Sunday, December 30, 2012

Industrial Meets Art

In this issue of Sound Off, we are featuring a whole new spin on the term "hands-on." The following shows what happens when Art Class meets Shop Class and what can happen when Five Town teens work with metals, woods and other industrial elements to create a collaborative (and functional) art project. 
Drawing for a steel-framed table with granite top.

Jack, Isaiah, Alex and Emma posing with the steel legs the made on the Bender.

Artists: Emma McGurren, Isaiah Backiel, Alex Mansius, Jack Prime
Students in Mrs. Southworth’s class at CHRHS have undertaken a first-ever merging of art class with welding/industrial arts. Starting with a drawing of a table they collaborated on as a group, then each taking turns to rework the steel legs with a “bender,” a machine that forms steel into certain shapes, they are in the process of creating functional art. One of the students had a scrap piece of granite at home to add to the table project.

Student Lauren Merritt sanding the wooden stool seat.

Original drawing of the stool for the Music Room.

Artist: Lauren Merritt
Lauren is seen here working on a wooden stool for the music room. In his group's initial design, they wanted a drum top to be the seat of the stool, but they couldn’t find an old one, so they made this wooden stool with three different pieces of wood glued together, sanded and rounded instead.

“This stool was meant for the music room so the theme, obviously is music. The seat of the stool is going to have music notes etched in instead," said Lauren as he finished sanding the glued pieces into a smooth rounded shape. "The bottom frame is going to be kind of like the lines on a sheet of music."

Artist: Jack Prime
“This ground sculpture was from a project where we were given a word to use as inspiration and then were given ten feet of metal to make a sculpture based on a word. The word I got was ‘frustration’ so I I tried to make it reflect the words and made the sculpture all zig-zaggy.”

Adult Comments: "It all started because Steve Nystrom, (who teaches Industrial Technology, Woodworking and Welding, among other courses at CHRHS) is a trained engineer. And a lot of things coming out of his class were very functional, but I started thinking we could do something that would be both artistic and functional. I started getting into working with metals myself and seeing the potential there, so he and I started working together and thought, 'This is a really good combination.' This is the first time art classes have joined with Industrial Technology, Woodworking and Welding. It's like a pilot class and I think there are some kids, who spend a lot of time down here find this really appealing. They've found something they're really passionate about."
-Visual and Performing Arts Teacher, Mrs. Suzanne Southworth 

A Delta planer as used in shop class for woodworking.
Artist: Paul Woodworth

Drawing of The Metal Room

Artist: Jack Prime

Electrical outlet.

Artist: Randy Mercer

Adult Comment: These drawings were done using the Metal and Woodworking shop as inspiration. I left it quite open to let them take their own direction on how they wanted to treat this assignment."
-Art Teacher, Carolyn Brown

Editor Comment: Often, when I'm working with teenage boys around writing/literature, the classical curricula reading list does not interest them. They only seem to get interested if a non-traditional subject matter appeals to them. In the same way, I love how woodworking and metalwork appeals to these boys above and how they've transcribed the mechanics of it into an artistic form

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