I have now had all of my classes that I will be taking each semester at least once. As much as I enjoyed my Early Renaissance Art HIstory class with the lovely Helen, and my drawing foundations class with the entertaining and light-hearted John Taylor, I don’t think they will be any match to my other two classes, sculpture and creative writing.
I had my first sculpture class on Monday and our Professor, Dario, got us started right away. He didn’t seem to care for the syllabus all that much and we breezed through it. He gave us a brief tour of the studio, making sure to point out where the tools we would need for the class were located. He explained that our grade for the semester would be given after the completion of two projects, one additive where we would be working with clay to ultimately make a plaster mold and the second being a subtractive method where we would be carving a soft material. The first project is known as a Bas-relief was to be modelled after a picture of a famous painting. We would were allowed to choose from a large stack of these photographs that Dario had on the table and he told us that we shouldn’t necessarily copy the image directly, but that we should use it as inspiration and change the composition slightly to make it our own. The second project would give us the opportunity to sculpt anything we would like. I already have a few ideas swimming around. We had to start the first project by creating an inch thick sizable slab of clay which for me was very easy.
Next thing we knew, Dario was nowhere to be found. He had told us that the Italian way of teaching is different than the English way of teaching in the way that in the States there is are set steps to follow and the teacher helps the students through each one, while in Italy the teach almost expects the student to get to the finish line by themselves. He told us he would be teaching us with a mixture of the two. I guess this was a glimpse of the Italian portion. I figured that the next step would be then to draw my image on the clay slab so that I could have an idea of where to put the clay and I wouldn’t just casually throw globs of clay onto my base. This is the image I chose:
This image doesn’t give me much to go off of but I plan to have sort of a street setting with the figure peeking out from around the street corner. I only have a window drawn so far but I’ll get there. I may end trashing that idea and sticking more to the image but if I do that I would like to go into more detail on the square portions and make them into more of a rock shape so it looks more like a cave. I need to decide soon though!
Yesterday for class we took a field trip to Michelangelo’s House, no big deal right?, I had already been there during my travels but it was much nicer the second time around listening to Dario talk about how Michelangelo had gone about creating each piece we saw. It gave me a new perspective on the different pieces.
After my first sculpture class concluded, I was itching to find out what my creative writing class would be like. I had only taken one prior creative writing class, during my senior year of high school, so I was anxious to get back into that mindset. Plain and simple, our professor is the man! His name is Lee Foust, and he gave us pretty much every detail of his life story on the first day. I was hooked by the first detail he gave shared with us. He grew up in Walnut Creek, California which is where one of my favorite bands, The Story So Far, is from. He explained that after he finished school he had three thousand dollars worth of travelers checks saved up and that his plan was to move to Europe, write a novel and never come back. He ended up living on the streets of Amsterdam for nine month, oh how plans change. He then returned to the states went to NYU to get his Doctorate and then when they sent him to Europe to write his thesis, that’s when he never came back. He has been teaching in Italy for the last twenty years with assorted programs throughout the country. He teaches classes for Elon, Cal-State schools, and Syracuse to name a few and he commutes to Bologna twice a week to teach composition there as well.
When reviewing the syllabus he explained that the “assignments” for the workshops were simply just suggestions if we could not come up with anything to write about off the top of our head. He said that as long as we brought something to contribute to the workshops then we could write about whatever we wanted in any form we preferred. I thought this was fantastic because I had been hoping to expand on my poetry writing ability over this class/semester, and this open ended style would give me the freedom needed to do that. We went around the circle giving quick introductions about who we were and our past experience with creative writing. Thank you mom for allowing me to say that because of you, my life has basically been one big living breathing creative piece. Then class was over. I am very excited for this progression of this semester because I have four awesome classes accompanied by four fantastic professors. Now it is my job to take advantage of that and perform to the best of my ability in each. Thanks for reading, Ciao!
Coming Soon: Field Trips, First Creative Writing Pieces, and any other worthy adventures…