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Modelling/Sculpture Courses

The participants will study natural forms, especially that of the plant by observation, clay modelling and various drawing techniques.


Place: Almoçagemeor at a venue to be concorded
Schedule: to be arranged
Participants: groups from 4 to 6 people
For more information: please contact us


The following theme blocks give participants an overview of the evolution of the course. Every block will require a different amount of time.

  • Clay modelling/sculpture course

    The participants will study natural forms, especially that of the plant by observation, clay modelling and various drawing techniques.

    • Introduction to convex/concave with natural forms;
    • Soul gestures. Expression in simple human figures. Introduction to pure form, in contrast to figurative form;
    • Plant metamorphosis. Sequence of forms;
    • The human head;
    • Study of Michelangelo's figures for the Medici capella. Creation of pure forms inspired by this study;
    • Basic scultural laws. Up/down. Inside/outside. Weight, volume, and movement;
    • A further development of the concept of metamorphosis the creative process can be seen as a process with seven time-steps (study of various sculptors work in this context).
    • Further study of other sculptors work using clay modelling and drawing.
  • Other Media/Techniques

    • Drawing using charcoal and chalk sticks;
    • work with natural materials: simple exercises related to Land Art (e.g. Andy Goldsworthy, Richard Long). Photography of the works.

The Renewal of Sculpture

I begin here, like Goethe with nature.

Goethe: to whom Nature begins to reveal her open secret, experiences an irresistable longing for her close relative: ART.

The finest works of Art are at the same time the finest works of Nature, created by mankind from the laws of Nature. Everything which is selfish, or arbitrary collapses: there is necessity: there is God

The renewal of sculpture in our intellectual, materialistic dominated times is for me founded on the simple beauty, the incredible rightness and the invigorating vitality of the natural world, and especially in the plant.

Goethe, the writer of Faust, and the scientist researching natural phenomenen (as one sees in his works on the Theory of Colours and the Metamorphosis of the Plant) was profoundly interested in nature.

To observe, study, draw or model a pine cone, or a seashell, or the sprouting bud of a horsechestnut are a great help at the beginning of our sculptural studies. In the plant one can experience the laws of growth, the rhythms, the qualities of the four elements (fire, earth, air and water), convex/concave, expansion/contraction, and metamorphosis. These same laws underpin sculpture. They are laws and the phenomenen of what Rudolf Steiner calls "the etheric world".

Sculpture should not be an arbitrary, "do anything you feel like" or "whimsical" but has fundamental principles, laws, and guidelines. Many readers may remember, the sculptor who sold to the Tate, a small quantity of builders bricks as a sculpture at what the general public exclaimed was an extortionate price! Or more recently, another sculptor who as part of an installation of her bedroom exhibited (quite literally) her soiled underwear. The artists are absolutely right. They reflect perfectly our times: a loss of direction, or sense, and an escape into sensationalism.

We must make a new beginning, and start with the basics. To learn to use and develop our senses to experience the world of form. To look at nature with fresh eyes, to experience what really is living there. Clay modelling and drawing are good techniques for this.

Having acquired some of these basic elements one can move on to working directly in the material, using the classical sculptor materials: wood and stone. For example, using an axe, an archetypal wood fashioning tool and a section of tree trunk we can find a form. Or with just a hammer and two stone chisels, and a piece of found beach limestone we enter into a dialogue. One can begin using the concepts of Goethe to dialogue with Nature, and contribute to her what is truly Human: the Creative Spirit.

Michael Motteram, Spring, 2005

Sculpture    Sculpture

Sculpture    Sculpture