Modelling, casting and other techniques

Sculpting with steel with Andrew Smith

Ref: SLW09074

Suitable for all

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About this course

Discover the potential of steel for making sculpture. Demonstrations on steel fabrication and manipulation are given and through an evolving process of composition, you will then create a unique and accomplished personal object.

Course Description

The aim of this course is to create unique sculptural metalwork pieces. You are encouraged to exploit the potential of steel to evolve and create individual constructed items of steel. Projects are based on individuals' ideas, and are developed with the guidance of the tutor.

Technical tuition runs simultaneously with ideas development, encouraging the individual to become more confident in generating unique objects in steel.

Instruction is given to enable welding, torch work, bending, curving, cutting, heating, general forgework, abrasion (power tools and hand tools), finishing.

By the end of the course you should be able to exploit the unique qualities of steel to fulfil personal project ideas in a dynamic and individualistic way. You should be able to create sculptural elements in steel, using a variety of steel and fabrication techniques.

Discussion and slide lecture underpin studio work, as well as historical reference and imagery.

Tools are provided for the course, and advice can be given by the tutor if students wish to purchase tools following the course. It is not necessary to buy tools for the course other than the items listed below.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • All fuel costs and mild steel stocked by the College.

What students need to bring

  • You will need clothing suitable for workshop use, together with steel toe capped boots. Please note that cotton or wool clothing is preferable to nylon or other synthetics. A pair of cotton jeans is far more protective than a pair of nylon trousers.
  • For your safety it is mandatory to wear steel toe capped safety boots when undertaking a course in the Forge. Students must provide their own footwear and bring them with them to wear on the course. If you fail to bring suitable footwear, you will not be able to take part in the course.
  • Safety boots can be purchased from most tool hire shops and builders merchants as well as online.
  • Protective Clothing Supplied:
  • Leather aprons, work gloves, safety spectacles and ear defenders are provided in the Forge, and suitable protective clothing must be worn.
  • You may wish to bring any of the above, if you have them. If for example you have particularly large or small hands, your own work gloves are likely to be a better fit.

Available to buy

  • Drawing equipment (ie. sketchbook, pencil, pencil sharpener, rubber)

Please note: This course is held in the Forge which is 10 minutes walk from the main house through the walled garden, or can be accessed by car. We have morning coffee and afternoon tea at the Old Dairy but return to the main house for lunch. Please note that tutor supervision is required at all times when students work in the forge.


Andrew Smith

Andew, an experienced artist, craftsman and tutor, trained at the Royal College of Art. He has a large portfolio of architectural and public art commissions, from sculpture to functional metalwork. Andrew has substantial teaching experience at University level and has been teaching metalwork at West Dean College since 1987.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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