beginning of content:

Please note that the Sustained Investigation and the Range of Approaches sections below are from two different students’ portfolios.  

Sustained Investigation (Concentration) Statement

  1. My work displays the sculptural elements of hair and natural elements of jute twine. I added the element of hair to compliment the earthy aesthetic of the jute twine and show the natural beauty that comes with being human. The hair is intertwined with my pieces to show the beautiful chaos of human becoming connected with nature.
  2. Macrame inspired me because of the patterns and interconnections it mimics in nature. For example, in image 10 the jute rope mimics the direction and flow of a waterfall; image 2 recreates the complicated strands of a spider web. The macrame itself represents the niches animals serve to create an ecosystem. Making these patterns helped me see the reoccurring patterns in nature and humans and inspired me to intertwine my pieces into human hair by showing the patterns that are in the natural jute are also shown in humans.

Rationale for Score

  • The topic and work presented are closely related. Combinations of “sculptural elements of hair and natural elements of jute twine” are intended to show humans’ connection with nature, as specified in the statement. The first images show an individual and group of woven jute forms. The rest of the images show similar sculptural forms woven into, and with, models’ hair. A few works include beads and sticks. The commentary emphasizes the human/nature connection, comparing work in images 2 and 10 to a spider web and a waterfall. There is some redundancy within the statement; it could be equally (or more) effective without the repetition.
  • The theme of patterns connecting humans and nature, investigated by intertwining the human model’s hair with 3-D forms made with jute twine, engages the viewer. Images 5 and 9 reveal details of the forms. Textural contrast and repetition of shapes to create patterns occur throughout the work. Images 8, 10, and 11 imply directional movement. Images 5 and 7 demonstrate unity. Overall understanding and application of 3 D Design principles are good. Images 3 and 6 are less successful in showing the integration of media and technique in support of ideas. In some images, such as 10 as 12, the model’s clothing distracts from the featured piece.
  • Some clear decision-making and discovery are evident in this investigation. Presenting only macramé pieces in the first two images calls attention to the decision to combine hair and cord twine to construct the rest of the forms shown. Image 10 shows the jute cord in a more supporting role, with hair as the dominant color and texture, along with the evocative noose/question mark shape of the weaving.
  • Although the work is intentionally repetitive, some transformation and growth are evident. The first form shown that uses hair and twine looks like a traditional approach to macramé, and it seems to sit on top of the model’s hair as adornment. As the series progresses, hair and twine are more combined. Image 11 demonstrates an integrated, complex sculptural form with occupied and unoccupied space and a variety of patterns and textures.
  • The work demonstrates good technical competence. A variety of intricate weaving, knotting, and construction methods are used. In a few pieces, ideas, media, and technique are not as well articulated, e.g., the wrapped stick in image 5 and the horizontal element in image 10. 

You can also download these images and score rationale as a PDF portfolio. Please use Internet Explorer or Safari to open the link. 

Rationale for Score

  • All but one of the works in this section are created with stoneware clay. With this primary material, the work demonstrates a good application of 3-D Design principles to a range of design problems. Balance (images 7 and 8), proportion (images 15 and 16), emphasis (images 9 and 10), and rhythm/repetition (images 5 and 6) are featured. Vessels with different forms and surfaces (images 5 and 6, 13 and 14, 15 and 16), varied depictions of people (face with bricked arc, visually fractured bust, stacked torso), and abstract pieces that appear to be inspired by nature are shown. A variety of spatial interactions is shown among the work presented. 
  • From functional vessels to expressive portraiture to abstract sculptural objects, a good range of intentions and approaches is demonstrated by the works as a whole. Hand-building, wheel-throwing, and a variety of surface treatments — polishing, incising, applique, polychrome, and calligraphic lines — are displayed within these works.
  • Technical competence and skill with materials and media are good. Some images show a less successful use of media and techniques; for example, the application of paint on the bust in images 11 and 12 looks a bit messy and random; it’s unclear how it integrates with the sculptural form. The giant pecan-like object in images 3 and 4 could be more engaging if the dark surface didn’t minimize contrast of exterior surfaces with indentations. In contrast, the smooth surface of the wave form supports the visual concept well, as does the subtle faceting seen on the handles and spout of the lidded pot and cups. 
  • Originality and innovative thinking are apparent in a number of works, such as the stacked torso (images 7 and 8) and the bowl with a root-like motif (images 13 and14). Well-developed ideas are combined with practiced, skillful decision-making and the use of media and techniques, resulting in confident, evocative works that engage viewers.

You can also download these images and score rationale as a PDF portfolio. Please use Internet Explorer or Safari to open the link.