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Academic Year: Fall/Winter 2014/2015

Term: 2

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. John Ford


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 429A

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23931

Office Hours: Monday 11:00 – 12:00 noon, TSH 429a, T32, and/or in studios (please make appt. if possible)

Course Objectives:

This course is designed to facilitate development of tacit knowledge, intuitive judgment, perception and theoretical understanding through direct material engagement with wax, Polymers, oils, alkyds, resins, and fiber-based materials. Four hours; one term (3 units)

Prerequisite(s): Registration in Studio Art 1 program

Course Components

The course includes demonstrations, discussions, critique, and the production of preliminary work, a body of completed studio work, presentation, critical reflections, research.  Emphasis will be placed on:

  • Learning materials and techniques introduced with each process
  • Developing sensitivity to the physicality of the process, its subtleties and possibilities
  • Aesthetic and conceptual development of the work
  • Defining a personal direction within the general parameters of an assignment
  • Demonstrate an ability and passion for working independently outside of class time

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Studio Fees

Studio fee is $100 per student, which will cover the majority of materials you will need for this course.  Additional supplies are suggested (please see list below). Tuition covers instruction, technical and administrative support, equipment, tools, facilities/utility costs, models, visiting artists, and resources such as McMaster Museum, Library, Anatomy Lab.

Recommended supplies: ( * more than recommended, if possible)

  • X-acto knife or retractable razor knife, scissors *
  • Blue painter's masking tape *
  • USB or other external hard-drive *
  • Soft, absorbent paper towels for cleaning up (Viva or Bounty, buy at least a two-pack)
  • Assorted brushes: natural bristle and both soft and stiff synthetic bristle brushes
  • Pencils, rulers, and other miscellaneous drawing materials and tools
  • Lightweight rubber/latex gloves like surgical gloves
  • Plastic containers with lids for storing paint and/or other supplies
  • Painter’s smock, coveralls, apron, etc.
  • Old newspapers

Method of Assessment:

Grade Breakdown

There are five projects this term, worth a total of 80% of the final mark (16% each), due on the designated dates.

  • Project 1 - Inverse image drawing
  • Project 2 - Black and white monotype
  • Project 3 - Colour monotype
  • Project 4 - Photo image inclusion/transfer
  • Project 5 - Independent work

Each project will receive a letter/number grade following submission.  Instructor will provide written comments about each project via e.mail or hard-copy with notation of marks for each project.  If no work is submitted at deadline or time of scheduled critique, student will receive a 0.  If work is presented to instructor within one week of deadline, work will be marked and automatically reduced one full letter grade (i.e., B+ becomes C+). 

Assignments are due as per the calendar below:

Mon Jan 19 - Project 1 due (16%)

Mon Feb 2 - Project 2 due (16%)

Mon Feb 23 - Project 3 due (16%)

Mon Mar 2  - Project 4 due (16%)

March 30 - Project 5 due (16%)

20% of final mark will be based on quality of course participation (engagement with course ideas and materials during class meeting time, participation in group critiques, responsible use of tools/materials, and studio etiquette).

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

This is a self-reporting tool for undergraduate students to report absences DUE TO MINOR MEDICAL SITUATIONS that last up to 5 days and provides the ability to request accommodation for any missed academic work. Please note, this tool cannot be used during any final examination period. You may submit a maximum of 1 Academic Work Missed request per term. It is YOUR responsibility to follow up with your Instructor immediately (NORMALLY WITHIN TWO WORKING DAYS) regarding the nature of the accommodation. If you are absent for reasons other than medical reasons, for more than 5 days, or exceed 1 request per term, you MUST visit your Associate Dean's Office/Faculty Office). You may be required to provide supporting documentation. This form should be filled out immediately when you are about to return to class after your absence.

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:

To be announced based on project need.

Other Course Information:

Advice for Success

The success of studio courses is dependent on the active engagement of all participants.  Learning is accelerated in a hands-on environment where work and ideas can be discussed as they evolve and challenges and successes can be shared.  Important health and safety information and safe operating procedures are communicated during class time.  You must receive this information to work independently in the studio and you may not operate any equipment or use any process that you have not received safety training for.  Class Discussions and Critiques empower individuals to take risks in their art practise and learn from each other.  It is of utmost importance that all students participate fully by attending all classes and remaining welcoming and open to all points of view. 

The atmosphere of the studio should be characterized by courtesy and mutual respect.  Participating in group critiques is an important part of providing constructive feedback for your peers.  Active questioning and differences of opinion, respectfully expressed in a spirit of collaboration and mutual exchange, contribute to a positive and supportive group dynamic.  It is your responsibility to contribute positively in this shared space and come to class prepared, on time and ready to contribute to the activities of the day.  Attendance at Visiting Artist talks represents a component of this category.

Learn to embrace the “Three R’s” necessary to be an artist:

·       Risk, Responsibility, Resourcefulness

During your time in Studio Art, McMaster University, your faculty will strongly encourage you to:

·       Be self-possessed (develops over time by being prepared to perform when called upon)

·       Be self-confident (grows as a result of accepting and overcoming challenges)

·       Be self-reliant (learn by example and encouragement of faculty, then take initiative to self-realize)

·       In a healthy and constructive way, compete with yourself, your peers, and the best art ever made

·       Develop a strong work ethic, and practise as if your life depended on it (it may, and probably does)

·       Develop ambitions that go beyond the ordinary – do not hesitate to be extraordinary

·       Aspire to the loftiest goals you can imagine, and let imagination and hard work take you there

·       Be curious, understanding that knowledge must be sought, and in art, experienced

·       Be highly self-motivated, and learn to accept knowledge you weren’t expecting

·       Learn to embrace fear and uncertainty as your closest allies for personal and professional growth

·       Grow in awareness, wisdom, maturity (artistic and human)

·       Leave here thinking about things in different ways than you did when you began

·       Make a difference for yourself and other when you leave here

Office Hours

Office hours are intended to provide additional assistance and you are welcome to visit often to discuss course projects or seek assistance on difficulties you may be experiencing.  It is always better to deal with an issue while there is still time remaining in the term to seek solutions.  Office hours are not a replacement class for those opting to miss class time without valid excuse.  Office hours will not provide feedback sessions if you miss a critique deadline.  It is important that you learn to manage your time.  Of course, extenuating circumstances can sometimes occur and requests for accommodation should be discussed with the instructor a.s.a.p.

We are happy to review drafts of any documents the week prior to submission.  This can be done either electronically or during office hours.

Late Assignments, Extensions or Accommodations

Projects that are not presented by the student during their scheduled critique or on the deadline day will result in an automatic 0.  In cases where a MSAF has been submitted, late assignments will be graded but not discussed at an alternative critique session and no assignment will be accepted beyond one week past the deadline without communication from the Dean of Humanities office. 

Extensions or other accommodations will be determined by the instructor (s) and will only be considered if supported by appropriate documentation.  Absences of less than 5 days may be reported using the McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF) at  If you are unable to use the MSAF, you should document the absence with your faculty office.  In all cases, it is YOUR responsibility to follow up with the instructor immediately to see if an extension or other accommodation will be granted, and what form it will take.  There are NO automatic extensions or accommodations.    


Support Services

The University provides a variety of support services to help students manage their many demands.  Reference librarians can provide invaluable research assistance.  The Student Accessibility Services Centre (SAS) provides assistance with personal as well as academic matters. MUSC B107 and

Avenue to Learn

In this course we will be using Avenue to Learn.  Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course.  The available information is dependent on the technology used.  Continuation in this course will be deemed consent to this disclosure.  If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.


Working in the studio:

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 studios and workshops.  Failure to do so will result in the removal of your studio access and privileges.

Appointments must be made with the studio technologist in regards to consulting and/or executing specific projects requiring the use of wood shop, 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 studio without the permission of the studio technologist or instructor.

Incident reports:

If a student should have an accident in any of the studios, 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 is 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 medical professionals make the necessary assessments.

Emergency Response

University Line Ext 88

905 522-4135 or 905 525-9140 Ext 24281

Student Walk Home Attendant Team (SWHAT)

Ext 27500

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday: 7 pm – 1 am

Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 7 pm – 2 am