Two years ago my daughter used "chairs" as her theme for AP 3-D. She made
about 10 chairs during the year. The first couple were a little shaky and
not braced very well, but by the end, she had figured out how to put
together a solid piece of furniture. She even made money by selling a few
of them. She is now majoring in woodworking and furniture at VCU Arts in
Richmond. The problems she had at the beginning had a lot to do with
bracing and how creative she could get and still have a piece of furniture
that was useful - or at least stood up on its own and could withstand a
little weight being placed on it. Another problem was the amount of sawdust
she generated. It completely covered most of what was in our basement - we
are still cleaning off things we haven't used for a while.
I think the problems you encounter will probably be related to the kids not
being familiar with or not having access to the tools they might need and
not being able to figure out how to brace the structure without assistance.
I think it's a great project - I just think some people might need more than
one shot at it. I think it was her third chair that was the breakthrough.
It really depends on what you're looking for though.
I loved the project. I hope you can make it work.
Maude in VA
From: Joe Cox [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Sunday, September 12, 2004 1:55 PM
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Subject: Chair as art project in AP?
I am working on a lesson plan for my Advanced Placement 3-D Class and was
hoping to get some input from some of you all. I want the student to work
on a project at home and so I am going to have them create and construct a
chair. Below is a copy of the lesson. If you have a minute please read it
what I am interested in is it a realistic project. This is an AP class and
I want the students to have a project that require research and something
they do at home. Like a science class assigns a science project. This is
something new for me and I am also looking for some heads up on what to
expect. So any suggestions would be appreciated.
The Chair as Art
Advanced Placement At Home Project
As part of your grade for this first semester you will create a chair that
is a sculptural piece of art. The materials used to make the chair are up
to you. The chair can be made from paper-mache, wood, found objects,
fabric, metal, etc. But it will be your responsibility to acquire the
materials you will be using.
The purpose of this assignment is:
* To have a sculpture that is a possible selection for the breadth
section of the AP Exam.
* To work on a project at home without the guidance of a teacher. (I
will be happy to counsel you at school on the problems you face with this
* To increase the student's research skills as they apply to 3-D Design.
* To increase the student's problem solving skill as they apply to 3-D
* To understand the relationship of 3-D Design and furniture.
The chair must meet the following criteria's.
* The chair must me made of a minimum of five pieces, for example a back,
seat and two arms. Less then five pieces must get the approval of the
* The chair cannot be created from a pre-existing chair but can be create
from a variety of chair parts.
* The chair needs to be life size.
* The chair can be made from any materials you choose.
* The chair is to be more sculptural then functional.
* The chair is to be visually pleasing and or engaging for the viewer
from all four views.
* The chair is to be decorated or finished in some manner. (Painted,
stained, collaged, glazed)
* The chair must be created at home not at school.
* It is the student's responsibility to get the chair to school.
The student will be graded on the following:
* Did the student meet all the above criteria's?
* Is the design of the chair at an Advance Placement level?
* Is the construction of the chair at an Advance Placement level?
* How well the student solves the problem of designing and constructing a
* Is the chair visually pleasing and or engaging to the viewer?
When is the chair due?
The chair will be turned in the last week of the first semester.
This project will count for 30% of your semester grade.
Periodically throughout the semester you will be required to turn in
progress report or research done on the chair. First being due on First
Class in October where you will research three ideas on ways you are going
to create your chair. You will turn in drawing and a one page typed report
that explains the design and construction of your chair. This report will
be worth 100 points.