Sculpture Concepts 2


Sculpture Concepts 2 / Update #5 / April 14th

After Sculpture Concepts #1 delved into sculpture theory, it’s nice, now in #2, that we have some extended time to delve into some good ol’ fashioned nose to the grindstone, messy hands and elbow grease, sculpture making.

M has learned the last of the three basic clay techniques last session: The Coil Method, Slab Method, and now Hollowing (as well has how to wedge clay to get the air bubbles out and maintain an even moisture level throughout the clay). I’m super excited for the home stretch of the course, as she will get to use these techniques and theory from SC 1 to build two sculptures – or at least one, depending on how long it takes to build the first one.    


Sculpture Concepts 2 / Update #4 / March 17th

I don't have a lot of pics this time. It's hard to take pictures when you're hands are covered in clay :-)
The last part of the semester for M's course will be focused on gaining skill specifically using clay. It will culminate in a project yet to be determined, but most likely will be inspired by Claes Oldenburg. 

Currently, she has practiced traditional and Japanese methods of preparing clay to be used for sculpture or pottery, and is now just getting used to keeping clay at a workable level of moisture. Practice. Practice. Practice.



Sculpture Concepts 2 / Update #3 / March 2rd

M's last project helped build a platform to discuss concepts of form, specifically by taking every day objects out of their context and observing how our responses to their form change depending on what new contexts we put them in.
There were two phases to the sculpture and discussion. 1) Observe how the pieces combined into one sculpture changes our response, and 2) observe how painting them all one color further changes that response.

In Phase 1, the sculpture seems in motion, playful, and curious as to how it's holding itself together. We are drawn around the piece to find the little details and intricacies. Yet, our response is grounded in our desire to identify the objects.
In Phase 2, the now monochromatic sculpture distances us further from our familiarity with the objects, allow us to more easily examine the sculpture as a whole and as it's individual shapes. The photographs almost seem as if they are taken from a computer model or virtual reality.

Learning to consider contemporary and historical sculpture through its form is the beginning to appreciating sculpture and most art as well as making more interesting choices about our own artwork.


Sculpture Concepts 2 / Update # 2 / Feb 4th

The last two session have been devoted to M’s first Form project. She was asked to bring a bag of random everyday objects. In contract to the process of building the castle, where as many problems as possible were solved before building, the project’s process requires interacting with the sculpture as it is being built, solving problems along the way.
Also, Kyle, an artist showing in our Double Frame Gallery, was setting up during the session, which was cool to see.


Sculpture Concepts 2 / Update # 1 / Jan 21

Starting the new semester, M will be focusing on Form vs Structure as elements of sculpture, starting with form.
Form, in this case, is all the visual qualities of a sculpture and the experiences we have with those visual qualities. Sculptors who focus on form often try to hid the structural aspects of their work, so the viewer is not interrupted by how their sculpture is made. Take this photo for example.


The image leaves you free to think about the unique and intricate form of the object and ask questions like, "What does it feel like?" "How big is it?" "Is it old or new?" "Heavy or light?" If I just told you it was a green pepper, you might never stop to consider the beauty of such a mundane object. 

To make it clear how artists think about form when building, M looked at sculptors who are all the way on the form end of the spectrum. Claes Oldenburg is a famous sculpture that considered form a great deal in his work, making you stop and think about the object the sculpture represents and getting caught up in the implied movement and whimsy of the scale:





Sculpture Concepts 1

Sculpture Concepts Update # 5 / Nov 20th

With some new tools that came in the mail, M finished the last of the prep work for building the castle.

1) I showed her a technique for sketching a proportionally accurate floor plan, by using the front and side view of a building. This isn’t a particularly easy thing to do for the first time, since it takes quite a bit of mental visualizing, but she did well.

2) Then, her task was to build a cube without showing any glue, which she also did well.

Again, the focus here is much more on process than the finished work. Making a cool castles is cool and doing it well is better, but the process that M has to go through and the problems she has to solve along the way is a foundation I aim for her to draw on (no pun intended) for future work.  

Sculpture Concepts Update # 4 / Nov 13th

The “stuff” that we did today:

M finished plotting out basic measurements for the construction of her castle and practiced some techniques for using hot glue to make clean flush corners. The goal is to construct without letting the viewer know how you did it.

Key concepts:
Visualizing the building process
Craftsmanship and attention to detail


Sculpture Concepts Update # 3 / Nov 6th

M continued working on the process of making a drawing into a sculpture. She practiced a technique called “Line Association” where you observe how natural occurring lines in your subject connect to help draw more accurately. These drawings will help be a proportional guide as she begins to build.  


Nov 3rd / Note:

Hi M! Below is a slideshow of images of the castle that you will be building. If you click on the cross arrows icon in the top right of the slideshow, you can view the images fullscreen
Take half an hour or so and sketch two different views before Friday, if you can. You can either sketch views you see in the images or sketch a view that you imagine, like a view looking from above.  

Sculpture Concepts Update # 2 / Oct 23rd

Today, M and I honed in on how she wanted to approach building her castle. We decided that it would be best to pick a castle that she liked and try to build it more or less the way it looks in the picture.

As I mentioned, I’m beginning with getting her familiar with the creative process of having an immaterial idea and turning it into something three dimensional.

She sketched the castle she picked from different angles, imagining what each angle would look like, having only one angle to look at in the picture.

Next class, we will work through some of the problem solving on paper of how she will actually build it.

Building a castle isn’t exactly high art, but the processes, problem solving, and craftsmanship that she will have to go through to build it is direct prep for future work that she will make, so I’m excited that we are starting with this project.


Sculpture Concepts Update # 1 / Oct 9th

“A sculpture is just a painting cut out and stood up somewhere” – Frank Stella

Frank Stella is a well known artist who was one of the first to experiment with the line between painting and sculpture. He crafted sculpture canvases on which he made his paintings, saying that sculpture captures more fully what his paintings want to be.

The direction we started with for the sculpture course is the sculptural qualities of the images in our imagination, which can be limited by a flat canvas, and how magical it can be to see what we imagine in three dimensions, taking up the same space that we do.

We watched this video for reference.

To begin moving towards three dimensional artwork, M will be sculpting with cardboard, which is a flat commonplace material that forces one to think of three dimensional objects as being made up of basic geometric shapes.

Developing the ability to see those shapes intuitively is a intellectual process that is foundational to painting, drawing, sculpture and any kind of representational artwork, and that is the process I aim to build up in her.  

Teaching one-on-one is as much a learning experience for me as it is for M, so I’m glad to have such a reliable student who wants to do as well as her to start out with.