As a teacher of the life study class at the Tom Bass Sculpture Studio School I am always inspired and excited by the opportunity to encourage students towards developing a truly personal sculptural language.
This class is not focused on the anatomical study of the body, though deep observational skills and an understanding of the anatomy are regarded as essential to the realisation of the finished piece and will often form a part of the discussions held over the course of the nine week term.
Fundamentally, this class is focused on stimulating a deep and considered attention to the human body as one of the most challenging and eloquent subjects for going deeper into one’s own process. At the outset, students will be encouraged to think about their intentions and motivations for making their work, with the end goal of developing a unique sculptural voice. This process can include the whole spectrum of artistic expression from realism to abstraction, and I will be encouraging students not to fall back into old habits, but to engage with the figure as a time honoured subject for developing a personal language of artistic expression.
As a teacher, I am happiest when, at the end of the term, I look around the studio and see every piece as a unique expression of the pose, each of them speaking in some way of the maker.
Each student will receive one bag of clay with which to work (you are encouraged to buy more clay if you want to work on a larger scale). The class will consist of six weeks with the one pose (a pose arrived at by a process of rigorous consensus), followed by three weeks in which students will have time to finish their work. We will work without armatures with the intention that the pieces be hollowed out and made ready in the last weeks so that by the end of term you will have a piece that will be ready to be fired. (Students who may prefer to cast their pieces in other classes are also encouraged to attend.)
Some previous experience of either sculpting with clay or working from a life model (life drawing included) is preferred.