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ART 1DM3 Dimensnal Matl Investigation

Academic Year: Fall 2016

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Carmela Laganse


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 430

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23926

Office Hours: Tues. 8:30-12:30

Course Objectives:


By the end of this course, students will engage and have a basic understanding of 3D practices in sculpture and associated materials, fabrication methods, processes and visual language. Students will be introduced to contemporary 3D studio practice through projects, exercises, demonstrations and presentations.  This course facilitates the development of tacit knowledge, problem solving, perception and theoretical understanding of sculptural practice through the direct engagement with materials (such as wood, plaster, clay, metal) and associated methods/ processes (such as casting, welding, modeling and general fabrication). Students are expected to apply and employ acquired technical knowledge and process through their artistic practice and subsequent creative works.

By the end of the course students will:

  • Create 3d works utilizing a range of materials and techniques, specifically mapping and translating 2d to 3d form, introduction and application to mold-making, casting, reproduction and associated knowledge, an introduction and application to wood construction, methodology and associated tools and techniques and an introduction and application to metal fabrication including associated tools and techniques
  • Acquire a basic understanding of tools, machinery and methodology relevant to dimensional creative expression.
  • Acquire a basic understanding of a wide variety of medias and develop a greater symbiotic relationship for their dimensional potential (multi media expression)
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of how work and materials are vehicles for personal expression, and conceptual ideas related to creating art in 3d space
  • Demonstrate a basic awareness of spatial visual phenomena as a result of completing projects designed to cross link medias and fulfill specific expectations.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of safe working practices in the studio environment
  • Produce a portfolio of dimensional works, which demonstrates clear personal creative strategies, investigates appropriate medias and develops clarity of inter-media relationships.

Students will be expected to:

  • Take notes on content in class and visiting artist’s lectures
  • Make a serious and thoughtful effort in applying various ideas and approaches introduced in class demonstrated through projects, assignments and personal investigations
  • Will be expected to think critically and respond to the issues and content presented in class
  • Will be expected to consistently and professionally invest, engage and contribute positively to the overall studio environment/community

Due to the hands-on nature of this course, perfect attendance is expected. Missed class will be reflected in your evaluation and missed demonstrations cannot be repeated. Every class will include valuable information requiring you to keep notes on demonstrations and lectures


Students are expected to use Avenue to Learn to find information including: Project Outlines, deadline changes, general announcements, technical information etc. It is the student’s responsibility to check the A2L course site for this information.

Although a certain amount of time will be allotted for in-class project work, students will also be required to spend a minimum of 5 hours/week developing techniques and strategies introduced in the course, conducting independent research, completing assigned projects, and preparing for discussions and presentations. Final critiques will be conducted with the whole class over a period of 2 classes.

Students taking this course will be expected to arrive on-time at the start of each class, and be sufficiently prepared to work on projects and participate in class activities for the duration of the scheduled class. Each unexcused absence without proper medical documentation will be reflected in the evaluation.

The use of cellphones, text messaging, and/or social media sites during class time will not be tolerated.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:



  • Student access swipe card which is $40.00
  • Lab/studio fee of $100.00
  • TOTAL= $140.00 must be paid to the SOTA office as soon as possible. These fees will provide you with an access card to the studios as well as expendable materials needed for the course and studio facilities which can include paper specific to projects or materials to cumbersome for public transport , printing costs, primer etc. This studio fee subsidizes general costs related to the course. You are resposible for acquiring personal materials such as  brushes, drawing tools or materials specific to your individual projects. 

Other tools and/ or materials you will need for class:

  • Steel toe boots/shoes
  • Sketchbook/file folder for idea generation, notes etc.
  • USB flash drive or external hard drive for research or image collection
  • Basic studio tool box that should include: various drawing tools (pencils, graphite etc.)Tape, sissors, blades, exacto knives
  • Plastic sheet (thin gage)
  • Second hand iron ( travel iron works best)
  • Good quality clear packing tape

All of your materials can be located and available at:

  • McMaster Bookstore
  • Curry’s
  • Mixed Media
  • Dollar store
  • Party supply store (plastic sheet)
  • Value village, Bible Mission Thrift Store (Dundas)
  • Home Depot/Rona/ Home Hardware
  • TT Liquid (steel toe boots/shoes)


*  You are required to have your own safety gear for the duration of your program. In the event you are not prepared for class or work in the studio, communal steel toe foot ware is available for students and located in the lobby area of the TSH studios. They are available on a first come first serve basis and can be used during your class. They may not be taken from they studios. 




Method of Assessment:


Your performance and evaluations will be based on the following:

Pass/Fail          Health and Safety Test (completed on-line by Oct. 5)

80%                 4 Projects/Assignments:

  • Project 1a (15%) Due: Oct.24 
  • Project 1b (20%) Due. Oct 24
  • Project 2 (20%) Due: Nov.28/ Dec. 5
  • Project 3 (25%) Due: Nov. 28/ Dec.5

20%   Participation:  

  • which can include responses, visiting artist notes in sketchbooks, research, notes (10%) Due: Oct. 24 and Dec.5
  • Professionalism in studio environment and critiques, investment and engagement in class and with studio community and peers(10%)     


*Each assignment and project will include a detailed project description that will outline the educational objectives, considerations, sources, technical information and deadlines. All projects and written components are to be submitted on the scheduled critique day and space, which is typically TSH 114.

Each assignment has its own array of assessment criteria, and student performance will be evaluated in terms of:

  • Technical proficiency: how you demonstrate a command of technical skills to communicate visually
  • Conceptual development and focus: how you generate, put together and employ ideas/concepts which can be demonstrated through research and planning
  • Synthesis/presentation: how you bring all your skills together, how you choose to communicate your ideas/concepts and how you present and/or reflect these ideas. Synthesis also includes how you refine, resolve and choose to present your ideas/concept through visual language
  • Work ethic/ personal investment: how effectively you engage and work in your studio practice, using course content as a method of learning as well as a point of departure for creative exploration (includes experimentation and problem solving)


You will be expected to fully engage in all studio activity. This means arriving on time, and actively participating through the duration of the class. Participation requires the student’s attention and joining in discussion to provide constructive criticism for your peers. The success of the class is largely dependent on each student’s engagement with the course work, each other and our studio community. You are expected to interact with each other collegially and with respect, mindful of how you will contribute to each other’s learning experience in a positive and challenging way. Because much of the course work is on various sites, you are expected to arrive to class on time and fully prepared. Failing to contribute positively to the group dynamic will impact your grade.

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:


Assignments are designed as frameworks for creative investigation, and will incorporate the techniques and content learned and discussed in class. Students are encouraged to personalize, explore, and expand on the expressive and communicative potential of these skills.

A penalty of 5% per day will be deducted from assignments submitted late, or those not presented in the required format. You must make arrangements to submit late assignments with the instructor. Assignments will not be accepted after seven days without official documentation (see the MSAF section for details), and will receive a grade of zero. Studio work will be considered late and incomplete if not accompanied by required written work indicated in project description (i.e. project proposals, etc). Late studio and/or written work will not receive the benefit of detailed verbal/written feedback from the instructor or other members of the class. 

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:



Week/Day/ Date



  • Week 1
  • Sept. 12
  • Review of syllabus/ course (content, expectations, studio policy, evaluations etc)
  •  Introduction to Project 1a and 1b, 10 Bullets video
  • Fit Testing for dust masks
  • Work period/consultations, group work project 1

Week 2

Sept. 19

  • Fit Testing for dust masks
  • Work period/consultations, group work project 1

Week 3

Sept. 26

  • Introduction to project 2
  • Lecture: Materials, fabrication in 3D, review of elements and principles of art
  • Demonstration: Mould making and casting

Week 4

Oct. 3

  • Work period: plasteline forms due today for mould making
  • Demonstration: small scale casting
  • Image lectures and introduction to project 3

Week 5

Oct. 10

  • Midterm break

Week 6

Oct. 17

  • Work period/consultations
  • Project 3 cut list and sketches due today

Week 7

Oct. 24

  • Critiques: Project 1a and b work period/ consultations
  • Midterm grades submitted by end of week

Week 8

Oct. 31

  • Work period/ consultations

Week 9


  • Work period/ consultations

Week 10


  • Work period/ consultations

Week 11


  • work period/ consultations

Week 12


  • Critiques (group A): Project 2/ Project 3

Week 13


  • Critiques (group B):  Project 2/ Project 3

Readings, sources and links relevant to specific topics and projects will be provided on project outlines and/or Avenue to Learn.




Sept.1- Dec. 3, 2016

McMaster Museum

Exhibition: Living, Building, Thinking: Art & Expressionism

Thurs. Sept. 15, 1:30pm


Visiting artist talk: Marlene Crates

Thurs. Sept. 22, 6:00-7:00pm

McMaster Museum

Curator’s Talk: Dr. Ihor Holubizsky, Living, Building, Thinking: Art & Expressionism

Wed. Sept. 28, 12:00-2:00 & 2:00- 4:00pm

McMaster Museum

Performance & Lecture: Mischa Kuball, Living, Building, Thinking: Art & Expressionism

Thurs. Oct. 6, 6:00-7:30pm

McMaster Museum

Artist talk: TH & B Collective, Artists’ Garden Project

Mon. & Tues. Oct. 17,18- 9:30-4:30

Sheridan College, Ceramic Dept.

Visiting artist workshop: Clint Neufeld

Thurs. Oct. 20, 1:30pm

TSH 114

Visiting artist talk: Clint Neufeld

Thurs. Nov. 2, 1:30pm

TSH 114

Visiting artist talk: Sam Shahsahabi

. ThursNov. 10, 6:00- 7:30pm

McMaster Museum

Guest Writier Talk: Robert Belton, UBC- Living, Building, Thinking: Art & Expressionism

Other Course Information:

University grade scale or percent equivalences used to calculate final grades:

A+ = 90-100; A = 85-90; A- = 80-84; B+ = 77-79; B = 73-76; B- = 70-72; C+ = 67-69; C = 63-66; C- = 60-62; D+ =57-59; D = 53-56; D- = 50-52; F = 0-49

OUTSTANDING  (A+  = 90-100; A = 85-89; A- = 80-84)

Work assessed at the A level consistently exceeds expectations and exhibits the following:
Conceptual rigour
Deep critical engagement
Complex, ambitious and prolific production
Meets deadlines with time for reflection before presentation
Advanced technical proficiency and risk taking 
Comprehensively researched responses linked to focused goals, personal interests and artistic vision
Independent and self-directed approaches
Highly professional presentations
Engagement with all aspects of the course (requires promptness and stellar attendance)

GOOD  (B+ = 77-79; B = 73-76; B- = 70-72) 

Work assessed at the B level consistently meets expectations and exhibits the following:
Good grasp of concepts
Evidence of developing critical skills
Meets deadlines
Technically sound demonstrating sensitivity to materials and their connection to ideas
Evolving research skills and good understanding of personal goals and interests
Some independence, self-motivation and risk taking evident
Satisfactory presentation
Engaged with most aspects of the course

ADEQUATE  (C+ = 67-69; C = 63-66; C- = 60-62) 

Work assessed at the C level fails to meet some expectations and exhibits some or all the following:
Inconsistent grasp of concepts
Little evidence of critical skills
Work is regularly late or presented in an undeveloped state
Struggling with technical skills and conservative approach to exploration and risk
Requires regular assistance to understand assignments
Unsatisfactory presentation (unprepared, late)
Minimal engagement with course (poor attendance, few contributions evident)

MARGINAL  (D+ = 57-59; D = 53-56; D- = 50-52) 

Work assessed at the D level consistently falls short of expectations and exhibits some or all of the following:
Significant struggle with concepts and objectives
No evidence of critical skills
Missed deadlines
Simplistic technical approach with little sensitivity to materials
Arbitrary or no research evidence
Unacceptable presentation (inappropriate or wastes the time of the group)
Unsatisfactory engagement with course

Work assessed at the F level fails to meet enough of the course requirements to obtain credit.

Studio Art is a hands-on learning experience. Students who miss more than 3 classes or 25% of the course risk a failing grade due to the impact of this percentage on your ability to demonstrate your abilities during in-class activities and projects.


Working in the studio:


University Lines – Ext. 88

Emergency Response

Fire, First Aid, Crimes in Progress
Personal Safety
Bomb Threats
Alarm Systems
Vehicle Accidents
Maintenance Emergencies (off hours)

905 522-4135 or

905 525-9140 Ext. 24281

All new studio art students are required to complete an online WHMIS test to access all studio equipment and facility. This test must be completed within the first 4 weeks of the fall semester. All students must familiarize themselves with the Studio Art Safety Manual for Students. Be aware of the rules and regulations for studio and equipment usage. Any questions regarding these issues should be directed towards Michael Syms, Studio Technologist for the Studio Arts program or the course Instructor. You are required to wear your steel-toed boots in all of the The instructor will determine the student’s grade by evaluating projects, which should be indicative of the student’s creative sensibility (visually, technically and conceptually), investment and a willingness to explore, innovate and problem solve. Students will be evaluated on the degree of rigor to which efforts have been made to personalize, explore, and expand on the expressive and communicative potential of these skills. The instructor will take into consideration the students’ active participation in the discussion and critique sessions, their commitment to the collective project and their willingness to exceed the basic requirements of the course.

Appointments must be made with the studio technologist in regards to consulting and/ or executing specific projects requiring the use of woodshop, metal and ceramics facilities. Please ensure appointments and arrangements are made well in advance of deadlines and critiques.

Studios are accessible through access cards and are open from 7am -10pm, seven days a week.  Students are not permitted to work in the studios alone. Please arrange to work in the studio with a peer when working after hours.

Guests (people not enrolled in studio art courses) are not permitted in the studios unless proper permission and documentation is provided.

There is no food or drink permitted in the studios. Please do not bring any chemicals or other materials into the studios with out the permission of the studio technologist or instructor.

Incident reports:

If a student should have an accident in any of the studio, the incident, (no matter how minor) must be reported to a faculty member, or the studio technologist within 24 hours. If there is no faculty or technician available, and immediate attention is needed please call 88 for all emergencies. Do not hesitate to call 88 in any circumstance, please do not make medical judgments for yourself or others, let a medical professional make the assessment.                     

Note on Correspondence: The instructor will use Avenue to Learn as a communication forum for general  announcements, changes to the course schedule and relevent class news. For personal correspondence between instructor and student, you are required to use the McMaster email as listed above. Please do not communicate with instructor through the Avenue email.

Instructors emails are checked on weekdays only. Students will receive responses to relevant inquiries within 48 hours. A response not received within this timeframe indicates that the message was not received. It is the student’s responsibility to follow-up with subsequent attempts.