Casting & Soapstone

Friday, December 28, 2018 - By: Isaac S, Rogers 19

Brentwood offers a wide variety of arts courses, from rock bands and string orchestras to musical productions, dance, and acting, not to mention an array of visual and technical arts. 

One of these is the sculpture course overseen by our amazing - and sadly departing - shop teacher, Mr Hunwick, who may as well have his own ninja turtle named after him. From resin casting to soapstone carving, aspiring artists are taught the skills and processes needed to form their mixed media creations. 

Students are taught how to use shop equipment effectively and safely, and what techniques and materials they can use to translate their ideas into physical form.

While the younger and novice student are kept more closely tethered in terms of types of projects, senior students are left almost to their own devices. That is, so long as they continue to create pieces. No other art course has quite the same range of freedom, meaning the range of artwork created by those in the class is more varied than any other. 

If you walked into the shop, you could find sparks being thrown from a metal grinder, wax being melted and formed, acrylic molds being poured, and band saws and sanders running at any one time, just to name a few. 

The class is relatively small compared to some other arts programs, with only a single fourth block class offered. While perhaps not appealing to as wide an audience as programs such as drawing and painting, the sculpture class fills a very particular niche. In the words of Gavin VO, Rogers, ‘20, “I like sculpture because I can express how my mind works in more ways any other art.”

For many, arts classes are a way to unwind and work with their hands rather than being under mental challeneges they have during the academic day. Plenty of correlation has been found between working with your hands and mental wellbeing, and sculpture is certainly no exception. The studio has a casual atmosphere in which students are able to relax and recharge as they create their projects. According to Lucas U, Rogers,’19, “The satisfaction of it is actually incredible.” 

The hard work these students have been putting into their artwork was displayed on November 22nd in the Centre for Arts and Humanities. If, in between the rows of excellent self portraits and stacks of beautiful bowls and pots, you spotted something a little more unique, chances are it originated from the sculpture studio.

Isaac S, Rogers 19

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