Artists to research:

Steve Tobin
Tony Cragg
Anish Kapoor
Kurt Stadler
Eric Fertman
Gary Webb
Louis Bourgeois
Barbara Hepworth
Naum Gabo
Henry Moore
Constantin Brancusi
Eva Hild
Sven Lukin

Helpful Links:

Mobious Loop
Tony Cragg, YouTube
Ursula von Rydingsvard, ART-21

Clive Bell (response to the "Formalist Theory)
A great essay for group discussion.


2011, Spring




Using a reductive method, create an organic form(s) out of 2 x 2 x 36 inchBalsa Wood. Design principles and elements to consider: Linear, convex, concave, volume, weight, shape, texture, light, open and closed space, form, organic, balance, unity, contrast. Discuss possibilities in class.

Organic forms are shapes with a natural look and a flowing or curving appearance. For this reason, they are often also referred to as curvilinear shapes. Examples of organic shapes include leaves, plants, and animals. (Wiki Links)


-Balsa Wood: 2 x 2 x 36 inch (2 pieces) DO NOT USE BASS WOOD
: Wood Glue
-Razor knife / box cutter
-Sand paper, variety pack including 100, 220, 400 grit.
-Wet/Dry sand paper, 800 grit.
-Wood Filler, Elmer's or Mini wax (a small squeeze tube works best)
-Hack Saw
-One Can of Spray Paint (White Primer)
-One Can of Spray Paint (your choice of color)
-Pencil and paper for sketching ideas and thoughts.

Rules: discussed in class



Research! Use "Artists to Research" section above for inspiration. Consider what direction you might want to explore. Begin cutting the balsa wood using a hack saw and a vice. Cut on diagonals so that you can create twisting and turning joints. Experiment by carving and sanding the material to a fine smooth surface. Balsa wood cuts like an apple. Consider various forms. If you do not like the direction your work is going you can re-cut and re-glue your design. Balsa wood is very forgiving. Finish: Spray paint (primer) 4 coats by sanding (800 grit wet/dry) between each coat. Spray paint (final coat) your choice of color (2 times). Aim for an automobile-like smooth finish. Sketch, plan, think, work, repetitively throughout the entire process.

HOW TO PAINT..... click here

Grading: Five C’s

-Idea, preparation, and how well understood / executed the project.
-Overall design and presentation
- use of media, neatness
-Originality, problem solving,
-Does the project seem complete and developed/evolved?

Group critique and self-critique questions:

Is the form highly developed and complete?

Describe the formal aspects.

Does the color support the for?. How?

Does the color support the concept? How?

Describe the concept.

Is there a creative use of materials? Describe?

Are there distractions from the overall form? If so, what?

Is there a narrative or concept emerging?

What is more prominent, form or content?

What is lacking?

What is the works' strenth?

What would you title it and why?

Is there a historical or cultural reference?

Have you seen this form or shape before? Describe.

Does the final result surpass the original materials properties into another realm or material?

POST-IT CRIT for the final (personal note for me)



Kurt Stadler
















Anish Kapoor













Constantin Brancusi






Henry Moore















Louis Bourgeois













Barbara Hepworth








Tony Cragg