The Rowena Reed Kostellow Fund

Problem Three: Rectilinear + Curvilinear Volumes

“In this problem we introduce the notion of group movements.”

Make a variety of rectilinear and curvilinear volumes in clay. Combine five to seven rectilinear and curvilinear forms of your choosing in a relationship that has dynamic balance. Apply the principles you learned in the first two exercises.

Establish dominant, subdominant, and subordinate relationships. Be aware of inherent, comparative, and overall proportions.

Every form in your composition must have its own individual position in space, but it must work together in rhythm with the others. The most important consideration here is the balance of directional forces.

“The beauty of this process is that you may not apply these principles directly when you’re doing a project like a car interior or a lamp. But you bring to that process a sensitivity to composition that helps you make the right choices.”

— Gerald Gulotta

Establish visual continuity by positioning the axes. Be aware that dominant, subdominant, and subordinate refer to the movements of the axes as well as the mass and volume of the forms. The forms can physically touch but they should be visually separate. Don’t make a long string of things. Create a composition in which you feel one movement stop and another complement it.

The sum of all the forces and movements in your composition should “add up.” Look at your work from all points of view—don’t just look at the good view. Look at the bad view and make what’s not working work.