Jeff DaCosta | Student Portfolio

Please click images for quick reference portfolio and scroll down for student project descriptions 

Image # 1- 4: "Letter Project"  Intro to 3D Design 2008 

      For this project Students explored the creative process as a distilled series of steps that enable effective planning and viable foresight in the making of an object. Craft, in conjunction with the ability to follow directions, were key for this project. Students were limited to specific materials and size requirements and were instructed to select the first or last letter of their name for the letter template. After completing the letter, they then created a form or object of personal significance that started with that letter.


Image # 5:  "Wire Project" Intro to 3D Design 2008

       For this project students were instructed to explore line and mass relationships by constructing a wire replication of a chosen device, machine, or tool. Through this seemingly simple process students examined not only the essence of material composition but also what esthetics are gained or lost in the conversion from an essentially illustrative two dimensional form into the three-dimensional realm. Students first deconstructed the physical object through a series of two-dimensional drawings as a means to better understand the transitions from line to that of the object. After accurately drawing the form from three separate perspectives they were then responsible for the objects replication in wire media. As an additional requirement the wire form had to have a similar mechanical function to that of the original object and be notably larger in scale. In this example the handcuffs actually lock. Since the original handcuffs were a children's toy there is no key and the locking mechanism is released through a simple lever.

Image # 6-9: "Culture Clash Project" Intro to 3D Design 2008

       For this assignment students were instructed to select a Pre-1900 culture that they were interested in. Through multiple research sources (Internet, film, literature, museums, anthropologists, and historians) the students were instructed to hone an adept knowledge of their chosen culture, as well as a thorough understanding of that society’s art and artifacts. Based on their research they were instructed to select a uniquely 21st century electronic device and combine it with an object of their pre-1900s culture, hence the term “Culture Clash”.


Image # 10-13: "Wood Project" Beginning Sculpture 2008-2009

      For the Beginning Sculpture wood project, students were required to combine two different types of wood (processed and unprocessed or naturally found wood) into a single cohesive piece. These criteria enabled students to use virtually all standardized wood shop equipment while also exploring more traditional hand tool techniques. 

Image # 14-19: "Metal Casting Project" Beginning Sculpture 2009-2010

      For the bronze-casting project students were to consider the archival quality of the material and create an object they felt would be worthy of both the present and the future. Additional criteria required that the piece have a single mechanical feature. 

Image # 20-24: "Crest Project" Ancient Casting Methods Intermediate and Advanced Sculpture 2009

      For the Crest Project students were required to research the symbols and meanings of heraldic crests in a variety of cultures and devise their own contemporary version to be cast in recycled aluminum.
Note: Particular to this course, students were taught early metal casting techniques from ancient Greece, India, and Peru, to create works out of recycled aluminum salvaged from the City of Tucson. As a summer course that ran twice, and the economy being of concern, the course was designed to utilize entirely renewable materials. The budget was derived from student lab fees that amounted to $200. By pulling resources, and hard work on behalf of the students and myself, we poured over 500 lbs of aluminum in homemade greensand, with molding material acquired from a dirt lot. The amount of work generated from these courses was substantial and exceeded a typical semester’s production.
      In addition to the valuable experiences and results of the students, the course concluded well under the $200 budget.

     Images # 25-27,: “Series on Motion: concrete, rammed earth and ice” Advanced Student Solo Exhibition 2010

12” x 12” x 12” cubes arranged in a square configuration of approximately 31’, Concrete, Rammed Earth, and Ice

      More Independent as an advanced student, the project criteria was largely up to the individual as this was an opportunity to explore the students specific interests and challenge themselves both conceptually and physically to create a substantial piece. In this example the student was investigating the material transitions of three different media: concrete, rammed earth, and ice. Recognizing natural forces, such as gravity and the elements, all materials are essentially in a fluid state of motion or transition. The student selected three different materials with different kinetic traits to establish this dialog of transition and demonstrate these properties on the physical plane.