Program Overview

In this two-week course, students will be introduced to experimental casting methods using urethane rubber, plaster, and hydrocal to explore the multitude of formal possibilities in casting. Students will combine made and found objects into a castable form that they will use to make a mold in urethane rubber. Students will then place made and found material inside the mold that will be filled with plaster to create the finished shape. The result of the process leaves a textural pattern all over the cast made from the interior object. This process allows room for experimentation with a variety of materials while building concrete and reusable skills. There will be a large focus on the presentation of the completed casts that will emphasize craftsmanship in both the treatment and display of the finished objects. This emphasis will act as a foundation of material understanding that can be applied to all future art endeavors, as well as providing a distinct advantage within the educational system.

In addition to the collection of technical skills the students will be exposed to an assortment of conceptual influences to showcase the intellectual rigor that is standard in a tier one research school like Syracuse University. This course is a NASAD (National Association of Schools of Art and Design) and New York State accredited, intensive studio arts course that will take place within the expansive facilities of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University. Students will be able to work amidst some of our most celebrated faculty and high achieving graduate students to get a clear sense of what it is like to pursue a career in art. In addition to the direct contact of artists within the University, students will travel to an offsite artist residency program to see other examples of working artists in a space dedicated to three-dimensional exploration. Throughout the course, students will be introduced to various faculty and graduate students that are exploring ideas and forms related to the class. Students will be expected to take full advantage of the intellectual capital within these interactions by writing and discussing ideas amongst themselves and visiting artists.

At the end of the course the students will be able to make their own molds, professionally document artwork, as well as discuss the formal and conceptual qualities of an artwork. Students will walk away with the object or objects that they have created, a reusable mold for further exploration, and professional level documentation of their work for their college application portfolio. In addition to the physical take always students will have a taste of a college level critique, a history of writing and developing ideas, and a sense of the intellectual benefits that are found in discussion amongst an artistic academic community.

Program Objectives

  • Obtain a basic technical understanding of casting and documentation
  • Use casting with experimental interior materials to explore pressure, space, visual presence, and form
  • Show the importance of technical craftsmanship and finishing skills in the making of a sculptural object
  • Provide confidence in the career path of an artist by showcasing alternative material resources and residency opportunities
  • Spark new ways of communicating about space, form, and texture through critical discourse.
  • Spark new ways of communicating about the meaning of objects and symbols with an emphasis on their interactions in combination.

Learn more about 3D Art: Casting:

Program Dates & Details  Eligibility Requirements  Program Cost   Program Requirements   Typical Day   Faculty Bios 

Program Dates & Details

Session Dates

Session III: July 27 – August 9, 2019
Duration: 2-weeks


Credit: 1 credit
Grading System: A-F

Students that successfully complete this course for one-credit can apply the credit toward their BFA degree in the School of Art at Syracuse University.

Eligibility Requirements

Students must be a minimum of 15 years of age by the orientation and move-in date. For full Summer College admission requirements, view the Admissions Overview and Eligibility page.

Portfolio Requirement

Students are required to submit a portfolio to be considered for the 3D Art: Casting program. Please attach portfolio pieces online with your application via SlideRoom. Instructions are provided in the application.

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Program Cost

Program Costs:

  • Residential: $3,460*
  • Commuter: $2,666*

*Please visit our Program Costs page for more detailed information. Program rates are subject to change and will be approved by the board of trustees in March.

Program Requirements

Student Expectations

This is an academically rigorous, college-level program. Students are expected to complete nightly homework assignments and actively participate in group projects. Students are expected to attend all classes every day, arrive on time, and meet all academic obligations. Free time will vary as each program is unique, as is the subsequent workload.

Typical Day

Tentative Schedule

  • 9:00am – 9:30am – Discussion of homework
  • 9:30am – 11:00am – Mold making demo – Urethane Rubber mold side one and two
  • 11:00am – 12:00pm – Explanation of castable materials – what works, what doesn’t, and why
  • 12:00pm – 1:00pm – Lunch
  • 1:00pm – 2:00pm – Visiting Artist Lecture
  • 2:00pm – 3:45pm – Discussion of work with Artist – students not meeting with artist work on sketches and preparing materials for casting
  • 3:45pm – 4:00pm – Clean up studio – discuss homework for next class

When class is over, and on weekends, students can look forward to various Summer College trips and activities. Check out our Campus Activities page for more information!

Field Trips

The class will take two field trips off campus. We will go to a space like Sculpture Space in Utica, where students will be able to see a large facility dedicated to the making of 3D forms. A site like Sculpture Space will show the students possibilities of art making beyond the educational institution with the presence of resident artists and shop technicians.

We will also take a trip to either Hooches or Syracuse Haulers so that students can gather odd materials for casting. In addition to the wide selection of materials this will also show students alternative spaces in local communities for buying materials as opposed to Home Depot or Michaels. These spaces offer history, community, and affordable prices.

End Event

At the end of the class there will be a group exhibition in the Sarah A. Coyne Gallery of Art in ComArt. This exhibition will take place Friday morning from 9am to 12pm. During this time, there will be a critique of work with visiting faculty and graduate students. Parents are invited to the exhibition. Please note: after the exhibition and lunch break there will be a cleanup period for the rest of class. This cleanup period is mandatory with the exception of a note from a parent saying the student must leave before the cleanup period.

Final Academic Obligation

Students are permitted to leave on Friday, August 9 upon the completion of the end event. If students have any questions regarding their final academic obligation, we encourage them to reach out to their instructor. Please refer to the Move-Out page for important information regarding the checkout process.

Faculty Bios

Charles Hickey

Charles Hickey is an interdisciplinary artist from Atlanta, Georgia currently perusing an M.F.A. from Syracuse University. Hickey received a B.F.A. from Winthrop University where he worked as a technician in the wood shop, metal shop, jewelry metals shop, and the WU Creator Space. At Syracuse University, Hickey currently works as an instructional associate in the digital fabrication lab and previously worked for a year as a prop builder for Syracuse Stage. Hickey has made the collection of technical skills a priority in his educational experience so that he is more capable of tackling three dimensional problems from a variety of fabrication backgrounds. From digital modeling to hand sculpting, Hickey brings an array of technical knowledge that is the focus of his teaching. His work and research deals with the use of singular units to create complex superstructures. Hickey pulls on his experience in chamber choir and as a modular origami builder to better understand the basic algorithms and mathematical structures that can take a singular voice or triangle and build a chord structure or icosahedron. Hickey works in a variety of mediums including drawing, sound, video, plaster/ice casting, found objects, and digital fabrication.

Brett Morgan

Brett Morgan is an artist currently in the M.F.A. Studio Arts program at Syracuse University. Brett received a B.F.A. and a B.S.E. from Millersville University of Pennsylvania, where he concentrated in Ceramic Sculpture and became certified in K-12 Art Education. Currently, Brett works primarily in the ceramics department at Syracuse as an instructional assistant in clay making and a volunteer teaching assistant for the slip casting ceramics class. Brett’s work is currently centered on his childhood upbringing in rural Pennsylvania, his relationships with domestic kitsch objects, his family, and himself. Using ceramics, Brett creates objects and collections of objects that describe and depict narratives of memory and self-discovery.