Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Relief Sculpture Assignment (I)

A "relief" is a flat sculpture created by adding or, more commonly, removing material from a flat surface such as stone or wood.

Some reliefs are cast out of concrete, bronze, resin, or gold.

*NOTE:  While similar to a "relief print" a relief sculpture is carved much deeper and isn't meant to ever be printed from.  Therefore, there is no need to maintain a flat outer surface.

Regardless of material or process there is one defining characteristic. Unlike other forms of sculpture that can be described as "in the round," a relief is one sided and meant to be viewed from straight in front. This means that a relief is the type of sculpture most closely related to 2-D forms of art like painting and drawing. Paintings are also meant to be viewed from straight in front.

Reliefs can be described as being either high relief (alto relievo) or low relief (bas relief). In high relief, material is removed in large quantities creating substantial depth between the surface and interior contours. Low relief has less depth. A coin is a good example of low relief.

Below is an example of high relief.

Assignment: Sculpture I only

Create an ambitious high relief sculpture out of laminated wood or a solid block of basswood. The surface area should be at least 144 square inches and should be the thickness of at least two 1" bys. I would suggest using select pine boards. At home depot you can get "pine" and "select pine." Pine has knots and is usually warped or bowed somewhat. Select pine is free of knots and is much denser and straighter making it more suitable for carving.

The subject matter is up to you. It could be representational, abstract, or non-representational. I only ask that it be ambitious.

Please remember to post pictures of your pieces on this blog on a regular basis.

Lastly, there are some carving tools that you can use, but you should try to get your own ASAP. There isn't enough time to wait around for someone to finish using a particular gouge. For this scale, you do not need gouges that require mallets. You may not use a Dremel tool for this project.

Woodcraft (OKC and Tulsa)
Rockler Tools (online)
Grizzly Tools (online)
Harbor Freight (OKC and Tulsa and online)
Red Earth Art Supply here in Ada
campus book store
eBay (I have have purchased new and used tools for a lot cheaper than stores on eBay. The problem is that I takes extra time to receive them and you have limited time. If you are going to use eBay, I would suggest buying sooner than later).
Home Depot

Brands - Flexcut, Pfeil, Robert Larson, Buck Bros.

Carving tools made in the USA, Germany, Switzerland, and Japan will be superior to anything made in China; better steel and better design.

low relief 

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