What is the course about?
This is a course for beginners to pick up the basic techniques for sculpting, as well as learning how to research develop and improve ideas, and make basic design drawings and models. Through a series of short projects you will get to grips with techniques including model-making, casting, construction, and stone and wood carving. You will be introduced to the work of a wide range of sculptors, consider ways of developing your ideas and improving your designs, and learn how to make basic drawings and maquettes for your sculptural pieces.
Please note this course will not have the scope to focus on figurative work, so those wishing to pursue this as their main aim should consider the sculpting from life courses: VU790 VU791 VU792 VU988.
What will we cover?
The initial sessions will take the form of short projects, covering basic casting, carving and construction, and production of a series of models/maquettes to understand these approaches. The later stages offer opportunities to extend these techniques and to use research to develop and resolve a personal sculpture project. You will have a chance to work with clay, plaster, metal, wood and plastic in addition to found materials. You will be fully supported in this process with expert tutorial guidance and technical instruction.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- model a relief in clay and produce a press mould form
- cast a relief in plaster
- build a supporting armature to construct a piece
- work with wire and steel rod to explore 2D/3D ideas
- construct an object or abstract form using metal and wood
- make a small simple carving
- produce an assemblage using found object or materials
- demonstrate an understanding of the development of contemporary sculpture
- research, plan and produce a personal sculpture project.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is designed for complete beginners, but if you come with some experience the course does offer opportunities to extend your technical skills and understanding of the subject.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Through demonstrations, practical activities, short research talks/presentations, group discussions, individual tuition and feedback. You will be encouraged to research and record sculpture ideas outside of sessions, including visiting relevant gallery exhibitions.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
A selection of equipment and tools is provided and basic materials are included in the course fee. If you wish to try a small carving, stone and wood will need to be purchased from the department, costing about £8-£15. You should bring a sketchbook and pencils (2B, 3B or 4B pencils are recommended). Access to a camera/phone camera would be useful to record your work. Stout footwear must be worn at all times in the sculpture studio.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You could continue to the Build Sculpture course- VU841, where the focus for intermediate-level learners will be on extending technical skills and developing a focussed personal sculpture project. Alternatively the Build sculpture department offers a wide programme of courses that will allow you to progress from beginner to advanced as well as master a range of techniques such as Sculpture studio:develop personal work or you could join specific specialist courses like Carving in wood or stone or introduction to working in metal and wire to further your skills. Ask your tutor for advice or browse the Build website or prospectus for inspiration.
General information and advice on courses at Build is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details