From Flat to 3D

Kath Weider-Roos is the Creative Arts Producer at A&D. She snaps photos and asks questions.

Spotted in the hall, this:

Performance art? A pre-Halloween party with an all-white, modular theme?

No, these were students TMP (Tools, Materials and Processes) presenting their first efforts in making a wearable sculpture out of both paper and fibers. 

Specifically, the assignment was this:

Using only the provided materials (paper and glue, fabric and thread), create a wearable sculpture that is situated around your head (or head and shoulders). Your sculpture will have a function that you will determine (whimsical/utilitarian, poetic/practical, etc.)

So Kristen Leydig, above, developed this boxed headress contraption to help capture the outflow of ideas that occur in the process of brainstorming.

Instructors Matt Shlian and Beth Hay came up with the assignment for TMP, a core course that requires students to explore a variety of media in a short amount of time. This assignment was designed to introduce students to the basic technique of taking flat materials – in this case, fibers and papers – and exploring their three dimensional potential. Sounds great, except the students would have two weeks to both learn the basics of these materials and construct their project. Then they would move on to other TMP sections in wood, metals, plastics and clay.

First, Matt Shlian, a master paper engineer himself, shows the students some basic techniques for folding, cutting, twisting and shaping paper. (If you've ever seen Matt's work you know this goes way beyond making a pirate hat out of your restaurant placemat.)

Beth Hay guides the projects in the fibers studios.

Students then presented their pieces to the class for a group critique.

Below Sonia Tagari created this 'hat' that spoke to the blinding effects of one's personal fears and how they often translate to the outside world.

Below David Chang created a very useful device to combat what his mother calls a 'chronic forgetfulness'. He created a note-taking device that keeps the notes literally in front of his eyes at all times. A convenient pouch for the pen and the notes are located at the side and back.

Shannon Moss created this representation of her brain and its thought waves. She feels the weight of her thoughts and emotions mainly in the shoulder area.

Below Caroline Marin created about 70 hands, some stuffed fabric and some paper, to address fear – when something scares you, you can cover your face with this handy "hand-mask".

Below Viviana Pernot's piece mimics a fungus and its growth pattern. In this case, the growth is positive, open and receptive as she starts her first year of college, independent and separated from her family.

Virginia Lozano pulled off an amazing feat in this mechanically complicated creation complete with wheels made entirely of paper. Virginia is a dual major in...yes, Mechanical Engineering. What a beautiful combo.

Next, these TMP will be off to the ceramics studio where they will work with clay and mold-making techniques. Stay tuned.


These are fantastic!! Great article, Kath!

Posted by Emilia Javanica on October 19, 2011

thanks emilia!

Posted by Kath Weider-Roos on October 20, 2011

Wow wonderfull arts.I'm girl go finish a akademy of arts for design fashion,and picture.I like so much your job.Gongratulations.,

Posted by ledia on October 21, 2011

these are fantastic!! from an "old" fiber arts student at U of M....

Posted by diana tarasiewicz on November 04, 2011





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