ARTS291 Beginning Sculpture, John Taylor, Summer II 2019 | SACI College of Art & Design Florence

ARTS291 Beginning Sculpture, John Taylor, Summer II 2019

The aim of this class is to develop a sculpture making process, from the aesthetic idea to the finished state, in the context of the Italian art available in Florence, both historical and contemporary. Each student will be encouraged to find his/her own preferences and develop his/her own sensibilities. Despite the technical difficulties encountered in a beginning sculpture course, expressing these aspects in your projects will be our priority.

We will be exploring the two fundamental methods in sculpture: The additive method of modeling in clay for other soft materials versus the subtractive method of carving in marble or any other hard materials.

The additive project: A bas-relief modeled in clay - including the making of a one-piece waste mold in plaster.

The subtractive project: A low- bas-relief or sculpture in the round, carved in marble stone or in a soft cement block.

Course Expectations

Beginning students are asked to complete a minimum of two finished pieces of above-average standard. Students are expected to make sketches of their ideas and works-in-progress to submit, along with a formal analysis of a Florentine sculpture of their choice, with their end-of-term personal notebooks (supplied by instructor).

Attendance

Attendance is required for both classes and field trips, and absences will affect your grade: Two unexcused absences result in a lowering of the grade by 1/3 of a letter; two late arrivals to class are considered the equivalent of one unexcused absence. Refer to SACI Student Handbook.

Responsibilities

1) Your grade will be affected by two unexplained absences.
2) Be on time for class: The assignment will often be explained at the beginning.
3) If you know that you will be absent on a given date you should notify the instructor ahead of time.

Studio & Safety Rules

It is essential that you leave your work space clean and functional for the next class. STORE your work on the shelves, NOT ON WORK TABLES. DO NOT POUR PLASTER DOWN THE DRAIN IN THE SINK OR DOWN THE TOILET. This will clog the plumbing.

Only sculpture students are allowed in the sculpture facilities. Tools are not allowed out of the studio without special permission. Return all tools to their appropriate place in the tool cabinets.

The sculpture studios have two air-exchange systems—one for ventilation of dust from plaster and the other for ventilation of dust from marble and stone. When working in the studios the air-exchange systems must be utilized for maintaining proper ventilation and extraction of undesirable fumes and odors. The control panels are located on the walls of the studios. Once the ventilation is turned on, it will run for 30 minutes. A timer will then shut it down.

You are NOT permitted to use machinery unless you have been instructed in its use by the instructor of this course.
 
It is important to obey safety rules when working with power tools. When using these tools, you are required to wear dust masks, safety glasses, gloves, and smocks provided by SACI. When dealing with jobs that create dust (sanding, grinding, mixing powder-based materials), you will be required to wear a dust mask and to put back in the appropriate containers and/or cabinets all powders, clays, cements, glues, etc.

  • Wear the smocks provided by SACI at all times
  • Do not wear jewelry and be sure to tie long hair close to your head when working with or near the grinding wheel, operating other machinery, or using open flames
  • Wear eye protection and gloves when working with hand tools or power tools that produce flying chips or airborne particles
  • Wear safety shoes provided by SACI when working with heavy materials (20 kilos or more)
  • Always use the appropriate ventilation system when working indoors to avoid excessive smoke or dust
  • If necessary, use the shower in the sculpture studio to wash off dust or other substances
  • Do not use Walkman Personal Stereos or listen to loud music while operating machinery or power tools
  • Visitors are not allowed into the sculpture studio
  • Smoking is not permitted indoors

Click here for a pdf of a more comprehensive list of Sculpture Studio Rules.

General Safety & Emergency Instructions

Click here for a pdf of SACI's General Safety & Emergency instructions.

Evaluation & Grading

Evaluation is determined by commitment to quality, completion of course assignments, in-class activities and attendance.

Graduate Students
Students in MFA, MA, and Post-Bac programs are expected to complete additional assignments and to produce work at a level appropriate for students in a graduate program. They are graded accordingly and, if they successfully complete all course requirements for graduate students, receive graduate-level credit for the course.

Schedule

Monday, July 1
1pm to 4pm

Introduction to syllabus
Introduction to studio practice, safety rules etc.
Modeling tools; Starting first project: Slab construction 40 x 30cm
Demo: Modeling with clay

4:30pm to 8pm
Starting to model the bas-relief in clay

Wednesday, July 3
1pm to 4pm
Field trip: to be decided

4:30pm to 8pm
Modeling the bas-relief in clay

Friday, July 5
1pm to 4pm
Field trip: to be decided

4:30pm to 7pm
Modeling the bas-relief in clay

Monday, July 8
1pm to 4pm
Making the waste mold in plaster
Mold making demo: Mixing plaster; Plaster tools; Making the mold
Removing clay and washing the mold

4:30pm to 8pm
The waste mold in plaster
Mold making demo: Mixing plaster; Plaster tools; Making the mold
Removing clay and washing the mold

Wednesday, July 10
1pm to 4pm
Field trip: to be decided

4:30 pm to 8pm
The plaster positive: Filling the molds, with plaster, chopping off the waste mold

Friday, July 12
1pm to 4pm
Field trip: to be decided

4:30 pm to 7pm
The plaster positive: Filling the molds with plaster, chopping off the waste mold

Monday, July 15
1pm to 4pm
Fieldtrip: to be decided

4:30 to 8pm
Carving a small soft cement stone bas relief, size 25 x 25 x 12 cm using photos, photocopies, or drawings from sculptural influences in Florence

Wednesday, July 17
1pm to 4pm
Starting to compile a personal book/visual diary that will demonstrate the evolution of a four week period of sculptural research in Florence. The book must have a beginning, middle, and an end. The book should include photos, artists statements, progress reports and any other memorabilia and artistic influences.

Work in progress

4:30 to 8pm
Work in progress

Friday, July 19
1pm to 4pm
Field trip: to be decided

4:30 to 7pm
Work in progress

Monday, July 22
1pm to 4pm
Finishing all work in progress

4:30 to 8pm
Finishing all work in progress

Wednesday, July 24
1pm to 4pm
Finishing all work in progress

4:30 to 8pm
Finishing all work in progress

Friday, July 26
1pm to 4pm
Reviewing personal books, critiques and studio clean up

4:30 to 7pm
Reviewing personal books, critiques and studio clean up

Field Trips

Field trips will take place when the working schedule allows and will be selected out of the following museums:

  • Bargello (the national museum of quattrocento sculpture in Florence)
  • Casa Buonarroti (Michelangelo's bas reliefs)
  • Medici Chapel (Michelangelo's sculptures)
  • La Specola (the wax anatomical museum)
  • Accademia (the David and the unfinished prisoners)

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