Sculpture: inspired by Rodin

Course Dates: 18/07/22 - 22/07/22
Time: 10:00 - 17:00
Location: Keeley Street
In City Lit’s sculpture studio try out selected techniques used by Rodin to create your own sculptures, inspired by the Rodin sculptures in the Victoria & Albert Museum’s permanent collection.
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Full fee £249.00 Senior fee £199.00 Concession £152.00

Course Code: VU127

Mon-Fri, day, 18 Jul - 22 Jul '22

Duration: 5 sessions

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

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?

Rodin visited the Victoria & Albert Museum and was inspired by the cast rooms, especially work by Michelangelo. The V&A has 24 Rodin sculptures, including 18 given by the sculptor himself in 1914. It is said, Rodin paved the way for 'modern' sculpture, challenging accepted traditions in his figures, portraits, groups and conceptual works.

You will be introduced to the V&A’s cast rooms and Rodin’s sculptures in Room 21, The Dorothy and Michael Hintze Galleries, where you will explore and research Rodin’s working methods. Drawing was a criterial part of his practice before he used clay to form a three-dimensional sculpture, whether it be whole, or an experimental process in fragmentation, or relief. Another key element to his practice was his use of assemblages for plinths.

Day one: You will be given a brief history of Rodin’s art practice and discuss Rodin’s work before starting on ideas development for your own sculptures. In the afternoon you will visit the Victoria & Albert Museum as a group with your tutor, view Rodin’s sculptures and gather information.

Day 2 to 5: In City Lit’s sculpture studio you will learn more about who and what inspired Rodin, and the importance of scale and proportion in his work. You will use the knowledge you have gathered to develop and create small experimental sculptures in clay using modelling techniques. You will also have the opportunity to make a series of negative clay moulds and cast plaster into them, or make small sprig plaster moulds to create clay components to join. Day 2 will include drawing and making sculpture from a life model.

What will we cover?

- The safe use of materials, tools and equipment in the sculpture studio, relevant to the work you will do.
- Introduction to Rodin’s experimental creative process - the materials and technique he used, as exhibited in the Victoria & Albert Museum.
- Basic anatomy, fragmentation of the human form, scale and proportion.
- Introduction to clay modelling.
- How to make small plaster sprig moulds and cast clay.
- How to create a clay mould and cast plaster.
- Critical decision making skills in relation to your own artwork and self-expression.

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

- Have an understanding of the different experimental creative processes in Rodin’s art.
- Make a series of research drawings.
- Demonstrate improved clay modelling skills.
- Work independently and make aesthetic judgements to develop a finished artwork.
- Understand and practice Health & Safety relevant to the course.

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

All levels welcome. It is useful if you have some sculptural experience, for example working in 3-dimensions. However, beginners are very welcome.

You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions to support demonstrations and for health and
safety information. You should be able to use numbers and be able to do simple measurements and calculations.

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

There will be whole group and small group demonstrations and plenty of one-to-one help. You will be invited to take part in group discussions.

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

Students will need to bring a sketchbook, a camera and drawing materials, for example pencils. This is particularly important for the first day.

All other essential materials and equipment will be provided and are included in the course fee. However, if you have your own modelling tools please do bring them along.

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.

Your clay sculpture will need time to dry before it is fired. During the course your tutor will give you the dates when you can come to collect your fired sculpture.

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 try our clay sculpture courses, including VU109 Life figurative sculpture intensive, or another 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, or pewter 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 and culminates with an exhibition.

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

Shelley Wilson Tutor Website

Shelley Wilson is a multi award-winning national: international artist, a member of the Royal Society of Sculptors. Trained: Camberwell College of Art BA Hons Ceramics: Post-Graduate Sculpture Sir John Cass School of Art: Anatomy for the Artist at UCL. She has collaborated with the most eminent members of the scientific world to comment on topical science based & ethical issues, her exhibition Body Politic took the socio-political climate surrounding the General Election in 2010 as subject material in a celebration of the experiences of the 150 MP’s who stepped down at that time. Wilson’s inspiration is the human form, she combines the three disciplines of ceramics, sculpture, & photography. She explores expressive forms of visualization, experimentation, & interaction between materials & subject matter, taking inspiration from the physicality & psychology of the human form. Since 1989, Wilson has taught sculpture, ceramics, & drawing, from adult education - undergraduate including special needs. She has been Lead Artist in sculpture workshops at British Museum & National Gallery, awarded artists residencies schools in the UK & Europe.

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.