Introduction to sculpting with wax

Course Dates: 16/09/22 - 21/10/22
Time: 18:00 - 21:00
Location: Keeley Street
Explore the versatility of wax as a sculptural material, by melting, joining, cutting, filing, manipulating and moulding it, to create a small wax relief sculpture. This course is perfect for both beginners and those wishing to refresh their skills. You will be guided through the sculptural techniques by a tutor who is a specialist in this area.

Your finished green wax relief sculpture can be kept, or you can join one of our mould making and casting courses to transform your sculpture into another material, for example bronze, pewter or Jesmonite. Please see the course outline below for more details.
Book your place
In stock
Full fee £229.00 Senior fee £183.00 Concession £149.00

Course Code: VU222

Fri, eve, 16 Sep - 21 Oct '22

Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)

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?

Wax is a fantastically versatile sculpting material to make your ideas ‘come alive’ in 3D form. You will work in a well-equipped sculpture room, with guidance and support from the tutor. On this course you will be introduced to the basic principles of design, and wax 'carving' and moulding. You will then practice these techniques to create a wax relief sculpture. You will be in encouraged to experiment and explore at every stage to gain confidence in making.

Additionally, you will be introduced to the history of wax sculpture and take inspiration from other artists. To get the most from this course, students will be encouraged to make ongoing evaluation of their work-in-progress, and research artists that work in wax to expand and develop their own work.

An important element of the course is to learn and put into practice the Health & Safety of materials, tools and equipment used to sculpt with wax. This course is also an excellent starting point for those interested in mould making and casting.

What will we cover?

- A brief history of wax sculpture.
- How to research to make a basic design for a wax relief sculpture.
- An introduction to the various types of waxes used for the lost wax process and silicone rubber mould making.
- Wax tools and equipment used to carve and mould wax.
- Simple wax cutting, filing, manipulating and moulding to create a relief form.

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

- You will have explored and experimented with different sculptural techniques to create a finished wax relief sculpture.
- List tools & equipment needed for making wax sculpture.
- Name the different properties and uses of microcrystal and green wax.
- Analysis your work-in-progress to improve your final wax relief sculpture.
- Follow Health & Safety procedures for sculpting with wax.

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

This course is suitable for both complete beginners and those with some experience who wish to refresh their skills.

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

Teaching methods include group and individual demonstrations, and guidance from the tutor throughout the course. Group discussions are encouraged during classes to develop your knowledge. Research between classes is also encouraged, but not compulsory. For example, the research of contemporary and historical sculptors using the library, exhibitions and the internet, to develop your ideas.

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

All necessary materials and equipment will be provided and are included in the course fee.

You must wear sturdy shoes that cover the whole foot (no open toe). Please also wear old working clothes or bring overalls.

We also recommend that you bring a sketchbook/notebook and pencils to sketch and make notes. A camera is also useful to photograph your work.

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 similar course to develop your skills further or try something completely different. You could join our wax carving for the foundry course to recreate your wax sculpture in bronze. 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! Alternatively, 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, or calling 020 7492 2700 Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm.

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.