Friday, December 4, 2015

Five Minute Sculpture, the Birthday Caper Continues

Thought you'd enjoy a bit of clickbait! Your third birthday present coming up.

Today, I want to share with you an adventure I've often led my drawing students on, and invite you to join in.  This is literally a five minute sculpture journey.  Cat not included.

Take a piece of paper, copy or printer paper is fine.  Make two tears as shown, without separating the paper into separate pieces.  I show tears on the long side, since this becomes more stable, but you can tear down the short side if you prefer to.  Duncan shows you what I mean, he doesn't trust me to make it clear.

Now manipulate the sheet with your hands, no scissors, no tweezers, no steak knives, until you've achieved a small three dimensional sculpture that will stand up without support.  Remember this is to be seen from all sides, as sculpture is, so turn it as you work just to see that it doesn't just have a back and a front, but has interest all the way around.  Just play!  try not to crush it, since that will make it harder to support itself.

Stand it up now.  You can crease, fold, tear little openings to slot paper through itself or notches to slide together, whatever works physically.

And now you have a lovely piece of sculpture, maybe your first. Shine light on one side to get the benefit of the light and shade and see how many planes you've created.  And finally draw it. The drawing is not part of the five minutes, you can take your time and get your breath first.

Why two tears? because that gives you a three part piece of raw material to work on.  Three works well in art, being visually and physically stable, in drawing, painting, all the art forms, including theater and sport!  The three act play, the three set tennis match, are not all about having an easy to way to see the winner!  they also have a satisfying structure.

The reason I introduced this into a drawing class was that I noticed that people were able to draw objects they'd handled and were familiar with, so I figured if you create the object, you'll draw it well.  And they did, much to their surprise!  

I haven't done a drawing, not wanting to have that neurological connection made which forces the viewer to draw similarly to what they've seen. I'd rather you experience that for yourself, let your brain decide on your drawing.  And enjoy it!

By the end of this natal month, you will be experienced doll knitters, sculptors, meditators, and little do you (or I, come to that) know what else might happen in the next little while.  And I will be so happy to know that all the presents are happening thanks to my shoving   I mean encouragement.


  1. A sculptress I ain't - as my folded dogs breakfast will attest. I think I need a Duncan!!

  2. This is a great idea :) And don't forget music: how many songs can be played with three tones/chords? MANY.
    Did I ever tell you about the 3-D Design class I took in grad school? well, I guess I just did! Spent hours and hours and hours with various types of paper. And glue, glue, glue. My Final project was a 3D representation of a composition by Thelonious Monk.
    But say now, did I somehow miss two birthday gifts?? I will have to look back and check. Because to quote the lads from Liverpool: "You say it's your birthday? Well, it's my birthday, too, yeah!" :)


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