for this course.  A sketchbook allows the student to explore an idea in more depth. Spring boarding from an original idea, the sketchbook usually assist in creating a series of new ideas which can be central for this course level and future endeavors in art making.  Planning, sketching, and drawing will allow the student to become acquainted with an inventory of materials and processes that will have to be gathered before executing a project. Further, it  will give the student the opportunity to explore ideas without exhausting time and materials on an idea that may fall short of success due to material, facility, or time restraints. It is suggested that a hardbound sketchbook be purchased for this class.

Your Sketchbook should include a minimum of five pages of research for each project. Your sketchbook should include: Sketches of your ideas, copies of article on artist, artworks and topics that inspire your work. Your Sketch book will be evaluated during critiques and due to the instructor along with Final Documentation.

Strategies to Consider: Below are some strategies to consider in developing the portfolio.

Asset Management: Organization and File Naming Systems:

Organization is crucial in developing a professional practice as an artist or art business. Keeping your art work maintained and ready for exhibit is one thing but the other end is having materials ready to submit to exhibitions. Juried exhibitions usually have individual criteria for image naming systems and the information they require for entries. Solo exhibitions will expect more information. Graduate programs expect a mixture of the the two. Then as one may move further, say looking for teaching positions at a college or university, The process is expanded further for the need of teaching materials and student work examples. Not an easy task, but planning in the forefront will assist one greatly in work ahead. This is where organizing and file naming systems work to your advantage.  Below are some examples.

Naming “Document Files” such as your CV and Artist statements:

This is an example of how I handle this.

In a folder named “00_Portfolio_Marquez_David”. I develop a numbering and naming system that works well for most of the applications I will be working with. Start with the thing you want the potential viewer to read. Say your Cover letter if its a job. I have several generic files that I work with, one for each application. Then I move on from there with the CV and Artist Statements etc. I add dates to these. So I have back ups of files and am able look back and see my development. I keep the old files in a archive folder. These files are updated more than annually, as I create new work, and new ideas develop. See example below:


The ”Image Folder” contains image files. The naming structures work along the same lines, but just to keep things in order, I have different folders of images, One that is my main pool of images, raw files untouched and un-edited, one that is my juried exhibition ready images, and a portfolio folder of 20 images that I send off to solo exhibition request. This may include a title, a year of production and something to distinguish it as a detail image. See below:


This system changes for different applications. A spread sheet may be used to keep other information that is required for exhibitions. A “Slide List” is used for most exhibition entries. Both contain information such as the size/scale of the objects (HxWxD), materials used and a sale price. Make an effort to keep this information handy.

Example : Spread Sheet with information.

Portfolio Presentation:

On the Final Exam Day of this course, a brief slide presentation of your portfolio to the class may be expected. The instructor will schedule presentations if time allows. Please submit your images to the instructor two weeks before finals week, so that the presentation can be organized. Digital format will be the goal for this assignment. Presentations will be delivered to the instructor and your peers in a group critique. This will be treated as a critique session in which student engagement, ideas and feedback will be expected during the discussion.


Below is a beginning list of publications that are expected reading for professional artist. These readings offer mush in the exploration and comprehension of alternative approaches to studio, concept, and the business of the arts.

Project Gallery

Welding Line-Form-Repetition

Ward_72Mission: (Project Description)

Create a sculptural form/structure that develops from the linear quality of welded  and fabricated metal. The final form should have a sense of variety and repetition of elements. Add a skin to some or all components of the structure. Develop an aesthetic in the connection of skin to form.

It is expected that a concept be developed that will draw the viewer into a transformed space. A linear form should be the initial aesthetic, creating a structure that defines a new space. Lines, shapes and forms may be curved or straight, yet artist intent must be obvious and well crafted.

Sketchbook Assignment:

Sketches of your ideas should be rendered before and during sculpting. A minimum of five pages should be dedicated to this sketching component. Documentation is a critical learning habit. Not only does it record growth and provide reflection, it will foster new ideas. Printed images of inspirational sculptures or objects should be placed in your sketch book as well. Your sketch book will be graded along with your project.

  • Draw as you create.
  • Draw what you create.
  • Photograph as you create.
  • Take notes.


Form: Beyond line, develop a composition that creates or entraps volume as shapes create form. Do not build a flat 2-dimensional drawing.

  • Welding will be the primary fastening technique.
  • Other fastening techniques are encouraged.
  • Welds should be clean. Relative: no Slag, no whiskers.
  • Use the grinder to clean your welds.
  • Re-weld if needed.


Other materials are not only encouraged but expected. Greatly consider how materials are secured to the structure. Develop aesthetics in the way skins are connected and use them wisely and consistently. Look for texture in the materials search for. Add texture with other materials such as tar, acrylics, and resins.


  • Build a form that can stand on a surface, project off the wall or hang from the ceiling.
  • Choose and design wisely. Aesthetics and good design should be greatly considered.
  • When engineering, developing, and building fastening devices and supports for sculpture, stay away from obtrusive devices that may take away from the concept or aesthetics of the work.


  • Make sure the design works.
  • If free standing, make a structure that is self supporting.
  • If the form will be a wall hung piece, a well engineered mounting strategy should be developed to secure the work to a wall.
  • If the form will be a ceiling hung piece, a well engineered mounting strategy should be developed to secure the work to the ceiling.
  • Allow space for fasteners such as screws to be tightened during installation.
  • Test your designs before final installation and critique.


Sculpture will be made of bent and welded 1/4 inch metal rod and other metals and “skin” materials introduced by the student.

Scale: (HWD)

A minimum of 30 ft of metal rod will be used for this project. Additional material may be purchased to build the form. Final Dimension of Sculpture: The minimum range to shoot for is 2 ft x 3 ft x 1 ft.

Craft and Aesthetics:

A high degree of craft is expected in the fabrication. If wall or ceiling mounted, remember to allow space for fasteners such as screws to be tightened with ease for installation. This is often missed and installation becomes difficult. The skins should be consistent and foster a cohesive visual conversation to the viewer.


A metal finish should be considered for exposed areas. Ends of rod should be well finished/polished with a grinder. A polish, patina or paint may be used. Absolutely, no spray paint in the shop. If spray painting, work outside or in a spray booth. Place a protective material such as newspaper on all surfaces under and around the work area, even the concrete floor. Prep; clean, sand and use a primer before metal is painted. Most metals have an oil on them that will resist paint and surface treatment. It is a good idea to clean the materials before you begin the project. Sanding before cutting and welding will be beneficial.

Tools and Materials:

Safety Glasses
Measuring tape
Welding Eye Protection
Welding Gloves
Welding Leathers (option: thick flannel shirt)
Angel Grinder
Grinding disc, Cut off disc, Flap Disc
1/4 inch rod/ Mild Steel Hot rolled (HR)
1/8 inch rod/ Mild Steel Hot rolled (HR)
Wire: Rebar Wire (good for modeling form or fastening)
Sand paper/ steel wool
Solvents, To clean oil off the metal
Finishing materials, Primer, Sealers/Paint.
Other materials for skin and attaching materials (Wire, string)

Create a label for your project with these specifics:

  • Name:
  • Dimensions: HWD
  • Materials:
  • Year Complete:
  • Course:

Tape your label to your project. Use masking tape so that it will not harm your project.


Protective Gear required: Wear appropriate eye protection, clothing and shoes while welding. UVs from the welders can burn skin and damage eyes, much like the sun, not to mention the metal will be hot after a weld. Use leather welding gloves while working around the metal shop. Assume that metals are “Hot” before picking them up. Be careful when picking them up.

Fumes: Be aware that some metals can be hazardous and some are not compatible with others, In other words lets stick with what we know, steel. When welding, stay away from anything covered in a zinc allow, such as galvanized metals. Galvanized metals can be potentially dangerous, as the zinc will form a thick vapor that is hazardous to our health.


Lee Bontecou
Eric Stephenson
Alexander Calder
Robert Klippel
Lynn Chadwick
Sol Lewitt
James Turell
Rebecca Horn
Antony Gormely
Rachel Whiteread
Richard Serra
Joseph Beuys
Bruce Nauman
Tony Cragg
Piet Mondrian

Project Gallery

Texture Switch


Mission: (Project Description)

Within this project, we will bring into question the “skin” of an object, and how alterations to it, alters our own perceptions of the object.  Many artists, such as, Meret Oppenheim, Lucas Samaras, and Joseph Beuys, have pursued this concept creating works that question or negate an objects original function.  The simple manipulation of a surface can allow strong conceptual narratives to develop, speaking to a greater importance beyond the original object.

Transform: v.  1 make a thorough or dramatic change in the form, appearance, character, etc.


  • Bring to class three (3 dimensional) objects.
  • Object should not be smaller than 12 inches or larger than 24 inches.
  • A class discussion of objects will occur.
  • Consider the objects conceptual importance relative to its potential transformation.
  • Select one object from the initial three. Select the object with a strong visual presence.
  • Students should select one material in which to cover the chosen object.  This material should be an antithesis to the original object, or draw into question the function or accepted meaning of the object.
  • Repetition and a obsessive development of the surface is a critical component of developing this project. Choose a material that will draw emphasis to this concept.
  • Objects must be completely covered by the chosen material. Students should focus on the obsessive nature involved in covering the objects.

Project Vocabulary: 

Natural Texture
Visual Texture
Worked Texture

Writing Assignment:

Use the vocabulary on the previous list along with other elements and Principles of Design to describe and interpret your work. The writing assignment should include your critique on the content and context and how these factors contribute to the concept of the work you have created. A general description of formal qualities should be addressed as they pertain to the concept, yet a stronger focus on content, context, and of course the idea (Concept) will foster a stronger discussion.

  • Look at the work analytically.
  • Remove yourself from the work to create new perspectives.
  • Be attentive to your gut reactions to the work.
  • Make notes of your observations” as reference. (In your sketch book)
  • Insert an image or sketch of your work within the word or pages document.
  • Content: Three to four paragraphs of text should be written before adding images.
  • Note: A paragraph is made up of three to five sentences.

Tools and Materials:

  • Eye Protection/Safety Glasses
  • Sketch Book
  • Utility Knife
  • Hobby knife
  • Dust Mask/Particulate Respirator
  • Safety Glasses
  • Focus Object
  • Materials for skin
  • Mixed media
  • Adhesives or other fastening materials
  • Rubber or Latex gloves (optional)

Create a label for your project with these specifics:

  • Name:
  • Dimensions: HWD
  • Materials:
  • Year Complete:
  • Course:

Tape your label to your project. Use masking tape so that it will not harm your project.


  • Method: Planning, Cutting Safely, Building techniques and strategies
  • Material Characteristics:
  • Three-Dimensional surfaces and skin transformations
  • Aesthetic qualities
  • Sensibility to form: Good design, clean aesthetics
  • Integrity of the artist to their craft
  • Concept from objects


  • Work ethic: Participation in and out of class
  • Scheduling: Students stay on task, project finished by deadline, critique.
  • Craftsmanship and aesthetics.
  • Attention to detail and craft involved in the development of the object’s “skin” will be taken into consideration during grading and critique.  Therefore, ample time should be devoted to the completion of the project.


This process may use chemicals and materials that might be dangerous for some people. Read the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for questionable materials. A respirator should be used when materials off gas or fume. A dust mask may be used rather than a respirator. The respirator will provide better protection.


Project Gallery

Plaster Carving Non Objective Form: Abstraction Morphing/Transformation

Wheatly_MMission: (Project Description)

Using two forms build one, morphing the forms together to become a non-objective or abstract formal composition. The original forms are to be used as inspiration to assist in guiding the form. Use elements from each, yet develop your sculpture as a unique entity with an elegant form and a clean aesthetic. Original chosen objects may be mechanical (man-made) or natural.

  • Bring a wire cloth hanger and nylon stocking. This will be used to build a non objective form to base your carving to. The wire will be an armature for the nylon which will become a surface and skin.
  • Bring two interesting objects from home, which are approximately the size of your hand. Objects may be mechanical or organic.
  • Bring a container to build a blank. (1 gal. container.)
  • Create a blank from plaster.
  • Brain storm and Sketch ideas.
  • Plaster Carving: Create an abstract form from objects and sketches.

Sketchbook Assignments: (Five pages)

  • Assignment 1: Sketch original objects in your sketchbook. (3 views of each, 2 pgs)
  • Assignment 2: Preliminary and in process sketches of plaster form. (3 pages)

Additional Criteria: Strategies, Technique and Composition: (Project Description)

  • Clay may be used as a modeling/sketching tool: Sketches do not always start in the sketch book. Model, in clay an abstract form, drawing characteristics from your two objects. This will assist you in developing the composition. Images of these moquettes may be placed in your sketchbook and are valid sketches.
  • This project relies on the elements of light and shadow. Carve so that light and shadow create the dynamics of the form. No paint, pigments or inks should be used for this project.
  • Use repetition, directional curves and form to create a since of movement.
  • Develop a composition with movement that will draw the viewer around and into the form.
  • Use models, sketches and your own intuitive inspirations to create. Process will play a great part in your exploration as you learn the material, developing carving techniques and sensibilities.
  • Think about how these objects work together to create one form or how one may seem to dominate over the other, seeming to swallow or assimilate.
  • Craftsmanship: Elegant form and a clean aesthetic should be a goal.
  • Pay attention to building a form that has interior definition as well as exterior. Carving and modeling in the interior of the object will challenge your abilities, as always you are encouraged to push beyond the average.
  • Do not leave any indication of the container of your original form. Work the whole form.
  • Remember its okay to go back to sketches drawn or sculpted to alter and redesign your composition as you work through the project. This is a part of the process.

Tools and Materials:

  • Clay for sketching (Plasticine)
  • Plastic or wax Container- Bring your own. Plastic or wax coated.
  • Pottery Plaster No. 1
  • Sanding Screen (Drywall Sanding Screen or sand paper)
  • Sketchbook
  • Plaster Drywall wrasp
  • 8” Rasp- Purchase at art, wood or craft stores
  • Other Scraping Tools: Spoons forks, Files, Knives, Drill
  • Clay trimming tools, spoons, knives, forks, old saw blades (be inventive)
  • Dust Mask

Project Critique:

  • Project should be finished before the beginning of class critique session.
  • Projects will be discussed during the critique.

Think About:

  • The Elements of Design: line, texture, shape, light, form, space, time,
  • The Principles of Design: balance, proportion, rhythm, emphasis, and unity
  • Exterior vs. Interior, Primary and  Secondary Contours, Positive & Negative Forms, Static and Dynamic Forms

Photographing your work:

Photograph your work: A minimum of two types of images of your object should be made and emailed to the instructor of this course.

As an artist, a good portfolio will always set you apart from the rest of the crowd. When it comes to artist portfolios, pictures of your artwork are usually the first time a person may be introduced to your work. The images you provide are usually what make the biggest first impression. There for, it makes sense to practice photographing your art at the beginning and throughout your art career.

Image 1: 3-D portfolio image:

Neutral Setting Studio Shot: Should have no visual relationship to other objects. One should not be able to determine the size of your finished form. Good composition, good lighting and the best representation of your object is the goal. Minimize unnecessary shadows and highlights. A grey screen and lighting is available in room FAC 183. Take many shots of several sides of the piece. View them all on a computer screen before editing to the best.

Image 2: Creative Monumental Composition Using Forced Perspective:

Create the illusion that your sculpture is monumental by using forced perspective. Forced perspective techniques manipulates our human perception with the use of optical illusions to make objects appear larger, smaller, farther, or closer than they actually are. Movie makers sometimes use forced perspective to turn plastic toys and other objects into gigantic forms and characters we see on screen. The use of digital effects today still incorporates this popular way of portraying scenes or objects. A search on the web should gain several hits on strategies for creating a forced perspective image.

Before Critique:

Write a short paragraph about the form.

  • Descriptive, poetic, narrative…..What is or can the piece be about?

During Critique:

Reactions to work done by peers.

  • Use your own dialogue and the following:
  • Reactions to form: Positive reactions-Negative reactions
  • Sensibility to form:
  • Elements of Design:
  • Principles of Design:
  • Concepts: What ideas come to mind when you look at the object?
  • Relax: Keep an open mind.



Project Gallery