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Chipboard Personality Sculptures

0:02   Abstract chipboard sculpture
0:17   What makes a sculpture abstract?
1:07   Chipboard
1:30   Brainstorming personality traits
2:12   Shapes
3:03   Compositional sketches
3:52   Arranging the shapes
4:02   Thick Chipboard

4:10   Thin Chipboard
4:21   Tools & Safety
4:28   Utility knife techniques
5:35   T-Square techniques
5:54   Utility Knife and T-Square
6:24   Cutting techniques
6:51   Different sizes of shapes
7:03   Scoring techniques

8:00   Folding techniques
8:25   Curling chipboard
9:18   Composing the chipboard
10:01   Glue guns & safety
13:08   Hot glue gun techniques
11:12   Wall sculpture format
11:20   Trial & error, spontaneity

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Annelise Yee

Annelise Yee
Jeweler & Designer


Using only abstract shapes, create 2 wall sculptures that each represent a contrasting side of your personality.

Core Ideas

Form, negative space, overlap, shape.

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Art Prof Caution

Utility Knives are extremely sharp and it’s really easy to cut yourself by accident!  Always wear a kevlar glove on your hand which is not holding the knife to prevent injuries. Hot glue guns can get really hot! Be very careful not to drip any hot glue on yourself while working. Always prop the hot glue gun up so the tip is not touching any surface. 

Art Supplies: T-square
Art Supplies: Utility Knife
Art Supplies: Cutting Mat
Art Supplies: Scissors
Art Supplies: Hot Glue Sticks
Art Supplies: Hot Glue Gun
Art Supplies: Thin Chipboard
Art Supplies: Thick Chipboard
Art Supplies: Retractable Blades
Art Supplies: Kevlar Glove
Art Supplies: Needlenose Pliers


Mica Furtado

“This material allowed me to expand my creativity because of its flexibility and easiness of use. I started off by sketching ideas and shapes and then I began to think of where each shape would be, or which pattern I would want to use. In this case, it was harder because we had to use two adjectives that describe us and translate them into a sculpture.

The sculpture with swirls and silly looking represents the word ‘curious.’ For ‘curious,’I decided to make it silly and kind of confusing, which the intent was to make the audience guess or wonder which word it represented!

I do not remember the adjective for the other sculpture. This sculpture was not so difficult to accomplish and what I really liked about it is the pattern I used for this sculpture. It does not have a variety of shapes unlike the other sculpture. They are completely different from one another and that is what I really like about them!”

Lee Moistoso

Aleida Gomes

“The piece with round, curled shapes was a piece that defined my personality as being mysterious. The other spiky piece represents my curious side.”

Partial Video Transcript

Prof Lieu: “This is a project where I ask students to create two abstract sculptures that are based on their personality traits. It’s really fun because it’s a personal project for the students. I think about it like it’s an autobiography, except it’s a sculpture.”

Annelise: “ What do you mean by abstract?”

Prof Lieu: “Well, for me, abstraction means some image that’s not recognizable in the real world. For example, a drawing of a bunny is not abstract because you recognize it as well, a bunny!”

Annelise: “What’s wrong with bunnies?”

Prof Lieu: “Well, I think the thing is, when I say to students, ‘Make it look like something’, they tend to feel very restricted, because they feel like they have to make it look like a bunny. Whereas if I say to them, ‘Make it look abstract’ it really frees them up creatively. They feel like they can do much more with that.”

“For example, this sculpture that I’m holding right here. This I would consider to be an abstract sculpture because it looks like a couple things, but it also is not definable as, say, a mushroom or something recognizable like that. I like having the openness.”

“I like to use chipboard for this project because it is really inexpensive and it’s super flexible. You can do all kinds of neat things with it. You can shape it, you can cut it , you can score it, and so it’s a really friendly material that I find students really enjoy a lot.”

“I like to start this project by brainstorming a little bit about which personality traits I want to show in the sculpture. You know me pretty well, so what are my personality traits?”

Annelise: “ Well, you’re definitely feisty, but there’s also a funny, kind of perky side to you. You’re also very driven, driven is a great word to describe you. You’re so passionate about what you do it’s like an aggression, almost, so I like aggressive.”

Prof Lieu: “We should pick 2 personality traits that are really different from each other, because if they’re too similar the sculptures end up looking very much the same. So, which are two that you think would be good to choose?”

Annelise: “Well, I like aggressive. I feel like it’s a very strong word. At the opposite end of that of that I’d say perky.

Prof Lieu: “Sometimes, what I think is tricky for a lot of people is [the question of], ‘where do you get started?’ Because, we have these two personality traits; aggressive and perky. How do you translate these two traits into an actual sculpture?” Just draw shapes! Don’t actually try to design the sculpture, just draw shapes that for you communicate the personality traits. When I say the word ‘aggressive’ what kinds of shapes come to your mind?

Annelise: “Like, sharp, jagged kinds of shapes. So, like, really harsh points like this.”

Prof Lieu: “For ‘perky’, what kind of shapes come to your mind?”

Annelise:“I think of some curly shapes, almost spiral-ey.”

Prof Lieu: “Something round?”

Annelise: “Yeah, something round. Something freer.”

Prof Lieu: “They look very different.”

Annelise: “Oh, they’re so different!”

Prof Lieu: “Now, I just take the shapes that I drew and arrange them together. I could start with a curl like this, and I can make one then that’s a lot bigger. So, I can make a curl that’s like that, and then I can make really small curls. This is basically one shape, but I’m arranging it and I’m also changing the size of it. Something which started out as a really simple shape can be a very beautiful design, it doesn’t have to be complicated to be interesting.”

Annelise: “How are you deciding where to put things? Like, how are you making this a composition?”

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