Sculpture Electives

The Boston University School of Visual Arts is committed to giving students practical experience in a variety of sculptural mediums, including the following:

Curriculum & Facilities

Welding
An introduction to the construction of steel sculpture produced through oxy-gas and arc welding (mig and stick).  Students work with some forging and machine shop practices.

Glassblowing
Students have the unique opportunity to work with Boston’s Diablo Glass studio, in a course designed to provide beginning students with a core understanding of glassblowing, fusing/slumping, flame-working, hot-pour casting, and cold working techniques. The course is intended for students committed to finding their own voice in any medium of expression in contemporary art through critical thought, technique, perseverance, and experimentation.  Students will be expected to demonstrate potential ideas through sketch and/or sculpture in other mediums.

Ceramics
In ceramics courses, student are introduced to ceramics as a sculptural medium, exploring traditional and experimental hand-building techniques, as well as glaze chemistry.

Course Selections

AR 222 Time-Based Sculpture 4cr
AR 223 Installation 4cr
AR 327 Sculpture Techniques 4cr
AR 338 Welding 4cr
AR 418 Glassblowing 4cr
AR 470/AR 471 Ceramics 1 4cr/2cr

Course Descriptions

Ceramics 1
By creating artist’s books, students explore developing the series image, written text, and spatial and conceptual aspects. Students may work with collage and drawing, photo-based and traditional print forms, and digital and polymer-based letter press processes to produce books. Studio work will be augmented with visits to the Houghton Library Rare Book Collection and the Fogg Museum. Open to non-majors.

Glassblowing
This course is designed to provide beginning students with a core understanding of glassblowing, fusing/slumping, flame-working, hot-pour casting, and cold working techniques. The course is intended for students committed to finding their own voice in any medium of expression in contemporary art through critical thought, technique, perseverance, and experimentation. Students will be expected to demonstrate potential ideas through sketching and/or sculpture in other mediums. The course will include lecture and research on ancient through contemporary glass making methods. Students will have allocated class time in all studio shops as well as 3 hours per week of private practice to complete work and assignments. There is an $80 lab fee for the class, and transportation via T/car to Diablo Glass is the responsibility of the student.

Sculpture Techniques
This course will attempt to provide an understanding of basic mold types, the skills required to make basic molds and a rudimentary knowledge of different casting materials. The course will experiment with different mold types to duplicate a form in a variety of casting materials. Plaster waste molds and plaster piece molds will be made, as well as a basic rubber mold. These molds will be used for casting in different materials, including: hydro-cal, hydro-stone, Design-Cast, Fast-Cast cement and wax. Course will include a field trip to a local bronze art foundry and lost-wax bronze casting will be discussed.

Time-Based Sculpture
This class is designed for students to explore mechanical movement and the passage of time as it relates to sculpture. Setting sculpture in motion as an objective allows the student to start with the potential of simple mechanisms, to experiment with motors, and to develop content and narratives relating to discoveries of movement and time. In addition, there will be a video component to the class as a way of documenting student projects throughout the semester. Each student (or small collaborative) will produce a short film (3-4 minute movie) of one or more of their finished projects. Each one of these will be presented to the SVA community during a lunch period at the end of semester.

Welding
This course is an introduction to the construction of steel sculpture. While learning all safety procedures in the use of shop tools and equipment, students will produce artworks using oxy-fuel, electrode and MIG welding. Emphasis is on exploring the expressive potential of sculptural form in steel.

Installation
Installation art and relational aesthetics have become an important part of the contemporary art dialogue. It is important for students to understand how context affects the  reading of art. This course will focus on developing ideas, building models, hands-on creation of installations, seminars looking at various approaches by artists both historical and contemporary, as well as shorter workshops with introductions to various materials. Students will be encouraged to make site-specific and temporary installations that utilize locally purchased and found objects to explore both linear and non-linear narrative structures. Some possible formats may include earthworks, subverting the reading of already existing sites or sculpture, or presenting documentation of in-class demonstrations. Slide lectures, discussions, and site-trips for material sourcing will supplement studio work and critiques.