Go back to school and discover your inner sculptor

Andrew Sinclair is an excellent teacher on The Sculpture School's courses. Photo: The Sculpture Scho

Andrew Sinclair is an excellent teacher on The Sculpture School's courses. Photo: The Sculpture School - Credit: Archant

Devon-based centre shows students pioneering techniques and ways to create sculptures

Andrew Sinclair is an excellent teacher on The Sculpture School's courses. Photo: The Sculpture Scho

Andrew Sinclair is an excellent teacher on The Sculpture School's courses. Photo: The Sculpture School - Credit: Archant

I think the sum total of my listening to anything an art teacher told me is a rather pathetic sanded wooden fish with some odd looking scorch marks on it which I think, dredging my memory bank to the day probably 40 years ago when I created it, might be an attempt to give it scales.

Artistic talent and I don’t walk hand in hand, you see. In fact, as soon as I was able to drop art classes at school, they were gone from my curriculum quicker than you could say ‘Michelangelo’. Heck, I even opted to study biology instead.

Which is why I drove into the car park of The Sculpture School with a mixture of dread and indifference welling inside me. Dread because I really was not sure my attendance on a Taste of Sculpture one-day workshop was going to be a good use of my time...and dread because anything I thus managed to produce as a result of my efforts would be laughable.

How wrong I was on both counts. I came away from the day enthused and energised at what I had learned. And, more to the point, in my possession was the beginnings of a sculpted head which, for me, passed my two benchmarks for a sculpted head: 1) it hasn’t fallen to pieces and 2) it actually looked like a human head.

The Sculpture School classroom is a lovely place to learn. Photo: The Sculpture School

The Sculpture School classroom is a lovely place to learn. Photo: The Sculpture School - Credit: Archant

But how had this miracle occurred? Andrew Sinclair; that’s how. Andrew is the co-founder of The Sculpture School, situated in a bright, airy and spacious studio classroom in the heart of the Devon countryside near North Tawton.

With over 25 years of sculpting experience, Andrew is an authority on sculpture, design, anatomy and the human form. A passionate sculptor, he will work with you to fully develop your inherent artistic capability. He is a very rare person in the sculpture world: his skills and talents extend across every aspect of the sculpture process, from the design, sculpture, moulding and casting, to engineering and installation.

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And what joie de vivre and enthusiasm he brings to the topic. And perhaps most importantly in regard to The Sculpture School’s courses, Andrew is not only a first class sculptor, he is a great teacher too. It’s all well and good knowing your stuff, but passing it on to others is another matter. Andrew, an enthusiastic and knowledgeable presence throughout the day, is a superb communicator.

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How else can one explain that by lunchtime of the one-day course my fellow six students and I had the makings of something which was obviously the form of a human head at our work tables? Andrew’s explanation of technique, human form and his general relaxed attitude meant no-one felt overawed or belittled or left on their own.

We were all having a great deal of fun, sparking the idea in my mind that going on a course at The Sculpture School could be a fabulous experience with a bunch of friends or relatives. You’ll revel in your own creativity as you witness surprising results all round.

My own day-long efforts meant I ended up with something which looked passably like a human head as my sculpture, albeit in need of a fair amount of additional work to the eyes. And it had no ears at all, which clearly made it a work in progress.

Suitably buoyed by my first attempts at sculpture, I suggested to Andrew that I might now move on to having a go at the ears, only to be rightly told “That’s a whole course of its own, Andy.” Indeed it is and all the more reason for me to get booking for a return visit soon.

ALL ABOUT ANDREW

Andrew Sinclair MRSS is an award-winning sculptor whose recent public commissions include the David Bowie Sculpture The Earthly Messenger (Aylesbury 2018) and The Duke of Wellington Regimental Memorial Sculpture.

His first book The Art of Earth and Fire was published in 2017 to critical acclaim, with leading artist and sculptor Wendy Froud commenting: “Andrew Sinclair’s book, The Art of Earth and Fire, is a revelation. His techniques for teaching the complexities of anatomy, proportion and muscle structure are the clearest and most precise I’ve ever had the pleasure of discovering.”

Andrew is the co-founder of The Sculpture School, in Devon, which attracts students from around the world to learn from this master sculptor.

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The Sculpture School is the only establishment in the UK dedicated to teaching contemporary realist sculpture. The ethos is one of excellence: mastering traditional and contemporary sculpture skills, understanding anatomy, learning how to ‘see’ shape, and most of all, dynamic and energy curves.

Unique to The Sculpture School is the Sinclair Method™ of Sculpture designed by Andrew Sinclair. This innovative method incorporates Design Criteria™, anatomy and proportion, using Dynamic and Energy Curves™, The Rapid Sketch Technique™. Whatever your ability, this ground-breaking system will revolutionise the way you approach sculpture by breathing life and energy into your work.

These techniques and methods are the core elements of all The Sculpture School’s courses and are the exact same processes that Andrew Sinclair employs in his professional sculpture commissions.

The workshop fees include everything: all your materials - clay, armature wire, back-irons and plentiful refreshments are provided.

There are a wide range of courses now available for 2021 which can easily be viewed and booked via The Sculpture School’s website. All courses are suitable for beginners too.

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