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Old 02-07-2010, 09:04 AM
CroftonGraphics CroftonGraphics is offline
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What is the significance of scale in your work?

I did a search in the forums and could not find, so apologies if this has been discussed previously, give me a link if so, it is something I have been thinking about.

What is the significance of scale in your work and sculpture generally?
Do you see larger public works more significant than small works or does it depend?
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Old 02-07-2010, 09:40 AM
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GlennT GlennT is offline
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Re: What is the significance of scale in your work?

If the artist is honorable, then doing a large public work should be more significant than a small work. The reason being that a small work has a limited audience, and a large public work is presumeably accessible to anyone.
If you believe as I do that patterns in the environment effect people at some level, then in a public work you are taking on some responsibility for how your conscious expression effects others. That does not mean you are responsible for how everyone reacts, just that you are doing something knowingly that will effect a large number of people, and if you care about your fellow humans you will want to consider this.

From the standpoint of significance in effort, given the above, the artist must then rise to a level of effort that is higher than just doing something because " I feel like it". That is not to imply this as the only motivator in a smaller work, but that in a public work it is not enough if one is, as I said earlier, honorable.

Further, the large scale tends to require more physical effort, and often mentall and emotional as well. There is certainly a lot more problem solving to do than just the artistic considerations.
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Old 02-07-2010, 10:00 AM
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evaldart evaldart is offline
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Re: What is the significance of scale in your work?

There are no choices in the size of a piece of work. Just make it the RIGHT size, thats all. And that decision is as much a part of the creative process as material choice and composition.

If you're accomodating paying entities on a "job", well, then you'll have to let them have input or approval on the size, because they think it will matter in regards to its site. That kind of art is another thing altogether - its how we bend in participation. Its okay, but not the best scenario for ones creative eventing (venting?).

You capabilities too will help you decide size limitations. As Glen mentioned, there are many aesthetic-less labors involved when working at a thresholded size capacity. Limitations such as the ceiling height of your studio (so go outside), the weight of your medium, you gear, your personal strength and condition, your truck (have you got an f-150 or an f 350).
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Old 02-07-2010, 05:26 PM
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jOe~ jOe~ is offline
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Re: What is the significance of scale in your work?

Do you see larger public works more significant than small works or does it depend?
You got two excellent answers. Have you given yourself a zen slap across the forehead for not seeing the obvious?
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Old 02-07-2010, 07:28 PM
CroftonGraphics CroftonGraphics is offline
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Re: What is the significance of scale in your work?

Hi Joe,
was not really looking for concrete answers was just looking to find the views of others on the forum.

My favourite 'big' art is American Land art, not so much British, I prefer the vastness of american land and the art. Where I live the landscape is almost close to that luckily.

In my view some sort of large artwork to work on would be a great thing with the considerations Glenn and Eval highlight. However if at the end of my life, looking back and not had produced or had the oppurtunity for anything like that, it would be ok as long as I had always done 'the RIGHT size'.

My background education was art and also applied design so I was used to architect type views many overly obsessed with 'la gloire' of massive commissions. It would be a shame to think some sculptors work to this similar regime.

In my view some of the best architects/applied designers are the ones who prefer to work smaller scale and hands on.
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:20 PM
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birdjes birdjes is offline
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Re: What is the significance of scale in your work?

Scale can mean the difference in how someone reads the work obvious like the choice of materials dictating the work. I am currently in a program at a local university. students there had the question for me " whats the relevance of scale in the work?" for a piece im making for a show there. I hadn't consciously considered the scale at that point and I gave them an answer that I realized then was quite applicable to any of my scale concerns for a work. I told them that I see three scales sets in my work and that consider it subconsciously when I work. the first scale is human scale that is how the scale relates to the human form ,are the components relevant to hands and feet, how the focal point relate to eye level. the human scale is like that of furniture it is a reasonable manipulation of materials which the viewer may feel they have some control over. possibly it lacks intimidation as an object . the second scale I mentioned was the miniature scale. miniature in its relationship to the human. that is the scale of intimacy a scale where details are reduced to small elements. the over all work may be comparable to the size of a human but the elements have a quality that is less than human, I mean that reveals the consideration of scale as device of intimacy. the third scale was the more than human scale the scale that requires possibly machines and/or technology to produce a larger than life scale. a scale that naturally speaks of a higher significance purely by the fact that the scale goes beyond what the artist can physically manipulate with out the help of machines or others humans for that matter. The more than human scale is a scale that reduces the viewer to less than individual putting them in a perspective that can not deny the importance of the work to others in their own perception of it. A scale that leaves the viewer considering the perspective of others and preventing this viewer from holding the value only to there own individual understanding of the work.

I didn't go in to this detail with the students whom questioned me. Its was an automatic and short answer i gave to them, that I viewed three scales and then listed them. Im not sure how I developed this understanding of the value of scale in my work and I had never shared it at that point. It struck me and when I saw this post today I thought I would share it. the incident with the students happened last Thursday so I appreciate the original post and discussion as it has given me the chance to consider it further.
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Old 02-22-2010, 05:22 PM
robertpulley robertpulley is offline
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Re: What is the significance of scale in your work?

I want to say that I think scale often reads differently in terms of impact and how we psychologically process it. Much of my work is in fired clay and it is very process oriented. Most of the work has been roughly human scale which I experience as projecting a physical presence into space around it. For the sake of marketing I've tried to use the same processes and techniques on a smaller scale (12" or so. What I think of as table top scale) while some folks seem to like them, I don't think they are seen in the same way and I, frankly, don't have the same feeling for them. At that scale the work is seen as a discrete object, apprehended pretty much at once and I don't get a gut reaction the same as I do from larger work. Public scale work inhabits the environment charging a large space with its presence.

I've done some small bronze work, some a lot smaller than the clay that seems right at its scale. There seems to be a rightness to the proportions of detail.
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