Home

3D Art Projects

3D Art Projects

3D Art Projects

Automatic Sculpture Project

OBJECTIVE: Use automatic and semi–automatic processes with plaster and paint to create a non–objective sculpture in the spirit of Constantin Brancusi, Hans Arp, Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth.

MATERIALS: You will need a minimum of two punching balloons (the ones that have an elastic connected to one end) or four 12-inch helium balloons, a nylon ankle stocking, string, rope, clamps, a yoghurt container, a funnel and an empty two–litre pop bottle. To finish the sculpture, you will need shaping tools, sandpaper, acrylic paint, painting tools, a piece of MDF measuring 8" x 8" x 1", a length of 5/16" threaded metal rod, flat washer, lock washer and nut, a drill with a 3/8" bit, metal hack-saw, bottle of Gorilla Glue (the kind that turns to an expanding foam when it comes into contact with moisture).

PROCEDURE: First, use only water (without the plaster powder) to conduct a trial run of the steps that you will take. When you feel confident that you can distort the balloon mould without breaking it (this is the reason for the extra balloons), you may begin your work with the actual plaster.

Fill the pop bottle 2/3 full with cold water, the colder the better, and then empty it into the mixing pail. Gently sprinkle the plaster powder into the water until you saturate the water with plaster powder (small islands will form just beneath the water's surface). Use your hand to mix the solution thoroughly for about thirty seconds, making sure to break up any un-dissolved lumps of plaster. The liquid plaster should have the consistency of coffee cream, but NO THICKER than that or it will set up too fast.

Use the yoghurt container and funnel to pour the liquid plaster into the pop bottle. Inflate your balloon and then stretch the end of it over the opening of the bottle. (NOTE: If you're using 12-inch helium balloons, use a pencil to slip one balloon inside of the other so you are working with a double-thickness of latex.) Invert the pop bottle so that the balloon is on the bottom and then gently squeeze the plaster solution into the balloon in short, controlled compressions so that the air moves from the balloon to the bottle, thereby pushing the plaster out of the bottle and into the balloon. When the bottle is empty, pinch the opening of the balloon and remove it from the bottle. Carefully open the throat of the balloon and allow the excess air to escape (try to get rid of ALL of the air until the plaster fills the balloon's throat). Use the string or the balloon itself to tie off the end. Slip the balloon into the nylon ankle stocking (this will provide a bit of friction so that the balloon doesn't slide around so easily).

Next, use the rope and clamps to distort the shape of the balloon in a radical and dynamic way. You have to move quickly because after about ten minutes of working, the plaster will begin to set. When this occurs, the work must be left alone for the next thirty minutes after which, the balloon mould can be removed. Clean up and refine the form with conventional sculpturing techniques before connecting it to a base and finishing it with paint.

Process Demonstration: Part 1, https://youtu.be/YCpOfVoQ5EQ, Part 2, https://youtu.be/BlPkfnBVCv0, Part 3 https://youtu.be/3olwJOKxabw, Part 4 https://youtu.be/pFGuwpOE3zY

Examples of Student Works

Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture Automatic Plaster Sculpture

FINISHING: Before you connect the sculpture to the base, set it on a table and look at it from all sides while you turn it around and flip it over a few times. You'll find that the work will appear most dynamic and interesting in only one or two orientations. This is the how you will want to connect your sculpture to the base. Make a pencil mark on the plaster where it touches the table. Carefully drill a hole in the plaster and then in the base. Clean the hole in the plaster with some damp paper towel wrapped around a pencil so that the glue will stick. Cut your threaded rod to the proper length. Coat it with a modest amount of Gorilla Glue (don't overdo it because the glue will expand 3 to 4 times its volume) and then insert it into the sculpture. Allow the glue to dry for an hour before using the nut and washer to secure the sculpture to the base (only hand-tighten the nut for now so you don't put too much stress on the glue until it's had another day or two to completely dry). The plaster can now be painted, but care must be taken to mask the base if it is to have a different finish. NOTE: Make certain that your plaster is COMPLETELY dust-free before you start painting. Use a clean, damp rag to remove any dust. Finishing Demonstration: https://youtu.be/3olwJOKxabw

TECHNICAL: Prepare the balloons and your binding materials before mixing the plaster. Be careful not to pinch or pierce the balloons or your mould will break. The balloons are quite durable and probably won't break, so be courageous in how severely you distort your mould. The more radical you make the distortions, the more dynamic and fascinating will be the form.

To get a good mark, your finished work must exhibit a comprehensive understanding of the Compositional Principles of Emphasis, Variety, Movement, Balance, Unity, Rhythm and Proportion. As we discussed in class, the more daring your forms, the higher your mark. Your work will also show that you have attended to the details of creating well-finished cast with a painted surface that is clean and stable. Your cast must also be affixed to the support in such a way that excess glue and mechanical fasteners appear non-existent and all surfaces are clean and free of defects.

HomeBread Crumbs3D Art ProjectsBread CrumbsProjectsBread CrumbsAutomatic Sculpture Project

© 2016, Terry Reynoldson