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ART 273 A: Introduction To 3D4M: Wood And Metal

We look forward to safely returning to in-person instruction and activities this autumn quarter. Current and prospective students please visit our COVID-19 Updates pages.
Meeting Time: 
MW 11:30am - 2:20pm
CMA 114
Amie McNeel
Amie McNeel

Syllabus Description:


Amie McNeel / T Th 2:30am- 5:20pm, CMA, fabrication building

272 recommended, priority to art and 3D4M majors (required for all sculpture shop use)

finals Wednesday, Dec 16, 2:30-4:20 pm, CMA 115




  1. Course Description:

This course serves as an introduction to essential sculptural applications in material fabrication. Students become familiar with the sculpture facility and wood and metal fabrication equipment. Projects will investigations sculptural relationships related to these materials. Formal 3D design vocabulary is strengthened. Individual and collaborative problem solving and presentations are encouraged. Drawing and maintaining a sketchbook is used as a development and research tool. This course introduces contemporary sculptural issues. Through discussions, critiques, lectures, guest artist talks and research assignments, students will be better equipped to define their role art makers.


  1. Course Objectives:
  • Tools and Safety: Familiarize students with wood and steel as a material and its potential in fabricating contemporary sculpture. A major component of this class is to establish proficiency and safe operations of sculpture facility tools and equipment. Scu 273 is the prerequisite course for continued advanced shop use. Documented safe operation gives enrolled students extended access to the Sculpture studio equipment.
  • Material skills: Expose students to basic wood techniques and processes within the sculpture studio including: Cutting equipment, joining and jigs, clamping and gluing, connection design and hardware, surfacing equipment, treatments and applications.
  • Material Skills: Expose students to basic steel techniques and processes within the sculpture studio: Cutting (mechanical methods, plasma arc, torch), welding (MIG, stick, oxy-acet brazing), forming, and shearing equipment, forging, manipulating stock metals, sand blasting, designing connections, and surface treatments.
  • Combining Materials: Building relationships and integrating various characteristics of material (stock, found, raw). Designing connections and distinctions between, forms, structures and scales is emphasized throughout the class
  • Formal: Familiarize and establish a 3Dimentional working vocabulary and concepts related to the sculpture discipline. This include:

1.) establishing a studio practice. Making and working in the studio facilities, material processes and tool and demonstrations, practicing technique, investigating material and design possibilities.

2.) progression from concept/ idea, through image/ form, material/ process and site/ context.

3.) exploration of topics, through sketchbooks and research, presentations and discussions

4.) class reviews and critiques of projects

5.) research artists(contemporary/ historical) that influence the sculpture discipline


The course offers a sequence of investigations including lectures, discussions and topical research providing a contemporary and historical context for assignments. Classes are held in the sculpture fabrication studios, supporting technical and material experimentation for each project challenge. All projects require stated objectives, research of influences and a sketchbook with developmental drawings, prototypes and resolved final sculptures.


  1. Possible Course projects include:

Project 1: Use Platonic solids as a template for building, connecting and organizing similar multiple patterns, shapes and forms. After building several paper models, issues of material, scale, volumes, connections and progressions will be explored. Multiples are organized through symmetry or a more responsive logic.

Project 2: Communication/Sensory device, (body attachments or extensions for manipulating senses)

Objectives: heightens, nullifies, redirects, extends, connects sight, hearing or touch (between two or more people or another entity)

Project 3: Drawing/ Mark-making/ Recording machine, device or tool (object, impact/material and surface)

Objectives: this is an activated piece that uses movement/gesture, color/material, contact/impact or accumulation

Project 4: Building Connections/ physical relationship while integrating found object and found materials; Constructing forms and structures built of existing connective devices and fasteners, modified and original connective designs.; exploring traditional, static, adjustable, flexible, kinetic or responsive joinery.

Project 5: Redesigning the musical instrument (wind, string, horns, percussion)

Objectives: research design evolution, analyze then combine select elements, related to the body, adjustable/tuned parts, sound, cultural context, ritual


  1. Course Evaluation:

Students are evaluated on satisfying the following course expectations:

  1. The maturity, productivity and constructiveness within moments of class independence are noticed and evaluated. These are opportunities to exercise the practice of being prepared, responsible, resourceful and respectful to develop character, and build capabilities, confidence and potential.


  1. Attendance during assigned class days and times is mandatory and expected. Every class is a weeks worth of studio time and exchange. If you are late, it is your responsibility to rectify the role sheet after class. Any unexcused tardiness or absences could result in a grade reduction and factor in a failing grade. Absence due to advance plans, illness or emergency, please notify the professor via email or leave a message (920-918-0216)


  1. Cooperative effort and participation in discussions, critiques, demos, lectures and the cleaning up and storage of your work and supplies during the semester.


  1. Timely completion of each studio assignments and homework. This is imperative for the class to stay on schedule and accomplish its goals. Priority is given to assignments that are completed on time for critiques and reviews.


  1. Continued development and revision of projects is expected. Learning and growth takes place throughout the quarter. The quality, quantity and/or development of which is evident through enhanced clarity, refinement, experimentation and effort.


  1. A record of supportive research in the form of sketchbooks, notebooks, schedules and workbooks should be available during classes and presentable at reviews or studio visits.


  1. Responsible Studio Time Management is expected and will be assessed. All UW students are expected to put in 2 hours of after class study for each class contact hour. (10 studio hrs. per week out of class studio time) All sculpture students generate templates for managing studio work times and outline for accomplishing goals and objectives. These are reviewed as needed and are included with research support materials at reviews and final submissions.



Sculptural projects reviewed on time                          50% (at critique + for revision)

Attendance and participation in class                         30%

Sketchbook (support research and developments)       20%


Students earn their grades every class day. The presumption is that you wish to learn specific things, in a specific environment. Instructors can offer you information in many forms to be experienced in many ways--through handouts, lectures and images, on chalkboards, through demonstrations. You have to be present to absorb and capture information. It is as a class, collectively, that each individual gains knowledge and grows exponentially. It is this community’s shared invention of how to select, investigate, transform, practice, build, present, discuss and question—that is your education. If you satisfy the existing criteria for the class (1-8 above) you are performing what is already expected and you have earned a C.


A   4.0-3.5      Excellent--do what is expected well and self motivated to do it again-with more refined curiosity, clarity and passion.         

B   3.4-3.0      Good –do what is expected well, with self-motivation

C   2.9-2.5      Average--do what is expected.

D   2.4-1.7      Passable--does what is expected poorly

D/F 1.6-0.7     Failure--does not satisfy what is expected.


This syllabus is the students contract with the course instructor. Remaining enrolled in this class confirms the students’ agreement to its content.


Class Participation, Engagement and Learning Policies

Catalog Description: 
Introduces the specific concepts and skills needed to construct and create structure driven in wood, steel, found object and other materials. Explores issues of materiality, form, object, scale, and connection.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
October 5, 2016 - 9:01pm