Ceramic animal sculpture with Celia Allen

Pottery and ceramics Modelling, casting and other techniques

Ref: SLW12170

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About this course

Learn how to make hollow animal sculptures from flat sheets of clay with modelled additions. Working from drawings and photographs, you will seek to capture the essence of the animal and give your work a feeling of movement.

Course Description

This course will show you how to make hollow animal sculpture from a flat sheet of clay with modelled additions. It is suitable for those with some experience of using clay, looking for new methods of making.

Firstly, you will be shown how to make a three-dimensional animal sculpture from a rolled slab of clay, and then you will have a go at copying this, as an exercise just to get a feel for the technique. Then you can begin to make your own piece. Everyone will be taught individually, and it is advisable that you bring images, photos, drawings etc. of the chosen animal that you wish to make. Knowledge of the skeletal structure of the animal will be of a great advantage, and views from both sides: front and rear and from above, wherever possible, will enable a good outcome. The objective is to capture the essence of the animal and give the piece a feeling of movement.

We will be using flax paper clay, which gives excellent strength at the green stage and allows for clay additions at any stage of the making process, as it re-wets very easily. The method also allows for easy repositioning of limbs and other additions. Being hollow allows for shaping from the inside, if needed, and little or no hollowing out is necessary.

This is a list of suggested animals for you to choose from: hare, pig, goat, bull, sheep, dog, rhino and chicken.

Although lots of information will be available, please bring your own research as well. The aim is for you to leave feeling confident in the technique, and that you will be able to use or adapt it for whatever you choose to make in the future.

After the course, you may leave your work at the College for biscuit firing to collect at a later date. Should you wish to decorate your animal yourself in a painterly way, you will need to book a place on an an Underglaze Day suitable for ceramic animals/sculptural work. Otherwise, work is left unglazed after a biscuit firing. Alternatively, you may take your work away for firing, and/or under-glazing elsewhere.

Timetable

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 until 9pm, 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

Included

  • All clay and firing costs (large work in size and quantity may be charged extra).

What students need to bring

  • Images, photos, drawings etc. of the chosen animal that you wish to make
  • (Knowledge of the skeletal structure of the animal will be of a great advantage, and views from both sides: front and rear and from above, wherever possible, will enable a good outcome.)
  • Any modelling tools you have, fine tools are especially useful (marked with your name)
  • An apron and covered footwear

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good selection of art materials, sketchbooks
  • Modelling tools
Firing and Glazing Options: 1. Leave any raw, finished pieces that you wish to keep, for biscuit firing, and re-firing by the College, for collection within six months. 2. Leave raw, finished pieces for biscuit firing at the College. You can then book a place on a Underglazing Day and glaze/decorate your own work (allowing at least 4 weeks for your work to be biscuit fired). This work will be re-fired after glazing and available for collection within six months. 3. Take away your unfired sculpture for firing and glazing elsewhere. Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes).

Tutors

Accommodation

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

Courses of interest

Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or a Diploma in Art and Contemporary Crafts (10 three-day study blocks, over two years). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.

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