This semester I’m teaching a course for RISD Project Open Door. POD is a wonderfully unique program, whose dual mission is to “1) to increase access to high quality arts learning and careers in art and design for under-served Rhode Island teens, and (2) to provide a community education laboratory for RISD students, alumni, faculty, and staff.” I’m teaching the Portfolio course, which is for sophomores and juniors in high school.
I used to teach at the high school level many years ago, so it’s been a while since I’ve worked with this age group. I taught printmaking for several years at the Walnut Hill School for the Arts. I also spent several summers teaching in the RISD Pre-College program, and one year teaching at Concord Academy.
Right now we are in the middle of working on an organic form assignment. Students were asked to take inspiration from objects in the RISD Nature Lab, and to create their own unique organic form. Working with reed and armature wire, students have been creating the structural framework for their form over the past few weeks.
This project takes a lot of persistence and patience, wrapping the armature tightly around the reed is no easy task, and getting the form to be structurally sound can be really challenging. The toughest part of the project is the very beginning, when the main forms are not established yet. Below are some examples of the completed frameworks. Next week we’ll be adding tracing paper with paper mache to create a “skin” for the forms. Stay tuned to see the finished works!