Sculpture – a local artist study of Dame Barbara Hepworth

Project Overview

Year 1 have been learning about sculpture this half term. They have looked at lots of different examples of sculptures and know that sculpture is three dimensional (not flat and can be viewed from different angles). They looked closely at the work of local artist and sculptor Dame Barbara Hepworth and some of the exhibits at The Hepworth. First, the children worked with modelling clay  and practised making spheres by rolling the clay between the palms of their hands or using the board and their hand. They tried really hard to make three spheres the same size and get the shapes nice and smooth. Next, they learned how to make a sausage, trying to keep the thickness of the clay the same consistency throughout by rolling evenly. Finally, using a clay tool the children made a hollow in one of their pieces. Once the children had practised these basic skills they moved on to working with natural clay. They made similar shapes but this time they had to learn how to score the clay and use slip to make their clay pieces fix together. They used the clay tools to add texture to the surface of the clay. The children worked really hard on their sculptures and had a great sense of achievement once they were finished.

What The Student Says

“It was hard work softening the clay but I enjoyed squashing and squeezing it!”.

“I think my sculpture looks great! I like the hollow and you can see through it.”

“I loved working with real clay. It was messy, cold and wet. I enjoyed making spheres, rolling the clay round between my palms.”

What skills were developed?

The children have:

  • learnt how to soften clay using their hands
  • made sphere shapes with increasing accuracy
  • learnt how to roll a sausage shape with equal consistency
  • used clay tools to good effect to add texture
  • learnt how to score the clay and use slip to fix pieces of clay together
  • learnt how to create an interesting 3d sculpture
  • learnt how to make a hollow using their hand a nd clay tools

What The Teacher Says

The children have really developed their fine motor skills throughout this unit of work and have thoroughly enjoyed learning about sculpture. They loved looking at the work of local artist Dame Barbara Hepworth and were keen to have a go themselves using the modelling clay and natural clay. Many skills were practised – softening, rolling and shaping the clay, scoring the clay to make the pieces fix together and finally adding hollows and texture using the tools. I think their sculptures speak for themselves. Awesome work year 1!