Start carving

Course Dates: 30/04/19 - 14/05/19
Time: 18:00 - 21:00
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Tutor: Shelley Wilson

Did you ever want to learn the basics of ancient carving technique? This course explores the first steps by carving into plaster, clay and soap to create small/medium scale simple sculptural forms.


What is the course about?

This course is perfect ‘to have a go’ to learn the fundamentals of relief and carving in soft materials before committing yourself a longer stone or wood carving course. Work from this course can also add to your portfolio. You will be introduced to basic design, proportion and scale, basic carving techniques using soft materials; to tools and equipment needed to create your carving.
Everyone will work alongside each other in a mutually supportive environment in which you will learn both from your tutor and each other.

What will we cover?

- You will be introduced to a variety of materials; tools and equipment used in this course.
- You will learn how to develop an idea from a brief, using research and preparatory design drawings.
- You will produce a maquette in clay to be used as an aid to create a carved sculpture.
- Carving techniques into ‘soft ‘ carving material such as damp/wet plaster, clay and soap.
- A brief introduction to traditional and to contemporary carved sculpture.
- Health and safety issues relating to materials, tools and equipment and within the sculpture studio.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Follow a brief to produce a design to create a relief and/or 3D carved sculpture
- Incorporate scale & proportion
- Prepare for a carving by marking out the form
- Create a small and medium scale simple carved sculpture in plaster, clay and in soap
- Explain what sculptural tools and equipment are needed and fit for a specific activity
- Develop individual expression, creativity and confidence producing your own creations
- Work independently and make aesthetic judgements towards the finished sculpture
- Be aware of health and safety issues in materials & equipment used in the course and through studio practice with consideration towards others.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

All levels welcome.
Students should be able to follow written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information, and will be expected to take part in group discussion. You should be able to use numbers and be able to do measurements and calculations.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

You will learn through practical demonstrations, group and individual discussions and tutorials, slide lectures and personal tuition. A wide range of learning resources and equipment are provided.
In order to ensure that you make the best possible progress on your course, you will have regular feedback from your tutor, in a constructive and supportive environment.
In addition to the above, students are encouraged to do some homework outside class.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

All basic tools and materials provided.

If you would like to buy art materials for your personal use outside of the course, Build students receive 10% discount off everything* from Cass Art, the UK's leading art supplies retailer. Your tutor will advise you on what you should buy. You will need to show your enrolment receipt in-store to receive your discount. Visit the Charing Cross shop at 13 Charing Cross Road WC2H 0EP or find your local shop at *Terms and conditions apply, visit

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

You may like to do an introduction into VU967 Surface Finishes in clay and plaster
Alternatively, the year-long Build sculpture course (VU841) which helps you to build an individual sculpture practice and culminates in an exhibition in Central London. 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


Book your place

Course Code: VU999

Tue, eve, 30 Apr - 14 May '19

Duration: 3 sessions (over 3 weeks)

Full fee: £109.00
Senior fee: £109.00
Concession: £66.00

Or call to enrol: 222-66-889-99

Download form & post

Any questions? [email protected]
or call 020 7492 2700/2703

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online . You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.