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

Sustained Investigation (Concentration) Statement

  1. The central idea of my concentration is mandala designs and structure. My concentration uses mandala designs which are geometric figures representing the universe in Hindu and Buddhist symbolism. i chose mandala designs because I enjoy working with line variation because there is so much you can do to make your own designs and still have the original design part of the final piece. Also, i love to take simple things such as a flower and add my own design to make it different.
  2. My artwork is all wheel thrown. My designs are then traced onto a pice e of newsprint paper with black stain, after my pottery is wheel thrown and bisque fired I then wet the pieces of newsprint paper that I traced on then I transfer my design to my artwork. For example in artwork one I chose to put the flower on the side of the plate because I i thing that’s where it looked best. In the beginning it was just a flower but I then added bolder lines to make certain thing pop. In artwork two I had put an elephant on the side of the plate because I tried to cover the chip in the plate and I thought the side is where the elephant looked best, I then added the dots to pull the eye of the viewer to the elephant, which stood out more. In art work seven I had two elephants together which had designs in them, with this bowl I chose to put these elephants on a bowl because the design goes around the bowl which makes the viewers eyes travel to see the designs and the mixed clay. My over all thoughts are that now every piece of my art work has a design of some kind, I feel that everything you make can be different and have a design to it. I also think my artwork shows character and unity.

Rationale for Score

  • The connection between the topic, mandala designs and structure, and the work is evident, but its relevance to 3-D design is weakened by the fact that placing and altering a mandala on the surface of a 3-D form is primarily a 2-D concern.
  • Decision making is sporadic, and the work of the sustained investigation demonstrates little sense of investigation or discovery in terms of 3-D design. All the forms are similar, wheel thrown, open forms, some becoming plates and some acquiring handles, but 3-D space is not explored beyond these basic forms.
  • There are emerging attempts at originality in the placement of the mandalas, particularly in images 1 and 7; again, these are primarily tied to surface decoration.
  • A potentially engaging theme is somewhat discernible but inadequately considered because the mandalas do not become 3-D forms or affect the three-dimensional space of the wheel-thrown objects.
  • The work demonstrates a moderate understanding and superficial application of 3-D design principles in that these are all very similarly proportioned open forms of cups, pitchers, bowls, and plates.
  • Transformation is discernible as some forms have handles (images 5 and 6) or (image 8) are altered into pitchers but growth that could come from further exploration of 3-D space is limited.
  • Though limited in exploring 3-D space, the work demonstrates emerging technical competence in wheel throwing skill, some knowledgeable use of materials and media (clay and glaze application), and more advanced competence with the linear 2-D design elements of the mandalas.

Rationale for Score

  • The work shows a superficial application of 3-D design principles (repetition and balance) to a limited range of design problems (fabrication and subtraction), which can be seen in images 1a-1b and 8a-8b.
  • Some original ideas seem to be emerging, or some attempt at innovation with the elements and principles of 3-D design is evident (images 4a-4b and 6a-6b), but craftsmanship in fabrication and a more in-depth exploration of 3-D space are questionable (images 3a-3b, 5a-5b, 7a-7b, and 8a-8b).
  • The work shows a limited variety of intentions or approaches. For example, the piece in images 2a-2b shows a subtractive method of working a foam box-form but does not explore beyond the parameters of the cubic form; the works in images 1a-1b, 2a-2b, and 7a-7b use modules in their construction but show a limited arrangement of those modules to explore three-dimensional space.
  • The work is beginning to emerge in terms of potentially engaging qualities (images 4a-4b and 6a-6b); confidence is questionable (images 1a-1b, 2a-2b, 3a- 3b, and 5a-5b).
  • The work demonstrates moderate technical competence and some knowledgeable use of materials and media (wood, paper, foam, clothespin, straws, and toothpicks), as seen in images 1a-1b, 3a-3b, 6a-6b, and 8a-8b. Overall the work is at a moderate level.