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Sculpture Class and Course Descriptions

Sculpture classes are often a part of a degree program but can also be taken for personal interest. Continue reading the article below to get more information about what to expect from sculpture classes.

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Essential Information

Sculpture classes may be required for a bachelor's or master's degree in sculpture or studio art. These courses are also available through adult training centers and continuing education courses for individuals interested in pursuing the craft of sculpture for personal interest.

Here is an outline of common concepts taught in sculpture courses:

  • Material exploration
  • Tool familiarity
  • Ceramics
  • Molds and casts
  • Figure modeling
  • Woodcarving
  • Metals and welding

Students taking these courses will learn how to create 2-and 3-dimensional works of art using ceramics, metals, wood and other materials. Creative theory and art history may also be a part of the instruction in sculpture classes

List of Sculpture Classes

Introduction to Sculpture

This class explores the various materials used to create sculptures, which include wood, plaster, steel and stone. Students learn how to manipulate these materials and use sculpting tools safely. They analyze other works of sculpture through reading, discussion and critique and examine geometric, abstract and organic forms. This class is generally taken first in a sculpture program.

Ceramic Sculpture

This class covers non-functional ceramics and ways to use clay to create sculptures. Students create freestanding, handmade pieces using sculptural techniques, including coil building, form molding and carving and work with simple clay forms. They consider volume, weight, color, form, and texture while creating contemporary pieces. This class is often taken near the beginning of a sculpture program but after a design and beginning sculpture course.

Mold-Making and Casting

This class can be taken in the beginning of a sculpture or art program; students learn how to make and cast molds using slump, waste, piece and rubber molds. Students may also be taught the subtractive and additive methods of mold-making. They practice subtracting material while working with manual tools and use techniques like pointing, surfacing and finishing. Students learn the additive process by using wood, miscellaneous objects and mixed media to create molds.

Figure Sculpture

Students examine the materials and processes for sculpting figures using a live model. They investigate clay sculpture techniques focused on tool use, armatures and anatomy and can explore their own individual styles. This course also teaches students the history of the human figure in art over time. Figurative sculpture classes can be taken by beginning students with no art background or as a continuation of art courses in a sculpture program.

Woodcarving and Metal Sculpture

This class introduces students to the use of wood and metal for sculpting. Students learn the basic techniques of welding, forming metals and carving wood. The course combines discussions of metal and wood sculpture history with an exploration of an artist's creative process. Although wood and metal courses are sometimes offered separately, many sculpture programs introduce the two materials together.

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