Paper sculpture – fluid forms with Richard Sweeney

Modelling, casting and other techniques

Ref: S1D11586

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About this course

Explore the potential of paper folding techniques to create your own unique sculptural forms. Learn the basic techniques of paper manipulation, including curved folding, pleating and modular form-making.

Course Description

An introduction to basic paper folding and construction techniques, in which you will learn how to manipulate paper into curvaceous, abstract three-dimensional forms.

Demonstrations will be provided to give an introduction to techniques, including curved folding, pleating and wet folding. Particular emphasis will be placed on curved folding, a method allowing for the creation of sinuous, twisted forms with a flowing, organic appearance.

Templates for several base shapes will be provided to get you started, and through playful experimentation, you will learn how to modify and develop these template patterns into new variations.

An approach to developing sculptural ideas inspired by patterns of growth in nature will be demonstrated, allowing you to realise unique sculptural forms based on simple principles of repetition and symmetry.

By the end of the course, you will have learnt a range of basic techniques and processes for creating three-dimensional paper sculptures. You will have a good understanding of how many artworks in paper are produced and be able to apply this knowledge toward producing your own work beyond this course.

This course is part of our 50th anniversary celebrations – learn a traditional skill with a selection of 50 special one-day courses inspired by original 1970s subjects or focusing on heritage crafts.


Timetable for one day courses

Students should arrive by 9am for registration.

Classes are from 9.15 - 5pm

Lunch is included.

Course Materials


  • On this course the College will supply some of the materials including masking tape, cartridge paper 140gsm, 160gsm and 220gsm and Bockingford 190gsm, glue gun and glue sticks, to be shared amongst the group, plus all tools required.

What students need to bring

  • Please bring your own stationery and sketching material – see materials from the available to buy list.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good selection of art materials – paints, papers, glues, etc.
  • Sketchbook
  • Pencil, pencil sharpener
  • Steel rule 30cm
  • Craft scalpel (not Stanley knife), replacement blade
  • Please bring any of the above if you have them.
  • Available from tutor:
  • Paper creasing tool
  • French curves
Wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. Safety boots, if specified.


Richard Sweeney

Richard studied 3D Design at Manchester Metropolitan University. Concentrating his study on paper folding techniques, he has since explored the medium to develop a sculptural practice. He has held workshops internationally and lectured at several institutions including the RCA. Richard exhibits work worldwide and has authored a book on paper sculpting methods, Paper Sculpture: Fluid Forms (published Autumn 2016).

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