ARTS495 Advanced Sculpture, Dario Arcamone, Spring 2020 | SACI College of Art & Design Florence

ARTS495 Advanced Sculpture, Dario Arcamone, Spring 2020

The aim of this class is to develop your own sculpture making process, from the aesthetic idea to the finished state. In the context of the extraordinary 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 Advanced students can work on a subtractive process as carving marble, or any other technical process that is fitting in the limitations of safety and studio equipment.

Course Assignments

Advanced students are responsible to develop two pieces at their own level of class. In addition is required an “End of term book” on the sculpture methods, developments and sketches that show the progress over time.


Attendance is required, 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.


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.

General Safety & Emergency Instructions

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

Additional Safety & Studio 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 tied and 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

Evaluation & Grading

Evaluation is determined by the commitment to the two pieces to an Advanced level (see above Assignments).
A minus grade (-) will apply for work submitted after the deadlines (see Schedule).

A = Two pieces well finished: strong in content and craft + Class book
B = Two pieces finished: average in content and craft
C = One piece only completed

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.


Week 1 

Tuesday, January 14
Portfolio review Start of ideas: drawings

Thursday, January 16
Review sketches_3D models

Week 2

Tuesday, January 21
Project starts

Thursday, January 23
Fieldtrip: Casa Buonarroti

Week 3

Tuesday, January 28
Project cont’d

Thursday, January 30
First project class critique

Week 4

Tuesday, February 4
Project cont’d

Thursday, February 6
Field trip: Bargello

Week 5

Tuesday, February 11
Project cont’d

Thursday, February 13
Project cont’d

Week 6

Tuesday, February 18
Project cont’d

Thursday, February 20
Project cont’d

Week 7

Tuesday, February 25
Class critique
Field Trip: Cappelle Medicee

Thursday, February 27
Starts second project


Week 8

MIDTERM BREAK (February 29 - March 8)


Week 9

Tuesday, March 10
Project cont’d

Thursday, March 12
Project cont’d

Week 10

Tuesday, March 17
Class critique

Thursday, March 19
Field trip: Museo Opera del Duomo

Week 11

Tuesday, March 24
Work in progress

Thursday, March 26
Class critique

Week 12

Tuesday March 31
Work in progress

Thursday, April 2
Work in progress

Week 13

Tuesday, April 7
Work in progress

Thursday, April 9
Work in progress

Week 14

Tuesday, April 14
Deadline for both projects_Grading status
​End of term class critique/presentation of student work (digital)

Thursday, April 16
Prepare for end-of-term-show

Week 15

Tuesday, April 21
Sculpture rooms set up

Thursday, April 23
End of term shipping or disposal of projects

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