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respond to the following discussion
100 words each
1. Very nice job teaching us all about subtractive sculpture here! I loved the way you pointed out that most sculptors create a working model before working on the final piece. Whenever I think of Michelangelo’s David, I am reminded how time-consuming such art can be. Isn’t it amazing that it can take years to complete? Have you ever seen David? Or any other sculptures that have stood out in your memory? Or have you ever tried any type of subtractive sculpture?
I also really enjoyed the idea (in Irwin’s video) of the piece of wood dictating the art. That completely made sense to me. (I’ve also had students in this class who have done pottery and say the same thing about the clay dictating the art.) Have you ever taken any woodworking classes? I remember taking some growing up and noting the flexibility of some woods, the weakness in certain areas, and how staining wood could change its entire appearance. I also loved how Irwin’s use of shellac seemed to contribute to the flow of the piece by shading or brightening certain areas.
Your discussion reminded me of an article I saw in Forbes. I thought the idea of light, shadow, and color in certain types of marble was so interesting. I also remember learning about some sculptors who created works that were to be viewed with light behind them. In the artist’s eye, the sculpture was not the physical piece of material, but the shadow it cast from the light shining on it. That really made me look at sculpture in a new way!
I also appreciated your point about the uniqueness of each sculpture. It is as if an artist leaves their fingerprint on the work.
2.Write a one-page (minimum 3 substantial paragraphs) description and explanation of what you learned. Craft the explanation for your hypothetical class of beginners.Remember to point out not only techniques, but also the effects the techniques are intended to produce.
For this discussion I chose to study the manipulative method of sculpting. In our book this is described as using pliable materials to form shapes and is also called modeling, (Sporre, 2015). I have experimented with this method in the past and enjoyed working with metal wire. There are many different types of wire that can be used to create art, from soft soldering wire, as was used in the wire horse video, to rigid copper. There are also many different gauges, or thicknesses, or wire that can be used depending on the project. The thicker the wire, the more strength it will take to bend. Many projects may incorporate wires of different gauges and different materials. Depending on the wire used, different tools may be required for manipulation. If the intended art work is small, and the wire is soft, a single pair of pliers may be used. However, with heavy gauge wire, or wire made from a rigid material, at least two pliers may be needed in order to stretch and bend the wire. As your skills improve, you may wish to add multiple sizes and shapes of pliers, as well as adding a vice or soldering torch to your tool kit.
For the remainder of this discussion I will explain the techniques used to make a wire tree. In the example I will attach below you can see that I used a single gauge of fine crafting wire that is fairly rigid for its diameter. I began with one long single strand of wire, but multiple shorter strands could have been used as well. For tools I only used two small pairs of needle nose pliers. I began the project by constructing the upper branches of the tree. Using the two pliers I bent the outer branches of the tree into small circles or ovals and then began twisting the circles with my fingers, which wound the two pieces of wire together tightly to form the upper branches. When I was ready to add another branch I would just repeat this process by folding out a loop of wire. In order to create a larger branch the wire would have to folded against itself, and the pliers were then used to to bend the wire back on itself at sharp angle.
The trunk of the tree required multiple lengths of wire to be folded back and forth to add girth and provide a base in which to wrap the wire. In order to the secure the tree to a base, in this case a piece of rock with garnet intrusions, the wire was wrapped around the rock in a single or double strand before adding a few more wraps around the base of the tree to thicken the stump. The picture that I included is the second wire project I had ever done, which shows how easy it can be to learn.
3.Subtractive Sculptures are also referred as carved works and usually begin with a type of medium that can be chipped, shaved, carved, or cut away in a subtractive manner (Sporre) in attaining the design to what the artist is desiring. Overall subtractive sculptures are any media that has portions removed to be shaped into something else. This can be as small as a piece of jewelry like a diamond to as big as Mount Rushmore and can take a few minutes to years to construct. Some of the most popular subtractive sculptures include Mount Rushmore by Gutzon Borglum and his son Lincoln and Michelangelo’s David. Anyone can be a sculptor in the subtractive style by working on a simple item such as a piece of fruit or bar of soap.
I have learned that subtractive sculptures require extensive planning, diligent care and meticulous attention to detail. As the sculptor you have to consider your medium. Will it be rock, wood, ice or another material? If it is rock will it be Igneous, Sedimentary or Metamorphic? All of which have their pros and cons yet metamorphic is more ideal for sculptures (Sporre, Pg. 65, par 5). After the material has been chosen the sculptor has to consider what instruments they will use to shape their design. This is crucial as it will be used to subtract material proficiently and safely with tools such as a chainsaw, chisels, knifes, hammers, or micro tools. These require a delicate touch and helps the sculptor reflect their desired aesthetic. In addition, the artist has to consider whether to protect their piece from the natural elements, which often causes the art to erode as time goes on.
I am drawn more to Subtractive art because of my field of work and experiences in my life have ingrained a deep appreciation of what it takes to create a composition. I know that the difficulty of a subtractive sculpture is not forgiving. I consider myself proficient with tools and techniques and have experience with woodworking. Usually when I am done finishing a wood work (Fig 1.) I can see all of the imperfections yet to the untrained eye they think it is beautiful. I usually end up accepting the flaws as a sign of uniqueness. If you make a mistake by gouging or removing too much material you cannot go back or cover it up. That is it and you have to live with that mistake. From there you can keep moving forward, reshape it or restart as long as you do not give up. Subtractive sculptures can be compared to life and how we slowly over time gain and learn skills and experience as we work on something with an expected result. However, things get in the way of the best laid plans and we have to develop a sense of perseverance to make the best of the situation and carry on.
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