Approaches to Sculpture

Foundation Material and Making is an exciting introduction to various approaches to sculpture and wider three-dimensional practice. Using materials close at hand and easily accessible, the course helps develop an investigative approach to making. You will build key creative and technical skills, alongside visual and contextual awareness of recent sculptural history. 

By learning through doing, you will explore a wide variety of materials and creative processes. You’ll create sculpture, drawing, installation, textiles and photography, as you expand your knowledge and skill set and are encouraged to look critically at the materials in your local environment.   

The course is structured into five sections, each focused on a particular theme; Assemble, Modular, Tension, Scale, and Shaping. You will undertake a range of three-dimensional exercises and projects to develop your ideas and understanding. By exploring key theories and methods surrounding contemporary sculpture and wider three-dimensional practices you’ll develop your skills as a sculptor. 


What is Sculpture at the OCA?

As an art form, sculpture is steeped in history and tradition. More recently artists around the world see this as an expanded art form, embracing a vibrant and eclectic multi-disciplinary approach to making. Studying Sculpture at OCA, you’ll explore sculptural making processes, looking to transform ideas, objects and material through imaginative and experimental approaches, utilising a dynamic range of media. We aim to make sculpture accessible for you building your critical voice as well as learning new skills.

What will I be studying?

Taking this course will develop your ability to make mixed-media sculptural objects, site-specific projects, and installations.  As well as this, you’ll cover more traditional object making skills using materials such as wood and clay. Throughout, you’ll keep a learning log to help you document your journey, taking down notes, and helping you to develop skills in making, observation and criticality. 

You’ll learn from the work of other artists to inform how you go about making sculpture. From the repetition and abundance in the works of Tara Donovan, or those of Roman Signer which looks at gravity and balance, you’ll gain a thorough basis to work from. Using skills of observation, you’ll think about how and where to place, and install your works for best effect, considering their size and scale.

What to expect from Foundation Material and Making?

Foundation courses can be transformative for people looking to develop new skills, seeking a change of direction or wanting to diversify their creative output. This course promotes invention and exploration through making to challenge expectations and develop a personal creative voice.

Material and Making aims to ignite your imagination and open up possibilities for working in three-dimensions. Guided by Adam Thompson and Doug Burton, you’ll broaden your awareness of the scope within sculptural practice.  Throughout, you’ll keep a learning log to help you document your journey, taking down notes, and helping you to develop skills in observation and criticality. On completion, you’ll have the skills developed to further explore sculpture, either in your own practice or to go onto degree-level study.

Course outcomes:

On successful completion of the course you’ll be able to:

● Demonstrate basic technical skills for working in three-dimensions.

● Employ appropriate assembly and construction techniques for a variety of

outcomes and compositions.

● Document and present ideas for making sculpture.

● Understand key ideas around contemporary sculpture.

Combine Sculpture with other art forms

Once you’ve completed Materials and Making our Creative Arts degree allows you to explore sculpture in conjunction with other art forms to create truly multi-dimensional art.

Creative Arts

Elevate sculpture through Fine Art

After you’ve finished Materials and Making, our Fine Art degree takes sculpture and gives you free rein to explore sculpture to the ends of your own imagination.

Fine Art


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