Finishing Touches

This week students worked purposefully on their final projects.  Many are taking on a completely new media and struggling a bit to get over the hill, but I see progress.  Quickly I hope it will become a landslide of progress.  Many are involved in researching and collecting adventures.  So far there is not much physical stuff to show, but quickly that needs to change into something tangible because final critiques are next week.

Do your best.


Homework due WEDNESDAY, May 16

Take home all of your work, clean out your box and leave only your FINAL PROJECT for critique.

Extra credit…

If at least 80% of 3D classes responds to this survey, you each receive 10 extra credit points.


Final Weeks

This week we finished critiquing the ceramic and the plaster projects.  Many clever and imaginative projects ensued, often because of creative finishing details.  Below are some results:

The bulk of the week was spent on the final projects and working through problems of materials and technology.  Full speed ahead.

Homework due Monday, 5/7  Choose:

  1.  Create a sketch for the Draw Mr. Bild contest.  Traditional media please.  Yes, you may draw from a picture.  Emi sent one out a few days ago, or you can take your own.  Creatively depict Mr. Bild in a fully developed drawing.
  2. Make your mark.  Revisit one of your old drawings that had potential, but needed values to make it outstanding.  Create value by using either pointillist technique (tiny dots) or by using a combination of marks – dots, dashes, lines and squiggles — as Van Gogh did in the drawing below called, Road to Tarascan,  to make your old drawing a new masterpiece.78.2514.22_ph_web

Last 3 weeks

As we wrap up all of clay and plaster projects and transition into a belated spring, take time to enjoy these last few weeks of school.

I’ve enjoyed seeing the projects come to fruition.


Homework due 4/30:  choose between

  1.  Email me 8 web references (addresses) of inspiration for your final project.  Look for artists whose work interests you.
  2. Flex your drawing skill and do a 45 min. minimum drawing of any subject.  Traditional media only.
  3. Create art inspired by a part of a poem.  Julian M. will be putting the images together to create an illustrated poem.  Find out more about this here.

Essence and Plaster Gauze

bristledThe struggle continues to capture the physiognomy of our subjects with mere wire, paper towel and plaster gauze.  Hold yourself to a high standard and you will be pleased with the results.   C.A. Michel’s life size piece made with plaster gauze is above.

An excellent (and tasty) homework project idea is shown below by Noah.  He made giant sugar cookies in the shape of his bear sculpture.  Awesome idea!

Maya’s giant rat is shown below:

IMG_6716 (1)


Homework due 4/23:

Your final project proposal is due.  You must include a sketch.  A form to fill out was given out in class, but if you lost yours, here’s what you need to know.

  Final Project                                                            Proposal due:  Monday, April 23


Next week we will be completing our last studio art assignment.  You may begin your final project after finishing your self portrait (for 2D) or plaster gauze sculpture (3D).  This means you will begin approximately April 30 and devote the rest of your art class to your final “portfolio worthy” project.  You will have approximately three weeks to complete your project. (Of course, if you miss days, your working time will be shorter.)   This is your chance to explore an area of interest to you. You may go into greater depth with materials or concepts we’ve examined before, or you may explore some aspect of art or craft we did not touch upon.  Your project must be executed in the Art Room and your project should not be used to fulfill another course requirement.


If you are unsure of what to do, suggest some possible ideas and we can discuss.


Some ideas for final projects are listed below:

  1. Advanced level sculpture project – i.e. assemblage sculpture or mixed media sculpture project.
  2. Design a piece of furniture (including a scale model)
  3. Create a personal memory box, (see Joseph Cornell on the web)
  4. Silk screen or printing project
  5. Light metals project – jewelry pieces or small scale sculpture
  6. Design a clothing collection around a common theme. Create a fabric swatch board and collection of drawings.
  7. Advanced level painting project. (Still life, figurative, landscape or homage to an artist)
  8. Puppet or marionette using paper mache
  9. Design a structure/stage set for a play including a model.
  10. Knitting/crochet/macrame
  11. Accessory design and creation (purses, hats, gloves)
  12. Create a graphic novel.
  13. Plan and illustrate a complicated party event (i.e. wedding, inauguration)
  14. Enter a contest (i.e. Tie design for Hermes, graphic novel/Scott McCloud)
  15. Build a model (architecture/transportation/furniture)
  16. Planar head design/college/painting


Your project must be approved before you begin.  You are welcome to use the materials in the art room, but for some projects you may need to purchase materials and this can be costly.  Please remember, if you are using imagery that is copyrighted, you should transform that image significantly.


Typed proposal with sketch, materials and time line due on Monday 4/23.

Name: _________________________


General Description of Project and what you expect to learn:





Week 1 accomplishments:








Week 2 accomplishments:







Week 3 accomplishments:






What extensions to your project could you do if you finish early?












CRITIQUE:  Thurs. May 17 Seniors


Friday,  CRITIQUE May 18  others



Materials needed:




(On reverse side draw a sketch of your proposed project.)

Plaster Creatures

This week students created a very life-like armature for their creatures in aluminum wire and began adding bulk to represent muscle and fat.  The key is to keep the essential essence of the creature alive, even though we are moving away from the skeletal system.  Sometimes this might mean exaggerating things to bring out its ________ness.  Other times it means not straying too far away from the skeleton form.

The bulldog above was made in 1890 and has a mobile mouth activated by the chain.  All the examples exhibit different ways of interpreting animals to heighten their essence, not to make them generic.

Homework due 4/16  Choose

  1. Design a new homework assignment (to take around 1 hour) for one of the units we’ve covered.  Email me your  instructions and create a sample.
  2. Draw three animated sketches of the animal you are doing in plaster.

Finishing Plaster and Ceramics

This week we are working on finishing things that are in process.  Lots of glazing and painting being done.  The plaster pieces we unveiled look exciting.  Here are some snapshots.

Homework due 4/9:  Skeleton Sketch

Next week we will begin our “moveable mammals”.  You may choose to do any mammal (most do humans) and need to sketch a full skeleton that will be the basis of your armature.  Think about what part you would like to make hinged.  It can be more than one part.  This short Musee Mecanique video located in San Francisco may give you ideas or nightmares.  Need help looking for a good sketch?  Try searching for renaissance skeletal sketches such as the one below.



Ceramics in Play

This week people made solid progress on their projects.  Hands are the dominant project, but a few full bodies and feet are in progress too.  Emma, Danbi, Noah and Arav are all absorbed in their work as shown below.


We will finish up our projects next week and let them dry out over Spring Break.      Those who finish early might want to try a functional container for baked goods to be sampled later…



In your sketchbook, draw your project at least 3 times, showing a different finishing technique each time.  Since these are not functional, we need not be limited to glazing techniques.  Therefore, you might want to consider things like sand, glass, acrylics, cloth, etc. as surface finishes.  Think about patterns and textures.  Your pieces need not be realistically finished.  Note the unrealistic Lichtenstein sculpture below that is a play on the way cartoon characters are printed.