Linear Form Assignment
Go to the library, web, etc and research birds. Choose one bird to work with that is interesting to you. Take notes on the bird’s habitat, song, behavior, and anything else you can find.
Then, make three drawings of an imagined birdcage for your chosen bird. We all know what the standard birdcage looks like; use your lateral, divergent thinking skills here to come up with ideas and drawings in your sketch book. The goal here is to make a cage-like object that communicates the qualities that represent your bird. There should be no bird present in the cage. The viewer (Person looking at the sculpture) will need to get the information about the bird visually, by observing the cage’s shape/form, design, rhythm, etc. Fill up at least 15 pages in your sketch book. Remember these are not “good” drawings but experimental ways to “think” like we did in class. Use the elements of design and try out different forms, patterns etc. Have some fun and get wild with your thinking!
Bring your notes and drawings to class on Monday. Also wire, pliers and wire cutter.
Project Learning Objectives
- Cultivate the ability to explore, research, and develop personal ideas and themes;
- Develop a system of sketching and drawing methods that will allow them to investigate, conceptualize and bring ideas through to a finished project;
- Develop an understanding of the principles and elements of design and begin to apply them effectively in their own work;
- Develop a vocabulary of the principles and elements of design (such as linear form, implied form, pattern, contrast, dynamic 3D composition, etc.), and the ability to use it in discussing and writing about art;
- Learn to make valid assessments of quality and effectiveness in design projects and works of art, especially their own;
- Learn how to safely use selected hand and power tools.
RESEARCH: Go to the library or go online and research birds. Choose one bird to work with that is interesting to you. Take notes on the bird’s habitat, song, behavior, and anything else you can find. Print a picture of the bird.
LATERAL THINKING: Take all your notes and spend some time coming up with connotations or metonyms for the bird and its qualities (i.e. Dove =Love, religion, peace). Think about what would happen if the bird were personified (If it were human what would it be like? Would An Eagle be a king? A crow a thief?)
SKETCH: Then, make three drawings of an imagined birdcage for your chosen bird. They should be different from each other, with the goal being to explore different possible paths for you to take with this assignment. We all know what the standard birdcage looks like; the goal here is to make a cage-like object that communicates the qualities that represent your bird. There should be no bird present in the cage. The viewer will need to get the information about the bird visually, by observing the cage’s shape, design, rhythm, etc.
WRITE: Free write a list of what is most interesting about each drawing, and what might be rewarding or compelling about making each one. You should note how each birdcage elicits the idea of its bird in ways that most viewers would understand.
IN CLASS: Bring your research notes, drawings, and free write lists to class along with wire, pliers and wire cutters. I will demonstrate how to twist wire with a drill and we will learn about techniques for bending wire and using triangulation to improve structural strength.
IN GROUPS: Work with a partner to share your research, drawings, and ideas about proceeding. Advise each other about which paths seem most likely to yield a visually successful project. After you are both satisfied about which drawing you will work from, you may start building your birdcages on your own.
FOR HOMEWORK: Work on your Bird Cage for 3 hours outside of class.
DUE DATE and CRITIQUE: Beginning of Class. Finish your birdcage. Attach a one-page artist’s statement to your piece explaining how the project moved from the research phase to completion, and comment on which parts of the piece are most successful and which parts gave you the most trouble.
Grading Rubric for the Birdcage Assignment
|Category||Description||Percent of Total Grade|
|Research||A solid amount of research is presented, including photos, descriptions of habitat and behavior, etc.||5|
|Sketches||3 separate drawings are submitted. Each one represents a truly distinct cage idea for the same bird. Drawings are developed, and each drawing may include details, pattern sketches, and satellite ideas (At least 5 pages of explorational drawings for each distinct cage idea.). Drawings should reflect possibilities for pattern, contrast, appropriate craft, dynamic form.||20|
|Free Writes||Each drawing has an accompanying written explanation that details several ideas about what is most interesting about the birdcage (visually and conceptually), and how each birdcage would elicit the concept of its bird for viewers.||15|
|Group Work||You provide honest and thoughtful feedback for your partner, and take the time to listen to your partner’s ideas about your sketches. You do not rush your workshop.||5|
|Use of Pattern||You incorporate linear 2D pattern into your birdcage in a way that is both visually interesting and conceptually relevant||5|
|Appropriate Craft||Your sculpture appears to be constructed in a way that is conceptually consistent with your subject matter (ie- your chosen bird).||10|
|Dynamic Form||Your birdcage is asymmetrical; it avoids parallel sides and 90 degree corners, and does not sit on a flat base (among other discussed attributes of dynamic form). It should draw the viewer’s eye around the piece.||5|
|Contrast||Your birdcage should juxtapose visual elements that differ or which cause tension together.||5|
|Concept||The viewer can pick out visual attributes of the bird by viewing the sculpture.||15|
|Artist’s Statement||You articulate your process for the assignment, and assess the successes and challenges of the piece.||15|