To understand what entails good craftsmanship.
To establish relationships between volumes.
To become aware of proportions, mass and balance and contrasting shapes.
To understand the notion of activating space and deal with the basics of engineering (balance and weight).

To create a unified form combining three rectilinear shapes (a dominant, a sub-dominant, and a subordinate), through piercing, wedging, and/or cradling.

Historical relevance:

De Stijl (The Style), Dutch, Art Movement, 1917-31 click for MANIFESTO

Below are 3 sculptures that pierce, wedge, and cradle. Can you guess what image represents what concept?


Materials: (please note that many items can be found in Home Depot Painting Section, look for @HD next to material)

-Bristol Board
-X-acto Knife, Utility Knife, Blades (@HD)
-Mat Cutting Board (supplied in class)
-Elmer's White Glue (Zap-a-Gap glue may work if Elmers does not) (example below) (@HD)
-Hot Glue/Glue Gun (I will supply in-class glue guns)
-Blue Painter's Tape (example below) (@HD)
-Foam Core (AKA, Foam Board) (example below)
-Kilz Sealer Spray (example below) @HD
-Plaster (Plaster of Paris
) 25 lbs bag (example below) (@HD)
-Plastic containers to mix plaster in (example below) (@HD)
-MH Ready Patch (example below) (@HD)
-Sandpaper, assorted grits. Ideally you will need one of each: 100, 150, 220, (I can supply 400 grit in class) (example below) (@HD)
-Face mask, rubber gloves (@HD)

Plaster (24 lbs bag)

MH Ready Patch

Putty Knives, both a 5 inch and a 2 inch blade.

containers for mixing, found in the home depot painting section
Assorted sand paper (variety pack)

foam board (found at craft store, walmart, and staples)

Kilz spray paint paint (primer, sealer, stainblocker)

Below are plaster carving tools (Do not purchase the plaster carving tools). When working at home, try finding tools around the kitchen or tool shed that could substitute these tools, such as steak knives, box cutters, hack saws, screw drivers, etc.


Make 10 or more rectilinear volumes in chipboard or bristol board. The volumes should vary in length,
width, and height. Measure and cut with precision for an accurate form. Organize the rectangles in groups
of three, keeping these principles in mind:

Start by designing the dominant, then the sub-dominant. Spend a little time on this relationship. Quickly complete the subordinate
element, and quickly arrange in a three-dimensional grouping. This will give you a sense of the overall
configuration. Then you can begin to refine.

The volumes you use choose should vary in character as much as possible, and no two should have the
same measurements. You should be able to assess the differences in volume of the three elements by eye.
If you have to measure, they are too similar in size.
The dominant volume is the largest element, the most interesting and dramatic in character. It occupies the
dominant position in the group. The sub-dominant complements the dominant in character. The
relationship between the two should be visually interesting by the contrast in character, and the position of
each, usually when the axes are not parallel.
The subordinate makes the design still more interesting by introducing a third visual element and axis. The
third element should make the design more three-dimensional, complement the existing forms, and
complete the unity of the design. It is not as independent as the dominant/sub-dominant. It should be
contrasting but sensitive to the other forms. It must be designed to fill what is missing in the other two.
Always conceive a design from all positions.


-Emphasize either the vertical or horizontal proportion in each sketch.
-All joints should appear structural.
-A balance of directional forces should be established.
-The design should look interesting and three-dimensional from every position.
-It should achieve a an effect of unity in which every part relates to every other part, and every design
relationship contributes the whole.


Week 1

Bring in materials to class. Begin making rectilinear forms in class using bristol board and blue tape, white tape, or masking tape.
Arrange forms, making adjustments as needed (cut into forms to pierce, wedge and cradle). Decide on three final configurations to be viewed next class.
Take note: You are now using paper as a material for model making; whereas, in the previous project you used paper as a sculptural material.

Week 2

Critique of paper forms regarding the the relationships between the dominant, sub-dominant, and subordinate.
Cast the forms in plaster using foam core, tape, and plaster of paris. Let forms cure over the week.

Bring your book for the BOOKCUTS project to work on during down time.

Week 3:
Enlarge your form twice the size (make a small one and a large one). Use the small one to familiarize yourself with sanding, gluing, patching, and engineering.