Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The process of design

There are many methods of designing art.    During the conference, Tim, Ellen and Helga all shared their designing processes which I talked about in a previous post.

Helga explained how she begins her design process by "playing."  During the session she discussed how she played with paper to stimulate ideas that could be translated into jewelry.  http://crafthaus.ning.com/profile/HelgavanLeipsig?xg_source=activity   After playing, she draws up 10 designs, chooses one of these to expand on with 10 more drawings.  Taking those 10 drawings, she expands one again until she finds something that she likes.

(This is my interpretation of her design process.)

Once again her ideas reminded me of an approach I used with my students for their 3-d plaster sculptures.  (I really need to reflect back on some of my own teaching experiences and give myself assignments like this one.)

The assignment was to create a carved plaster sculpture based on the human figure.

Step one:  Find 10 photos of people, preferably in some sort of motion
Step two:  Do 10 quick gesture drawings of each photo for a total of 100 drawings.  This sounds like a lot, but gesture drawings are very quick.
Step three:  Choose three of these drawings and simplify each one five times into simple geometric forms.
Step four:  Choose one of the simplified drawings and make it three dimensional out of oil clay.  (This is called the additive process of creating sculpture.)  This piece is basically a three dimensional "sketch" and is called a maquette.
Step five:  Using the maquette to aid in visualizing the form, begin carving into the plaster to create the sculpture. (This is the subtractive process of creating sculpture.)   In order to make an area project out,  you must cut into the form.  (That was a hard concept for the students to understand.)

I don't remember who made these pieces, but these are just a few of the results from the lesson.  The lesson was successful for every single student (which was amazing.)  The bottom two pictures are the same sculpture from two sides.

The process works..... whether it's making jewelry or sculpture.

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