Handbuilding Ceramics and Sculpture for 13+ Art Est Art School and Gallery

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Handbuilding Ceramics and Sculpture for 13+

Handbuilding Ceramics and Sculpture for 13+

This is a great sculpture class for students keen to work with clay and learn various ceramic hand-building techniques to make sculptures in clay. Through structured activities and projects, students will learn the fundamental skills of hand-building in a professional ceramics studio. 

Download the course outline and images here.

Students who are continuing on from previous terms will build on their skills and knowledge of making ceramics. During the term, they will plan and make their own personal major project or series of projects under Carol’s assistance and supervision.

Students who are new to ceramics will be guided through various small projects designed to introduce basic handbuilding techniques over the first 3 weeks. With these skills, students will be equipped to undertake their own larger projects. 

Students will learn fundamental hand-building techniques such as coiling and slab rolling that they can utilise in the design of a body of work to build over the term course. Students will also become familiar with decorative techniques such as sgraffito (mark making), joining clay bodies together and expression through coloured slips and underglazes. 

The first three weeks will consist of practices aimed at gaining familiarity and an understanding of clay to expand our experience working with the medium. These exercises will introduce the foundations needed to approach hand-building ceramics in order to work in a more sculptural style. 

Students will also receive help in planning their major work that they will begin building in week 4 and continue to grow over the next four weeks. This will include knowledge towards conceptualising that will coincide with the construction stage of their project, with the outcome of achieving their goals within the course. 

The final class will be dedicated to glazing their bisque fired works, students will learn basic skills aligned with glazing and techniques for correct glaze application that will conclude this particular body of work after its last firing. Students can expect to complete a significant body of work while establishing competence with the medium through the duration of the course.

What to expect

Week 1: Intro to hand-building - Understanding coiling. Students will begin working with clay to understand how coiling will assist with building structure in hand-building ceramics. 

Week 2: Intro to hand-building - Understanding slab rolling. Students will learn how to incorporate slab rolling techniques into the design and framework of their clay forms. This will also invite the opportunity to describe surface decoration such as sgraffito that students will be encouraged to explore throughout the course. 

Week 3: Thinking & Designing - Students will be supported in the organisation and design of a body of work they wish to work on for the remaining classes. This will include mapping ideas, refining concept and describing an outcome they wish to achieve. This will occur simultaneously with further practice toward advancing hand-building skills, use of underglazes and surface embellishment. 

Week 4: Project week 1 - Students will begin the elementary stages of their project, working on the base level of their sculpture or commencing the production of their body of work

Week 5&6: Continuing building - Students will use this time to reach their objective in their body of work with the instruction of how to best achieve a successful outcome. Students will also engage in aesthetic choices to elevate their work during these classes. 

Week 7: Finalising the body of work & ready for bisque firing - Students will have their final opportunity to paint and build their project, adding the finishing touches and with this understanding the importance of intention within ceramics as works are unable to be altered beyond their initial firing. 

Week 8: Glazing - Students will spend their final class glazing their body of work using clear and coloured gloss glazes. The importance of correct application will be taught with a general understanding of glaze properties and what happens during glaze firing. 


Materials are included in the course fee and several pieces will be fired to take home. 

Is this class right for my child?

This class is aimed at students aged 10 and older. 

About our studio classes

Our class sizes are small, ensuring all students receive the individual tuition they need. We have a maximum of 12 students per class. For kids and teen classes, art materials are included in the fee. To learn about our studios, kitchen facilities and how to get there, click here.

Save on your art class

Art Est accepts Creative Kids vouchers and memberships to help you save on your art class, along with regular discounts for current students. To find out what you are eligible for and how to book with these, visit our special offers and discounts page:

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