Surface finishes for clay and plaster
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street
This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
Course Code: VU967
Duration: 4 sessions (over 4 weeks)
What is the course about?
This course is an introduction to a variety of surface finishes on bisque fired clay and plaster. The course explores and discusses a variety of historical and contemporary sculptors who used the surface finish as an integral element of their sculpture.
You will be encouraged to look at your current practice of surface finish on sculptural form and how this could be developed. Through guidance you will be encourage to take an experimental approach to generate a variety of surface qualities using oxides; bronze powder; or shellac and pigments, graphite, inks, acrylic or waxes. This will enable you to develop potential original surfaces and advance your sculptural practice.
You are encouraged to bring along small bisque fired clay or plaster sculpture to work with in the final week.
There will be a background presentations, practical demonstrations, group discussions and opportunities for working alone and in collaboration.
What will we cover?
• Brief introduction how artists use the surface finish as an integral part of the finished artwork.
• How to make clay and plaster test tiles to experiment with.
• Introduction to various mediums, methods and techniques to achieve a variety of creative surface finishes.
• How to write meaningful records of the experiments, analyse results and problem solving.
• Encourage you to make critical decisions, making skills in relation to their own artwork and self-
expression, as a member of the group.
• Introduce to Health & Safety issues and procedures of materials used within the course, including best practice within the sculpture studio.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Name and illustrate different ways to create surface finishes using a variety of different mediums and techniques on bisque fired clay and/or plaster
• Understand and demonstrate how to make and analyse the results of experimentation, mediums and techniques
used to develop your practice.
• Demonstrate how to work independently and make aesthetic judgement to develop potential original surfaces and
advance your sculptural practice.
• Name three artists and their sculptural practice regarding surface finishes.
• Have a basic awareness of Health & Safety practice of materials and tools used and within the sculpture workshop with due regard to self and others.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions to support demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion. 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?
You will learn through practical demonstrations, group and individual discussions and tutorials, slide lectures and personal tuition. Research homework is encouraged to get the most from the course, however, this is optional.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Please bring one small clay or plaster sculpture [optional], a sketch/notebook and a camera.
You must wear sturdy shoes. Please also wear old working clothes 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 similar course 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! 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling 020 7492 2700 Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm.
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.