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