Duchamp’s “Stoppages”

This semester I am finally taking my first sculpture course! I have been trying to fit Sculpture I into my schedule for the past two years so I am happy the course finally fit into my schedule this semester! I am taking the course with Professor Nikki Moser and I am truly enjoying every moment of it so far. She is filled with new and innovated projects that I have never tried before, which I admire! We are currently working on a project that I am dying to talk about for this week’s post!

Last week, Nikki assigned a project titled Duchamp’s “Stoppages”. The project is designed to promote random chance by creating a newly designed tool/”Stoppage.”

Our first step was to take an eighteen-twenty four inch string and drop it from a distance onto a piece of cardboard as many times needed until we reached a line that was appealing to us. Then we had to trace the line created from the dropped string and cut along the line leaving us with two contour edges. We had to do this three times creating three different tools/”Stoppages” for the project.

For my first “Stoppage,” I stood normal, straight up and dropped my string. It took me between seven to ten drops until I got this appealing wavy, mountainous looking line. The string I used was quite tricky because it formed close creating these overlapping curvy lines instead of stretching out like the shoe lace did, which I used for my other two “Stoppages.”

For my second “Stoppage,” I chose to use a shoe lace for my string, as mentioned above. I wanted to try a few different kinds of strings, which was encouraged by Nikki. However, this time I stood on my bed and dropped the shoe lace. For the first four drops, I missed the cardboard terribly. Then I squatted down a tad and got this beautiful inclined/declined line.

Finally, for my third “Stoppage,” I used my shoe lace once more and stood normal, straight up just as I did for the first stoppage. It took only two drops this time to get a line that I found appealing. I liked how the shoe lace created this line with a pointy top.


For our second step, we are taking our three tools/”Stoppages” and using them as a guide or ruler in a sense to create different shapes. We are allowed to combined the different “Stoppages” together to created these shapes. With these shapes, we will use them to create a dimensional piece.

At this point, I used/combined my different “Stoppages” together and created these interesting shapes.

Shapes from Stoppages

I have no design in mind currently. I want to see what I can come up with in the moment based upon how the different shapes interact with one another. However, I do know I want to work with the idea of motion and interaction just as Marcel Duchamp did with his Readymades!


3 thoughts on “Duchamp’s “Stoppages”

      1. that’s great! do you go to university, or is a community college or something like that. how do you fire your creations? at school?

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