Balsa Wood Sculptures

Objective:

We were to create three small sculptures, each one emphasizing on a specific element or principle of art and design. The elements and principles I decided to emphasize in each sculpture were space, repetition, and focal point.

Balsa Wood Sculpture 1: Space

Materials Used:

  • Balsa wood
  • Wood glue
  • Straight pins

Approximate Dimensions:

5.5 in x 4.6 in x 4.1 in

Artist Statement:

For the first sculpture, I focused on the design element of space. I experimented with organic shapes while also trying to perceive space using balsa wood. I like the aesthetic of things that drip, so I cut out the wood in a shape that looked like it was dripping. I then used an embossing tool to emboss the wood and imitate the dripping pattern I had cut out. I did this for all four sides of the piece, and then staggered some of the pieces so it would create this open window that you can see through. To emphasize the dripping, I poured wood glue over the sculpture and on the inside to create this melting, dripping overall look.

If I were to recreate this sculpture, I would have had it more carefully planned and measured. The pieces did not align as well as I would have liked, which created this wonky, tilted aesthetic. Perhaps it could have been pulled off better if it was cleaned up a bit more.

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In-Process Photos

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Balsa Wood Sculpture 2 — Repetition

Materials Used:

  • Balsa wood
  • Straight pins

Approximate Dimensions:

4.2 in x 6 in x 4.3 in

Artist Statement:

For my second sculpture, I decided to focus on repetition. I went in the complete opposite direction of the use of organic shapes to more straight lines and a pixelated feel. The idea for this sculpture arose when I was playing a game that had this beautiful pixelated portal that pierced the sky. It inspired me to create something similar, so I drew pixelated shapes onto the balsa wood and cut them out. I then used the straight pins to stick them together and create this layered look. At first, the sculpture went up vertically, but I added a little stand to the back so it would instead go off upward diagonally as if shooting pixel-shaped balsa wood pieces into the sky. I wanted the individual pieces to appear as if they were floating in layers, which was the purpose of the straight pins.

Out of the three sculptures that I created this one was my favorite because it turned out the cleanest, and I found it to be the most visually interesting.

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In-Process Photos

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Balsa Wood Sculpture 3 — Focal Point

Materials Used:

  • Balsa wood
  • Paper
  • Masking tape

Approximate Dimensions:

3.5 in x 3.5 in x 5.5 in

Artist Statement:

The final sculpture was the most difficult one for me. The primary design element in this sculpture is the focal point. I had a concept in mind, but I had difficulty executing it. I wanted to create another organic space using paper and masking tape, but I wanted something to sit inside this space and be held up on what would be a pedestal. I also knew that I wanted to burn something. I decided to create a ball of masking tape and proceeded to burn it. The way the fire caught the masking tape and create this interesting design and texture reminded me of a rose. I knew this needed to be the focal point for this sculpture. I cut out several strips of paper and bent and twisted them around each other to create an organic encasement, then used balsa wood and masking tape to create a stand. I attached this to the paper, and for the moment the sculpture could stand. What made this sculpture the most difficult was trying to make it stand still once I placed the ball of masking tape inside. I managed to create a focal point, as was intended, but the sculpture had much difficulty trying to hold itself up, and it was quite delicate.

Reflecting on the sculpture, I could have probably made an organic-shaped “cage” that would go over the masking tape, and there would have been a flat base. This would have allowed the sculpture to be sturdier, rather than having something heavy trying to balance and stand upright on a light, delicate material.

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In-Process Photos

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