DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.



University of North Georgia

Department of Visual Arts

Course Syllabus

ART 2200/3200 Sculpture I/ Sculpture II

Fall 2016

Professor Chris Rothermel

Fall Monday/ Wednesday, 4:05pm-6:45pm

GV-Dunlap Mathis 108

Faculty Information

Email: christopher.rothermel@ung.edu

Office Location:

Office Phone:

Office Hours: Tuesday/Thursday/ Friday: 12:00 pm -2:00 pm

Prerequisites: All Visual Arts “Area F” courses passed with a grade of “C” or better, or by permission.



Course Description:   ART 2200 - Students will be exposed to various techniques, processes and materials to create three-dimensional forms in the finished materials of wood, steel and plaster. Emphasis will be placed on the students’ development of independent thinking and problem solving techniques. An historical background on sculpture, processes, and artists will be presented. This course is designed for the beginning student and those with only limited sculpture experience.


Course Rationale:

This is a core subject for all students interested in learning the fundamental skills in sculptural production.  Sculpture I exposes students to a different way of thinking. It structures the creative mind differently than any other studio area. As a beginning course, students will be immersed in the sculpture studio experience, building confidence through the application of sculptural techniques and the expression of ideas in three-dimensional form.



Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of the course the student will be able to:

  1. Create personal works of sculpture which demonstrate an introductory level of understanding of sculptural ideas, and the processes, materials, and techniques associated with demonstrated materials
  2. Find and develop creative ways to solve problems using a variety of strategies for making sculpture with wood, steel and bronze;
  3. Critically assess their own creative process
  4. Ask meaningful questions, identify ideas and issues, and develop a basic vocabulary so as to be able to actively participate in a critical dialogue about sculpture with others in personal and public realms
  5. Establish self-critiquing skills so as to develop autonomous expression through sculpture while recognizing the standards and definitions already established by both contemporary and historical works of art



Course Content (items will be addressed in lecture/technical demonstration/ assignments and presentation/discussion of prominent art works:

  1. Fabrication of Course Work (Production):

Section content devoted to the fabrication of course work. Production of working models and any material studies that need to be done to attain the skill to produce course work.

  1. Concepts, Ideas, and Issues Pertaining to the Creative Process:

a. Strategies for developing ideas (i.e. experiencing and playing with materials, imagining, dreaming, visualizing, symbolizing, writing, reading, researching, studying historical and cultural examples, sketching, collaborating, discussing)

b. Strategies for problem solving towards concretion of ideas in sculptural form (i.e. sketches, plans, maquettes, test pieces, models)

c. critique setting

  1. Historical and Cultural Contexts
  2. Concepts, theories, and issues addressed by various cultures and historical periods
  3. Concepts, theories, and issues addressed by contemporary sculptors from different cultures
  4. Sculptural Forms and Perceptual Impact
  5. Visual/physical elements used to create sculptural form: point, line, plane, shape, form, marks, texture, shadow, light, value, color, space, sound, smell, weight, volume, mass, text, etc.
  6. Relationships of characteristics of visual/ physical elements to be considered (e.g. proportion, length, thickness, position, orientation, scale, weight, interrelationship of shapes, relative value and color, movement and stillness, quality of texture etc.)
  7. Strategies for manipulating visual/physical elements that are ways of thinking of composing with visual/physical elements (e.g. arrange, juxtapose, relate, contrast, group, balance, unify, repeat, edit, elaborate, classify, divide, increase, decrease, maximize, minimize, dissect, separate, align, vary, diversify, alternate, reduce, connect, etc.)
  8. Materials and Techniques
  9. Gravity and the basic forces of tension and compression
  10. Materials, their handling, and meaning
  11. Development of form walls for casting of plaster
  12. Working with clay, plaster and wood for practical use and aestheic expression
  13. Safety and Environmental concerns of materials and techniques associated with clay, plaster and wood in particular as well as other materials: proper disposal of waste, proper safety attire to be used when working with specific materials, health related concerns.
  14. Critical Analysis
  15. Purposes of criticism and analysis of artworks: deepen understanding, reflect on level of quality and possible improvements, heighten creative decision making by observing decisions made by others and oneself, establish and maintain high standards of achievement, ask questions, find new connections, create autonomy and creative confidence, create new problems to solve, discuss art with others to expose oneself to multiple perspectives etc.
  16. Vocabulary relevant to ideas, materials, and techniques pertaining to sculpture made with wood, steel and  mold making and casting materials.




In class work assignments

  • There will be three major projects in the areas of Wood/ Steel and Bronze.  Each project will be a duration of four to six weeks. 
  • Each project will have 2 to 4 shorter deadlines to measure the development of each section. At the end of each section each entire project will be assessed on your ability to meet each deadline, exhibit constant development, present work on the critique date and supply documentation of research and development

Out of class Assignments:

  • There will be Visual Journal assignments and the continued expectation that the student will be working in the Visual journal through out the semester.
  • There will be the expectation that in order to finish the inside class projects you will need at least as much out of class time to complete the three section projects


Class Critiques- Critiques give you an opportunity to share thoughts and ideas that surround your own work as well as the work of your peers. Many times you will be assigned the same problem. Critiques allow you to see and experience various solutions while creating a forum for the group to present and discuss the different outcomes. Orderly, constructive, and professional participation in this dialogue is crucial in your development as a visual artist. Therefore, all students are expected to attend and take part in all class critiques.


Visual Journal:

Student will be expected to keep a visual journal for the duration of the class. This is a tool for the student to write down ideas and develop them. This is also a tool for the instructor to evaluate student attentiveness in class and extra effort made outside of class.


Theme board- Theme boards allow you to group together images, styles, and details that may be relevant to a project you are working on.  Theme boards can be either digital or actual depending on your preference.  Theme boards can be mounted on cardboard or plywood, or assembled on the computer.  Theme boards can be counted as part of (but only part of) your Sketchbook grade if you choose to do them.  If using physically assembled theme boards please keep them to a reasonable size, say 11 x 17 or similar.  If using digital media, please limit yourself to one 11 x 17or two 8 and a half  x 11 pages per project. These can be turned in with your sketchbooks.



GRADING PRACTICES-  A student’s grade is a reflection of their performance. An average performance will result in an average grade. Grades are not given but earned with hard work and a willingness to learn and grow as an individual. I expect nothing less from my students.


Individual projects will be graded using the criteria listed below. 


  • Project Creativity
  • Craftsmanship
  • Class Participation
  • Initiative
  • Attitude
  • Individual Improvement


Note: Longer assignments are weighted more heavily than shorter assignments.




Final Grades are calculated by combining individual project grades, homework assignments, and attendance records. The following factors will be considered in assigning grades.


  • Correct identification and utilization of vocabulary
  • Individual interpretation of assignments
  • Participation in critiques (Constructive Criticism)
  • Attendance and Punctuality
  • On time completion of assignments
  • Resourcefulness
  • Presentation and Craftsmanship
  • Personal Research and Development (sketchbook)



Grade Classifications-


A- Excellent and Superior Work

Scholarship- strong, exceeding requirements of the instructor

Initiative- contributions exceed the assignment, showing resourcefulness

Attitude- positive and beneficial to the group

Cooperation- constant and spontaneous participation in class

Individual improvement- increased development

B- Above Average

Scholarship- accurate and competent, meeting all requirements of instructor

Initiative- good when stimulated by some desirable achievement

Attitude- proper and beneficial to the group

Cooperation- good in group work

Individual improvement- showing progress and responding to stimulation

C- Average

Scholarship- meets assignments, but needs encouragement

Initiative- variable, uncertain and apparent only at times

Attitude- generally neutral

Cooperation- not positive or very effective and irregular

Individual improvement- ordinary

D- Below Average

Scholarship- not meeting all assignments and requirements of instructor

Initiative- deficient

Attitude- indifferent

Cooperation- fair at times, deficient at other times

Individual improvement-not noticeable

F- Failing – work not meeting requirements of course




Attendance and Participation Count:

Studio classes are experience based. All students must be prepared and have the supplies and materials needed to work in class everyday. Attending class is necessary to gain the knowledge and experience needed to develop into a professional artist. After three unexcused absences, the teacher reserves the option of dropping the grade by one letter grade. This is also the case for consistent late arrivals to class. Five unexcused absences will likely result in a failure. If student’s grade borders between two letter grades, participation and attendance can determine the appropriate grade. Attendance and participation in critiques are expected of all students.


Policy on Missed Work:

All required class work is to be completed regardless of excused or unexcused absences.  All missed work must be made up outside of class. Participation in critiques is vital. If a student misses a critique he or she will be required to turn in his project before the critique.



Other factors that may be considered in determining the final grade for the course are: attendance, work habits and class participation.


Absence/Attendance Policy: Attendance at lectures and studio is required. Absences will only be excused for illness, death in the family, or official university-sponsored activities. Be sure to bring a written excuse for any absences. The University’s policy on “Class Attendance” is found in the Undergraduate Bulletin.  You are responsible for all material, assignments, and announcements made in lecture.  Ignorance of an announcement made in class is not an acceptable excuse for failure to meet a course requirement.


Course Content: Students will complete a total of four (4) sculptural works: four assignments utilizing each of the basic methods for making sculpture. Various materials and techniques will be used to realize these three-dimensional objects. We will have critiques of these works on the final day of class. You should document your progress as you go, using any available camera (cell phone OK). Photos of maquettes and work in progress, as well as the finished pieces, must be uploaded to Digication.



Showing up late or leaving early (to and from class or during break) will count for 1/3 of an absence (3 tardies = 1 unexcused absence).


Additional Information: There will usually be a 10-minute break mid class.

cell phones are prohibited in class. They are disruptive and not conducive to interaction. There should be no side discussions during a critique.


General Safety Rules for the Fine Arts Shops


  • Safety glasses, goggles, or face shields are required when operating equipment.
  • Use proper hearing and respiratory protection.
  • Long hair must be pulled back or underneath a hat.
  • No sandals, flip-flops, or opened toed shoes allowed while working.
  • No radios, cds, or iPods to be used in the shop.
  • No horseplay.
  • Store projects and materials only in designated areas,  do not obstruct stairways, aisles, or machinery.
  • Do not remove guards or shields from equipment.
  • Use proper ventilation with paint, solvents, adhesives, resins, and other chemicals.
  • Do not make repairs to equipment unless approved by shop tech.
  • All machine operating questions should be directed to your instructor, shop monitor or the shop tech.
  • Clean-up and put tools away before leaving.


Safety Rules When Working in the Woodshop


  • Remove hanging jewelry, loose fitting shirts or sweaters, roll or push sleeves up past elbows.
  • Do not wear gloves.
  • Use dust collector when operating equipment.
  • Remove all nails, screws, and staples before any cutting operation.
  • Do not attempt to mill lumber from tree parts.
  • Do not plane or joint plywood, MDF or OSB materials.
  • When helping another individual cut materials do not pull or push the material, only support and guide.


Safety Rules When Working in the Metal Shop


  • When welding, wear long sleeved shirt and long pants of natural fibers and required welding jacket.
  • When welding, wear proper eye protection. 
  • Use proper ventilation when welding.
  • Use proper ventilation when heating or grinding zinc, chrome, cadmium, lead, and beryllium.
  • No sandblasting in the shop with the exception of the enclosed sandblast cabinet.
  • Never use oil or grease on the oxygen/acetylene valves.
  • Make sure that gas tanks are secured at all times by a chain.


















Art/ material Suppliers:


Dahlonega campus:


Home Depot/ 140 Maxwell Lane, Dahlonega, GA

North Georgia Arts Supplies

Church St, Dahlonega, GA 30533, USA


The Artful barn

107 LaPrade Street, Clarkesville, Ga. 30523
Phone: 706-754-1247



Gainsville campus:

Home Depot:

30533/ Lakeshore Marketplace

924 Dawsonville Hwy



Lakeshore Crossing Shopping Center, 1514 Skelton Rd, Gainesville, GA 30504





Student Required Tools and Materials List For ART2200/3200

Some will be supplied and some will be to be purchased



Safety Glasses

Ear Plugs

Dust Mask


Sensible Shoes/Clothes




Tape Measure


Additional Wood Materials as needed



Matte Board

Razor Knife

Masking Tape

Gloves, Leather for Welding

White Pencil

Abrasives as needed










DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Fall Sculpture Seminar Schedule                                                     Instructor:Rothermel  






Week 1                         Introductions / Syllabi / Course Outline / studio tour



(8/22-8/24)                 Studio Etiquette

A/V presentation



Tools a equipment demonstration/ start 2x 4


intro to 1st assignment

A/V Presentation





Week 2           Tools a equipment demonstration

(8/29-8/31)     Table saw demos and test                                  




Work Day

band saw/ finishing and joining techniques demos/ tests   

Sign safety document                        
















Week 3                         NO SCHOOL Labor Day








Week 4                         Totem project due: critique

(9/12-9/14)                  begin steel demos





steel demos and work day

Assign Geometric project

A/V presentation





Week 5                         Cardboard model due for geometric work

(9/19 -9/21)    

Demos and safety check out




Week 6                         Geometric Due: critique

(9/26 -9/28)                 Assign project 2 steel

Assign preliminary sketches



check preliminary sketches due






Week 7

(10/3-10/5)                  Workday





Week 8                        Project 2 Steel Due: critique

(10/10-10/12)              Introduce Assign bronze casting form to be

made in clay /


forms due/  mold making demo




Week 9                        wax casting demo

(10/17 -10/19))




wax casting due/ Wax ventilation demos/





Week 10                      Spring Break



Spring Break



Week 11




Week 12                      load burn out kiln in class







unload kiln/ pour bronze







Week 13                      Metal chasing demo

(11/14-11/16)              patina demo/ workday




(Iron pour, Friday 4/6)



Week 14                      Fall Break No School                                                Fall Break No School

(11/21 -11/23)                                                

Week 15                      Workday                                                                                 Group Show / Group Critique

(11/28 -11/30)




Week 16                      finish project                                                              Mandatory clean up

(12/5 -12/7)


Week 17

(12/15)                         Final Critique  4:05 -645pm






  • Schedule is subject to change.


DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.