On the Second Day of Christmas…

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:

Two simple blocks,
and a snowman family straight from the sea.

Robyn’s reaction: “How cute! I assume I’ll get the bodies later?”

I thought I’d explore a new medium this year. As a first attempt in sculpting with clay, these minimal, tectonic snowmen are a bit unrefined, but are nonetheless good examples of time-tested design principles (or, as Robyn would say, the type only an architect would love):

  • Simplicity – using minimum elements to get your idea across often leads to bold and powerful forms.
  • A Strong focal point – creates order from chaos.

    Adding a hat band: Notice how your eyes bounce back and forth between the red and the orange
  • Contrast of texture and color – the shiny, glazed orange carrot is much more special due to the contrast between it and the colorless, unglazed head and hat – more so than if everything was glazed.
  • Strong proportions. The head is an exact cube and the cylindrical hat fits within an imaginary cube of the same size.
  • Breaking from convention. Using a cube-shaped head vs. the expected round causes the observer to think about the object.
  • A combination of straight vs. curved forms provides interest.
  • When everything is special, nothing is. Color is only used on the carrot. If the hat was glazed black (yes, black is a color), for example, the carrot would have less impact than it currently has (on the other hand, it would look more like a snowman! 😉 ).

Click here to see the first day of Christmas.

Published by

Tim Bjella

Principal architect and interior designer for Arteriors / Bjella Architecture.

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