Shaped by the Sea, Shaped by the Hand: Marine Biology and 3D Art
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We will investigate marine environments and life from the perspectives of science and 3D art and design in the fine metalsmithing studio. We will examine how both scientific findings and artwork shape society’s attitudes towards conservation and exploitation of marine systems. We will study how physical, chemical, and geological processes shape marine environments as well as the forms and adaptations of organisms that inhabit these environments. While learning how to shape materials in the fine metalsmithing studio, we will create objects that consider how the sea, and sea life, has inspired works of art and design.
In fall quarter, the marine biology component will focus on understanding the structure and function of marine environments from estuaries to the deep-sea. We will learn about the ecological factors that explain the species diversity, distributions and productivity in these habitats. Field trips will study local marine habitat such as estuaries, intertidal environments, and wetlands. Laboratory work will include water quality measurements and microscopy. Winter quarter will focus on the diversity and adaptations of marine life, and will include studies of live marine animals and field trips to local aquariums.
In the fine metalsmithing studio, we will learn how to shape and intricately texture non-ferrous metals using hand tools, and join pieces using rivets and silver soldering. Using these techniques to represent the marine environments and organisms we have observed, we will create sculptural objects and functional pieces such as jewelry, small vessels, and utensils. Winter quarter we will continue to integrate our understanding of structure and function into studio work, building skills and adding complexity to our designs with the development of mechanisms that move and can be used to mimic elements of marine life.
Activities and work that integrates science and art will include seminar discussions and independent projects. Seminar will examine how artwork represents a narrative about nature that reflects culture, and how the design and production of everyday objects are deeply connected to the environment. In addition we will learn about the scientific process by reading about the history of marine biology and by analyzing technical scientific research articles. Independent projects will combine research on marine habitats and organisms and 3D art and design projects inspired by the student’s findings. In addition, first-year students will participate in Greener Foundations and sophomore students will develop literature-based research presentations on marine biology and art topics.
Greener Foundations: This program will incorporate Greener Foundations, a holistic course designed for first-time, first-year students. Faculty and staff collaborate to bring study skills, academic planning, health and wellness education, advising, and more into the classroom. More information can be found on the college website at Greener Foundations .
This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:
environmental studies, visual art, design, education, ecology, and marine science.
Credits per quarter
- Enhanced Online Learning - This offering requires access to web-based tools, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.
Additional fine metalsmithing materials will be available for individual purchase, and students may choose to spend from $10 to $50 to cover more extensive projects.
Class Size: 46
50% Reserved for Freshmen
Scheduled for: Day
Located in: Olympia