Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Map Relief Assignment Guidelines


Adhering to the concept of relief sculpture, create a topographical map that reflects a personal idea. 

_____Final solution to measure approx. 24 inches in at least one direction. Depth must measure at least 1 inch.  Final solution will hang on the wall. Another option is for the piece to free stand on a pedestal with the intention of being viewed as a relief. 
_____Final solution incorporates at least one construction method (see methods below). 
_____Final solution utilizes one of the following color schemes; Complementary, Analogous, Neutral (gray/brown), Split Complementary, Monochromatic, Cool, Warm. 

Expose student to various processes of three-dimensional construction. Challenge student to use elements and principles of design to visually communicate concept. Provide opportunity for students to develop an idea utilizing research methods that support critical thinking (looking, reading, discourse and modeling). 

MATERIALS - Choose from the following. Use all or just a few. 
  • Foam Board
    • If foam board visible, you must disguise it's original surface/texture. 
  • Balsa Wood or any other wood (lots of scraps in the wood shop). 
  • Masking Tape
  • Clear Packing Tape
  • Tracing Paper
    • If you decide to use this material, keep in mind you will needs lots of it for the Masked Identity project. So, don't use a lot or be prepared to purchase more. 
  • White Paper 
    • Can use to cover foam board (foam board should not be visible in final solution).
    • Construct shapes via transformed plane 
    • Stack layers of paper
    • Paper cutting
  • Colored Ink Set (or acrylic paint, colored pens/pencils)
    • Select a color scheme to use for this project - Complementary, Analogous, Neutral (gray/brown), Split Complementary, Monochromatic, Cool, Warm. 
    • Compromises can be made to use only black and white media. 
  • Black/White Media  
    • Your kit contains black and white ink and a sharpie. 
    • Graphite considered black/white media.
  • Gel Medium
    • Can function as an adhesive/sealer.
    • Can be used to mold/stiffen/seal tracing paper. 
  • Gesso 
    • Can function as an adhesive/sealer. 
    • Can use to disguise foam board
    • Can be used to sculpt paper. 
    • Ink can be added to the gesso - will create a tint and can use to paint. 
    •  Can also create a marbling effect with ink and gesso. 
  • Utility Knife 
    • Use to cut foam board.
    • Do not use Exacto knife to cut foam board. Blade to thin and small for board. Can snap and cause injury. 
  • Exacto knife 
    • Use to cut paper. 
  • Cut matt
    • Please do not cut on the table.
  • Bone Folder
    • Used to create clean, even folds and scores on paper. 
  • Stylus
    • Can be used to emboss surfaces (wood, paper, foam board treated with gesso). 
  • Scissors
  • Brushes
  • Cup for water
  • Wood Glue
    •  Use for construction. Not as a design element. Do not allow wood glue to show. 
  • Straight pins 
    • Can be used to join/construct (raise up shapes of paper/wood/foam board, tether a linear material). 
  • Foam Board Free Style Cutter
    • This tool not in your kit. I bought one for the class to share. I will have available during class time. See instructional video below. 


Step 1
Complete the Research Packet that has been designed for this assignment. A hard copy needs to be turned in to me before you begin. Print off hard copy from CANVAS. 

Step 2
Check out various methods (see below) for manipulating materials/creating relief surface. 
Must incorporate at least one method in your final solution. 

Before the existence of contour maps other methods were used to create plaster models. The elevations of several points were measured in the real terrain and then represented using nails of different lengths that where hammered on a wooden base plate. The gaps between the nails where filled manually using different materials. From this first model several casts could be made. Models made that way are far less exact than models created by the layer method.

Step 3
Create a small scale relief sculpture. The small scale and quick decisions will allow the student to explore the possibilities of materials and concepts. 

Step 4
Begin constructing your final idea. Final solution must measure approx. 24 inches in at least one direction. Depth must measure at least 1 inch.  Final solution will hang on the wall. Another option is for the piece to free stand on a pedestal with the intention of being viewed as a relief. 

Incorporate at least one construction method from the list below:


Matthew Picton



Above Pictures from terrain models and relief map making p.17,18 and AMS Bulletin No.8 June 1944 p.3. On line source is Terrain Model


Image source link here.


Chun Kwang-Young


Val Britton


David Lu

The following information is required for your blog:

  • Photographs
    • At least one in process photo. 
    • At least three professional photo's of the final solution. Include at least one detail shot. 
  • Inspiration 
    •  Images of artist inspiration with sources. At least three different pieces of inspiration. The term artist is not limited to the visual arts. Music, poetry, dance, literature are a few examples.  
  • Artist Statement
    • Writing must demonstrate collegiate writing skills. Writing demonstrates time and effort. Writing demonstrates content, reflective thought and intellect. Writing is free of grammar, punctuation and spelling errors
  • Optional
    • Sketches and/or notes from Research Packet or your own sketchbook. 

Fun Fact:
The first map to name America as a continent will be put on display in July at the Library of Congress, in Washington, D.C., which has finally collected $10 million needed for its purchase. This is the only known copy to survive of the 1,000 printed from 12 wood blocks. German cartographer Martin Waldseemueller, who created the map in 1507 as part of a project begun in St. Die, France, named the continent after the Venetian explorer Amerigo Vespucci. Christopher Columbus and other Europeans thought they had reached Asia, but Vespucci considered it a new continent. - source is LA Times

Instructional video for Foam Board Freestyle Cutter


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