United Kingdom #10: Sculpting and Print Making

Charlotte Steffensen ’25 and Allison Kostiuk ’25, reflect on a busy first day at Central St. Martins, were the group will take classes for the remainder of the week.

This morning marked our first day of art classes at the University of Art, London! Taking the London Underground for longer than usual, we arrived within about forty minutes to the university. As an introduction to the course, the instructor, Rochelle, split us into groups then had us produce random object sculptures in a contained space. In various places across the floor there were marked sections in which we had to use random objects to curate a sculpture. This sculpture was challenging and yet interesting because we could only use a limited amount of materials, like bamboo sticks and chairs. One of the hardest parts of the assignment was trying to push ourselves to look deeper at what we were curating, rather than just randomly placing objects upon each other. Each group did an amazing job, furthermore going on to create working titles and storylines that supported the sculptures that we had created. After the sculpting was done, we moved onto drawing a general representation of the various sculptures with charcoal. In this exercise, we worked to not draw in detail but rather focus on certain shapes or sections of the sculptures.

Before our lunch we sadly had to say goodbye to one of our Envoys travel leaders, Gabi, because she departed today back to Columbia. Her contribution to our group was amazing, and this trip honestly wouldn’t have been such an engaging success without her! She always led the group and worked hard to get us to our destination safely, had a positive attitude, and asked us engaging questions that promoted group discussion.

After we ate lunch, we then returned to a new classroom to begin our second half of the day. We started with another sculpture exercise, in which we used a cup to create different shapes. Over the course of five rounds, three minutes each, we were handed a cup and a variety of objects and had to alter and incorporate those objects producing our own versions of small sculptures. This portion of the day also involved an introduction on how to print using ink and paper. We used rollers and thick ink as our tools for printing on paper. Our instructor showed us three different techniques for printing then let us experiment with the different techniques for the rest of the class time. Overall, the various art projects that we did today were very independent, the instructors would lay out a guide of what we were to do, but not necessarily tell us exactly what they wanted or how to do something specifically. This was challenging to adjust to but it allowed us to push ourselves to be more confident with the work that we were producing.

Finally, to finish the day, our group decided to head back to the hotel to rest and then we went out for dinner. Today, we were able to walk around and choose our own dinner and upon coming back to the hotel afterwards, everyone seemed very happy! During our final meeting of the day, we discussed things we discovered about ourselves on the trip so far and goals that we wanted to set for ourselves tomorrow.