Thursday, May 26, 2016

Alberto Giacometti, Artist, 1901 - 1966, Switzerland

Head Skull, 1933-34, Plaster, approx. 7" x 7" x 8"

Le Vide-poches, 1930-1931, painted plaster, 17.1 by 29.5 by 19.9 cm

Large Disagreeable Object to be Thrown Away, 1931

No More Play, 1933, Plaster and Wood, approx 2" x 17" x 22"

Friday, May 20, 2016

A Mug In Auschwitz Held a Secret Treasure

For more than 70 years, the false bottom on this mug hid a Holocaust victim's treasures.

An X-ray reveals the jewelry concealed behind the false bottom, which separated from the mug after more than 70 years.

The necklace was carefully wrapped in canvas before being concealed in the mug.

Tests revealed that the ring has the properties of gold 583, used in products made in Poland in the 1920s.
Marcin Inglot/Auschwitz Museum

From the outside, it looked like any of the other mugs in the Auschwitz museum.
But on the inside, this one had a secret — faithfully kept for seven decades.
A false bottom concealed a gold necklace and a gold ring inlaid with stones.
The enameled mug was one of more than 12,000 pieces of kitchenware that Nazis stole from people sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp in occupied Poland.
"The Germans incessantly lied to the Jews deported for extermination," Dr. Piotr M.A. Cywinski, the director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, said in a statement. "They were told about resettlement, work and life in a different location."
But the Nazis would allow Jews to take only a small amount of luggage. It was a calculated move: If you were going to start a new life, and could only take a small bag, you'd fill it with your most precious possessions.
So when a victim arrived at Auschwitz, the Germans could be confident they'd be able to loot their luggage and find valuables.
Victims often tried to hide costly possessions from sight.
On one hand, Cywinski says, that's proof that Jewish families were well aware that their belongings would be looted during their deportation.
But it's also a heartbreaking reminder of how much people didn't know about the fate they faced at Auschwitz.
Every effort to hide valuables "shows that the Jewish families constantly had a ray of hope that these items will be required for their existence," Cywinski says.
"Despite the passage of more than 70 years since the liberation of the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp, there are still cases of accidental discovery of objects hidden by the victims," the museum statement read.
And that's what happened with the mug, which was being examined as part of routine work at the museum when the false bottom was discovered.
Beneath, there was a necklace coiled in a circle and wrapped in canvas, and a ring with some stones remaining in the setting.
"It was very well hidden, however, due to the passage of time, the materials underwent gradual degradation, and the second bottom separated from the mug," Hanna Kubik of the Memorial Collections said in the museum's statement.
The museum says that while every find is "carefully documented," it is often impossible to connect a personal item to the victim who owned it because of a a lack of identifying characteristics.
"The jewellery found in the mug will be stored in the Collections of the Museum in the form reflecting the manner in which it had been hidden by the owner, as a testimony to the fate of the Jews deported to the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp," the museum writes.
More than 1 million prisoners, mostly Jews, died at Auschwitz during the Holocaust.
Source is NPR


The Beginning...Student Work, Traveling Structure Assignment

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Touching the Prado, Estudios Durero, Spain

Instead of having the paintings’ details described, now they can also be felt — offering a different sensory experience to great works of art. In fact, by touching one’s way through an artwork, the sight-impaired can create a mental map of the entire piece, and potentially develop a more emotional response to the experience as well. 

3D Printed Tactile Books, Tom Yeh, University of Colorado Boulder

Tactile Maps

The tactile maps are finely detailed and include representations of buildings, railways, roads, and waterways. Varied heights and textures differentiate the different topography; most bodies of water are represented by wavy surfaces, while smaller streams are just narrow lines. Pedestrian roads are raised higher than other roads, as the visually impaired utilize them more frequently. The user’s selected address is marked as a raised cone, and the map’s northeast corner is specially marked to ensure proper orientation.
Samuli Karkkainen, Designer, Finland

Rutgers engineers 3D print tablet sized campus maps for students.
Howon Lee, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
Jason Kim, Engineering Student

Virtual Curation Laboratory, Bernard Means, PhD, VCU

The Virginia Historical Society is one museum working to create ways for Drudge and others like her to experience historical artifacts for themselves. Andrew Talkov, vice president for programs at the museum, recently enlisted the help of Bernard Means, PhD an anthropology professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, to begin creating some 3D printed artifacts that people could touch and hold.
“I’m trying to figure out how we can use 3-D printing to make the experience better for everybody — because who doesn’t want to be able to handle the [artifact] that’s behind the glass, even if it’s just a reproduction — but specifically for the visually impaired,” said Talkov.

Dr. Means is the director of VCU’s Virtual Curation Laboratory, which is dedicated to creating a digital archive of historical artifacts. The lab also uses a 3D printer to create replicas of certain items for exhibits. The professor was happy to help, and took a few days to scan and print a number of artifacts from the Historical Society, including a wheel from a Conestoga wagon, a cigar store Indian from 1924, and an iron breastplate, circa 1622, on loan from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Perhaps coolest of all, he also scanned and 3D printed George Washington’s signature from a letter the President had written to his stepson.
“The idea behind 3-D printing a signature is that you can tell people that George Washington signed this document, but even if you could hold the real thing — which, of course, you can’t, [because] it’s too fragile — it’s not going to mean anything to you if you’re visually impaired,” said Dr. Means. “Even if you translate that document into braille, you’re getting a translation of that document. But by 3-D printing [Washington’s signature], somebody could trace it and feel it, and get a sense of the ‘G’ and [Washington’s] cursive. This is actually touching George Washington’s signature.”
For Kimmy Drudge, who visited the museum recently, the experience was everything she’d never been able to get from museums before. Her face lit up as she ran her fingers over the 3D printed replica of Washington’s signature. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Wooden Deck of Playing Cards

Jean-Leon Gerome, Artist, French

Duel After a Masquerade Ball
oil on canvas
15.4 inches x 22.2 inches

Domes for the World

These roughly 70 dome houses were built by U.S.-based company Domes for the World for villagers who lost their houses to last year's earthquake in Indonesia's ancient city of Yogyakarta.

Floating Houses

Lake Huron, Great Lakes. House was built on a steel platform structure with steel pontoons. Photo by Florian Holzherr. - See more at:

Student Blogs, Summer 2016

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Collaboration Body Sculpture Assignment Guidelines

Details announced in class.

Wire cutters
Protective eyewear
Gel medium
Brushes/Cup for water
Trace Paper

Patkau Architects, Canada

Heavy timber post-and-beam construction is the traditional Salish building technique. The structure of the Seabird Island School is a large-scale, engineered-wood interpretation of this building method. Because the complexity and scale of the design were beyond the construction experience of the band members who were to erect the school, a detailed framing model was made to describe the geometry of the structure in three dimensions and to supplement conventional two-dimensional construction documents.

Image and text source here

Patkau Architects