Contact a Humanities Office or Academic unit.
Find your course outlines.


Academic Year: Fall/Winter 2013/2014

Term: 1

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Carmela Laganse


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 430

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23926

Office Hours: Wed. 1:30- 3:30 p.m.

Course Objectives:



Course Description:

This course facilitates the development of tacit knowledge, intuitive judgement, perception and theoretical understanding of through direct engagement with plaster, forest products, clay, plastics, rubber, metals, both cast and fabricated. Workshops will focus on the use of applicable tools or machinery and will provide the student with an expanded understanding of both methods and fabrication technologies, in turn, enabling them to realize a new creative potential of expanding possibility.


Educational Objectives/ Outcome:

By the end of the course, students should comprehend/demonstrate:

  • Spatial understanding: composition, scale, site, time, negative space, interpreting space
  • Structural understanding: physical, conceptual
  • Various Methodologies: assessing resources/ materials, exploring materials, integrating materials
  • Formal visual language: i.e. elements and principles of design, visual weight etc.  through formal and informal discussions in studio and critique situations


By the end of the course students will:

  • Create 3D works utilizing a range of materials 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.
  • 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.


Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Recommended Resources:

Students should take full advantage of the McMaster Library holdings, the McMaster Art Museum, all public, alternate and private art galleries or spaces in the Hamilton and Toronto region.


The Library, in particular, has an extensive collection of Art books a wonderful source of material that students should take advantage of when researching their assignments.


This year, there are a variety of events, visiting artist talks, and exhibitions programmed in our artistic community. It is strongly suggested you attend as many of these events and document a response in your sketchbooks. Your engagement is beneficial to your education and personal experience and community.


Supplies, Facility and Material Fees:

A studio material fee of $100.00 must be paid to the School of the Arts office in TSH414 within the first two weeks of classes. This fee enables SOTA to supply some of the basic communal materials in a cost effective and convenient manner to our students.


The Instructor, at the commencement of each project, will provide a list of the materials supplied and quantities available for specific projects. Sculpture medias are expensive, in certain cases heavy and only available from a few companies. While we attempt to cover most basics, clay, plaster, wood, plastics, students will be required to augment this list by purchasing certain items according to individual choices pertinent to the resolution of particular assignments.


The student is expected to show mature respect and maintain a professional attitude to towards the safe use of studio equipment, space and machinery.


Method of Assessment:

Projects, Critiques and Evaluation:

At the commencement of each project the instructor will provide a Project Outline. The instructor will explain relevant and particular objectives and media combinations, developing the relationship between course content and the requirements of individual projects. Evaluation information will also be indicated on the Project Outline.


Group interaction and discussion are an integral part of this course, formal critiques to review all students’ portfolios will be held on October 18, 2013, and November 22, 2013 in the New Space (TSH114).


Critiques are intended to develop self- evaluation faculties and promote self-confidence in the public arena. Students will be expected to discuss and explain particular objectives, successes, problems encountered and attempt to place their works within a contemporary or historic framework. During these critiques the Instructor will actively encourage an open and free flowing exchange of opinions. The Instructor will provide feedback on works presented and the student should take full advantage of peer comments and observations. It is mandatory for all students to participate in all critique sessions.


Critique dates are formal deadlines for submissions. The work should be finished and ready to present on those dates. Work from the entire term must be submitted in the final portfolio at the end of term.


All projects and allied material (sketchbooks) will constitute the final portfolio; this portfolio is due on December 3, 2013. Incomplete portfolios will be penalized accordingly. A grade indicative of the student’s progress will be provided on Thursday, October 25, 2013.


The final portfolio must include a list with the following items of information about each work:

Title, Media, Dimensions and Date of completion. Each list will be headed with the student’s name, the course number, the Instructor’s name and the date the work was submitted.



Submitted by: Jane Doe

Dimensional Material Investigations, Art1DM3

For: Carmela Laganse

Date submitted: Oct. 18/2013


Title: “Big, Black Beetle”, 2013

Wood, metal

12” x 24”


All works, research notations, preparatory notes, photographs, written documentation, videos, photocopies, CD or DVD files will be considered part of the final portfolio and should be submitted in your sketchbooks. Sketchbooks will be evaluated based on personal investment, problem solving, artistic activity and creative exploration.


The Instructor will determine the student’s grade by evaluating the work presented at the critique and the student’s portfolio, which should display the student’s creative sensitivity and sensibilities and a willingness to explore and embrace innovation. The portfolio should also demonstrate clarity of ideas represented by the works, the students’ conceptual strengths and their basic applications and basic technical understanding of media manipulation. The instructor will take into consideration the students’ active participation in the discussion and critique sessions, their commitment and willingness to exceed the basic requirements of the course.


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.


In the Project Outline, each project will be evaluated based on the following considerations and weighted according to the objectives of the project:

  • Creativity/ exploration/ experimentation/ innovation              
  • Craftsmanship/ presentation                                               
  • Problem solving                                                                  
  • Your use of technique, material and technical skill to convey your concept
  • Personal investment in your work, participation in critiques and studio community/ environment                                           

Your grades will be comprised of the following:

Project 1:                                                                       20%

Due: Oct. 18

Project 2:                                                                      25%

Due: Oct. 18

Project 3:                                                                      20%

Due: Nov. 29

Project 4:

Due: Nov. 29                                                                  25%

Sketchbook                                                                   10%

Due: Dec.3                                     

Portfolio/Total                                                                100%

Due: Dec.3                                                                                  



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 practice 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 is Mandatory:

There are 12 classes per term each four hours in length so an absence is a significant loss of time.  Each student is entitled to one absence if reported with the McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF). This system is in place to accommodate illness and other extenuating circumstances that warrant a missed class. However, missed classes affect the shared dynamic of our studio/learning environment. Your presence/absence will be noted and reflected in your participation grades.



Late Projects/Assignments:

Projects that are not presented by the student during their scheduled critique will be marked as 0. Work that is handed in late will receive a penalty of one full letter grade for every academic day it is late. Exceptions to this policy will only be considered in specific instances where a student is eligible to file a McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF) and follows the proper procedure online at 


Extensions or Accommodations:

Extensions or other accommodations will be determined by the instructor 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. NO WORK WILL BE ACCEPTED BEYOND THE LAST DAY OF CLASSES.


The Instructor recommends that students retain their portfolios for a period of one year subsequent to course completion


Course Schedule


Week 1: September 6

Introduction, Studio layout, safety information.

Workshop/ media lecture: Inflatables: Pattern making , planning, resourcefulness

Project One: Transformation, Scale, Site: 25% of final grade.


Week 2: September 13

Workshop/ media lecture: Forest materials, hand tools, power tools Joints, joinery, hardware and finishes in wood

Project 2: Emphasis and Economy, Balance and Proportion: 25% of final grade


Week 3: September 20

Workshop/ media lecture: Metals, Demos on joinery: welding, rivets, shaping and cutting.

Continued work on projects


Week 4: September 27

Visiting artist: Jim Reed- site visit to open air project. Installation of works.


Week 5: October 4

Workshop/ media lecture: Contemporary artistic practices

Continued work on projects


Week 6: October 11

Continued work on projects


Week 7: October 18

Projects one and two due today. Critique of work to date. All work should be set up and ready to present in the New Space before the critique.


Week 8: October 25

Midterm progress grades

Workshop/ media lecture: Modeling, and hand-building with ceramic materials and plasticine.

Project three: Volume and Mass: 25% of final grade.


Week 9: November 1

Workshop/Media lecture: Cast works and Presentation


Week 10: November 8.

Workshop/ media lecture: Mould making and Casting in aqua resin and various materials. Mould making applications.

Ceramic work will be loaded into the bisque kiln for firing

Project four: Repetition, Components and Pattern


Week 11: November 15

Workshop/ media lecture: Ceramic Surface: Bisque, Glaze, Fire with ceramic materials.

Have work glazed and ready to fire by Monday, Nov. 25


Week 12: November 22

Workshop/ media lecture: Finishing aqua resin casting: sanding, priming and painting


Week 13: November 29

Final critique of all completed portfolio works. Projects 3 and 4 should be set up and ready to present in the New Space before the critique.


Week 14: December 3

Last day of classes: Absolute deadline, all portfolios are due. Portfolio set-up and studio clean up will be explained.

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.

Other Course Information:

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 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.

Safety in the Studio :

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.

We are a close community, the Instructor would appreciate being notified of any problems the student may encounter with the course, absence due to illness and he is available to discuss issues individually if the need arises.



*You must be enrolled in WHMIS 1A00 (Art 1HS0) and HUMAN 1AA0

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.

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


A Friendly Reiminder…

  • It is very good practice to keep an image bank and sketchbook. Your interests and visual environment are partly what informs your work.
  • Your participation, insight, feed back, response and constructive criticism is valuable and can be a great tool in our shared studio environment.
  • We are a close community, the Instructor would appreciate being notified of any problems the student may encounter with the coursework, absence due to illness etc. The instructor is available to discuss issues individually if the need arises- please email to schedule an appointment
  • The studios are shared environments-please clean up after yourselves and treat your facility, equipment and each other with respect.
  • Be fearless with learning and your art practice, feel free to ask questions and talk about your work with me.