A photo detail of a sculpture made from blue table and a wooden chair.

The Beauty of Blue Tape and String

A portrait of a sculpture made with string and a basket
Piece by Josiel Aponte ’21

The focus of Amy Podmore’s Sculpture class this spring was, according to the course description, “the development of technical and analytical skills as they relate to the interplay of form, content and materials.” Podmore expected to teach her 10 students about, for instance, woodworking and welding, the second half of the semester has been devoted instead to blue tape and string, which she provided to students before the students left campus in mid-March.

“How does one teach sculpture remotely?” Podmore asked during a recent interview with Williams Magazine. “No hammers, welders, no ability to engage directly with the physicality of form and material that sculpture communicates through. String and tape are common, un-dirty, transportable, smaller, more flexible and democratic materials.”

She says she wanted her students to understand that “being up against limitations can spur creativity.” Her students faced different types of limitations, including working in their childhood bedrooms, having to work outdoors or needing to shift between different settings every few days.

Says Podmore, “They missed the studio, yet they did great work and came up with some exciting sculptures.”

A photo of a sculpture made from blue table and a wooden chair.
Piece by Adam Bocker ’20
Photo of sculpture made from blue tape
Piece by Ceci Swenson ’20
Photo of sculpture made from a variety of items including blue tabe and photographs.
Piece by Joseph Messer ’21