Friday, April 27, 2012

The Last Day and What You Need to Bring

We will have our final critique May 3rd at the regular class time. Bring your finished Automata projects, lecture signature sheet, and any late assignments you may need to turn in. We will have our critique, I will film each pieces movements, and then that will be it.
See you all next week!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Assignment 5 New Due Date

The fifth and final assignment to build an Automata will not be due on May 10, like the assignment posted below states. That is because the last day of the semester is May 4.  The new due date for the project will be May 3. This puts a time crunch on the projects so just remember that these will really be prototypes and won't have to be polished. I do want to see movement and you all sticking to your original drawings as much as possible.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Assignment 5

Form in Motion

Using the techniques found in the art form of Automata you will be creating a form that will move using a crank and simple wooden geared movements. This assignment will be broken into two assignments. The first will be to build a prototype from paper and scrap to workout your desired movement before you work in your final medium. The second half will be to complete the ideas worked out in your prototype in wood for the final piece.

I.      Paper prototype due April 26
II.    Final Automata due May 10

Materials will be discussed in class but here is a list of things commonly needed to build Automata:
Illustration Board
Wooden Dowl, under ½ inch in diameter
Thin sheet of plywood, around ¼ inch thick

Tools (tools not found in the sculpture studio):
X-acto Knife
French Curve

Helpful Links:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Assignment 4

Designing Public Art Sculptures

This is a quick introduction to our next assignment in which you will design a sculpture intended for a specific public space or building. 

This Assignment is intended to help you explore a particular method of planning and designing a large scale project which in this case is a public sculpture. The method that we will use to design and plan your sculpture will be to use the free to download program Google Sketch Up. In this program you will use an existing space that you can download from Google. In this space you will design three different concepts for a public sculpture. From these three designs you will pick one that will be printed out and constructed as a scale model.

The first part of this assignment is due April 4th, and that is to produce three designs in Google Sketch Up.  The tutorial on how to obtain and use Google Sketch Up can be found here or in the menu bar on our class blog. Please email your three sketches to me at

These are a few examples of large scale Public Sculpture by three different artists; Richard Serra, Christo, and Claes Oldenburg. Please look them over for inspiration and I encourage you to google each to find more examples. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Assignment 3

Death Mask

In Western cultures, a death mask is a wax or plaster cast made of a person’s face following death. Death masks may be mementos of the dead, or be used for creation of portraits. It is sometimes possible to identify portraits that have been painted from death masks, because of the characteristic slight distortions of the features caused by the weight of the plaster during the making of the mold. In other cultures a death mask may be a clay or another artifact placed on the face of the deceased before burial rites. The best known of these are the masks used by ancient Egyptians as part of the mummification process, such as Tutankhamon’s burial mask. In the seventeenth century in some European countries, it was common for death masks to be used as part of the effigy of the deceased, displayed at state funerals. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries they were also used to permanently record the features of unknown corpses for purposes of identification. This function was later replaced by photography.

You will be making your own death mask and unlike how they would of done it back in the 1800's by pouring hot wax on your face we will be using either a photo or mirror as a reference and you will carve your likeness out of clay. This clay likeness will then be your stand in to create the mold, once it has been carved you will pour hot wax on it and this will make a mold. After we have a wax mold we will pour plaster into that wax mold which will harden and create your final death mask. Once we have this death mask we need a container for it. The second part of this assignment is to build a box or frame to hold your mask. Make this container in a way that might tell a story about you or convey your personality. 

clay carving tools
mirror or photo of self


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Assignment 2

Wooden Repition

Module (construction grade 2x4) into a module (cut and fashioned repeated shapes)
Using a single piece of wood and several repeated cuts, sandings, and fasteners, all a
form of module creating a module and form from modules using a new material and

Construction grade 2x4
Stain or paint
Miter Saw
Band Saw
Disc and Belt Sander
Hand Sander and Sand Paper
Nail Gun

Step 1: Plane an entire 2x4

Step 2: Cut into 24 equal sized pieces

Step 3: Cut an identical negative form out of each piece, and add the cut element to an
existing surface using glue. This step may be repeated as many times as you
would like.

Step 4: Sand individual pieces.

Step 5: Connect the individual modules.

Step 6: Stain or paint.

Due Date:
Febuary 9, 2012

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Assignment 1

Paper Module

Module Definition:
A separable component, frequently one that is interchangeable with others, for assembly into units of differing size, complexity, or function.

illustration board or equivalent material
Xacto Knife with extra blades
Metal ruler
Hot glue

Helpful Links: (go to Chapter 12 of 18 Floor and Public Figures in the video)

This assignment is really about designing an object with repetition in mind. You will want to look around
you, both in nature and in the man made world, for objects that are either modules themselves or are made up of repeated objects for inspiration. Keep your eye out for modules, they are everywhere, from rows of shark teeth on your television screen to stackable Lego blocks from your childhood. From these images and experiences of modules, you will create your very own module that you will use to create your very own form.

The steps in this assignment are due at different times in the process of producing the final piece, so it is important to pay attention to the due dates.

1. Based on the definition given to you for modules, make a list of at least 30 modules in your sketchbook that you can think of or you have interacted with.
Due January 19

2. In your sketchbook, draw ten thumbnails of the shape you would like to use as your building block module for this assignment. Don’t put limits on your imagination, as these are just thumbnails. After this pick three to do more elaborate designs
Due January 19

3. Once you have chosen your shape you will recreate it in a 3D form. For your object to truly be a module you will have to reproduce it several times. The minimum amount of replicated objects you will have to create will be twenty. When constructing them, keep in mind how you will link them together to create a form. Don’t start this segment of the assignment until we have discussed your module thumbnails in class.
Due February 2