Clay sculpture: life and portrait

Course Dates: 08/01/24 - 25/03/24
Time: 18:00 - 21:00
Location: Keeley Street
Follow in the footsteps of Michelangelo and Rodin and learn how to capture the human figure, both physically and emotionally, on this fascinating practical sculpting course. You will work from a life model to develop your own clay sculpture of the human form.
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Full fee £499.00 Senior fee £399.00 Concession £324.00

Course Code: VU791

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Mon, eve, 08 Jan - 25 Mar '24

Duration: 12 sessions (over 12 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

A wonderful opportunity to work directly from life models, male and female, to observe the human form, study simple anatomy, and create a small figurative sculpture and a life size portrait in clay. Your work will be fired at the end of the course. Suitable for all levels of experience. The course will start with working from several poses, short and long in duration. It will develop to one longer pose of 4 or 5 consecutive sessions, to allow time to work from the model and understand his or her anatomy to achieve more ambitious work.

What will we cover?

- Simple anatomy.
- Using clay effectively to create a small sculpture.
- Preparing the sculpture for firing.

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

- Use basic anatomical awareness to inform your sculpture.
- Manipulate clay.
- Use a variety of textural techniques to enhance your sculpture.
- Prepare a sculpture for the kiln.
- Appreciate the work of other sculptors who have worked from the life model.

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

All abilities welcome.

You will need to be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions to support demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information, and be prepared to take part in group discussion.

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

You will mainly be taught on an individual basis, with some group discussion. The emphasis will be on practice with guidance.

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

All materials for the course are provided.

You must wear flat sturdy shoes with a closed toe. Please also wear old working clothes that you do not mind getting messy or bring overalls.

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

The City Lit sculpture department offers a wide range of exciting courses that will allow you to progress from beginner to advanced and learn a range of techniques. After this course you may wish to join a course in a material or process you have tried before to develop your skills further, or try something completely different. We offer courses in prop making, metal, clay, wax, carving in stone and wood, mould making and casting in Jesmonite, and much more! You may wish to progress onto the year-long City Lit Sculpture course VU841, which helps you to build your own individual sculpture practice.

We are constantly adding new courses. Please ask your tutor for advice or browse the City Lit website for inspiration. It is also possible to contact our visual arts team by emailing, or calling 0203 880 2415 Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm.

Valerie Merlo

Valerie Merlo is a sculptor, who specialises in bronze casting. She has an MA in sculpture from the Royal College of Art and teaches at City Lit alongside her art practice. She has a strong interest in drawing, which she uses when working towards her sculpture, which she makes from her studio at ASC studios. Valerie is a very experienced tutor whose personal approach to sculpture feeds into her teaching, by encouraging students to explore the creative boundary between drawing and sculpture. Her focus is on supporting students to develop individual projects from direct observation of the figure, their imagination, exploring and experimenting with materials and from research into the work of other artists; both contemporary and historical art. javascript:WebForm_DoPostBackWithOptions(new WebForm_PostBackOptions("ctl00$ctl00$SystemContentPane$ContentPlaceHolderWorkflowActions$LinkButtonFormSubmitted", "", true, "", "", false, true))

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.