Finding the Soul of Forgotten Materials
Geoffrey Gorman, Instructor
September 25-29, 2017 (9am – 4pm)
Materials Fee: $25
This one week workshop encourages students to experiment with innovative and intuitive ways of creating a variety of structures and forms using organic, found and recycled materials. Students are invited to think about shapes and forms that hold particular interest and bring these ideas to the workshop.
Using unusual techniques developed by Gorman to overcome construction challenges, each student will complete a variety of forms, something they want to create. Students will be asked to bring some of their own favorite cast off materials. This class is perfect for beginners seeking an introduction to creating curious objects as well as intermediate and advanced students wishing to reach the next level and break out of their comfort zone. Students need to be familiar with using hand and power tools like drills, band saws, and sanders.
If possible, we will plan a field trip to an old dump or interesting area looking for material to harvest and incorporate in our sculptures.
Weeks before the workshop I would like to correspond with each participant to see what they are interested in making while we are all together. There will also be an assignment for them before the class starts.
Introduction to found object art in the 20th century. We will look at each student’s individual motivation for making art, finding his or her own unique voice, and the particular soul or voice of the materials selected.
How to use large power tools safely. Use of the foam block will be demonstrated, including transferring drawings, cartoons of artwork onto surface. Cutting and shaping of form.
We will look at why we work with alternative materials and what they mean to each of us and how they speak to the viewer.
Cutting and gluing canvas to form. Thinking ahead to any appendage that needs added strength in foam, etc. learning use of rasp, coping saw. Designing and constructing added appendages to foam, such as arms, legs, etc. Adding wire to canvas and tacking it down. Adding eyes, ears, other details to complete sculpture.
Discussion of inspirations and influences in the artistic process.
Pedestals and stands. Patinating tin to add age and color. We will discuss and look at different ways to present and show sculptures. I will construct a pedestal made from a wood base. Then I will cover it with metal and complete it.
Taking the artist’s voice outside the studio-defining a clear vision.
Using alternative materials such as bike tires, inner tubes and lead to cover forms and bases. How to attach them, and what to use to adhere them to forms. How to stain and rust completed project with a simple solution.
The big picture, what we learned and where to go from here. All work will be completed and each student will be asked to make a short presentation of what they have learned and what they have created in the class. Specific attention will be given to articulating the voice of material.
Working with bundles of sticks to make body forms, aritures, limbs, etc. How to bandsaw out details like heads and extremities. How to construct legs, wings, etc. How to spray the finish on completed piece for protection from deterioration.
Each student is asked to bring a box of construction material and found objects that they are attracted to. Be prepared to share some your materials with the class. Also bring a notebook with drawings, photographs and inspirations that will help in fabricating your work. Here is a list of supplies and tools. (The links are to suggested sites that have good prices.)
7” coping saw
Power Drill w/battery
Variety of size drill bits
Set of 3 different size pliers
Golden Regular Gel Matte, 8-Ounce
krylon Clear Spray
24 gauge Wire
Heavy duty annealed fencing wire
Phillips head screwdriver
Assortment of small nails
¼” threaded rod with nuts and washers
Block of wood for pedestal
Old tin cans, etc.
Bike inner tube
Geoffrey Gorman is breathing life into what might be considered to be the detritus of our culture. He constructs both real and fanciful animals using sticks, rusted screws, washers, bicycle tires, old tools, bailing wire, discarded canvas, and other things that are housed in cluttered garages or the backs of closets suffering from neglect. An intense physical process goes into making each work as Gorman builds from a series of elements layer upon layer. He explores the shared identity between animals and humans.
Gorman shows his work at the Selby Fleetwood Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico along with other galleries around the country. Gorman’s work is in numerous public and private collections around the Unites States.