Carving Clay

Carving Clay

How does sculptor Halima Cassell make her carved ceramic works? Find out and get inspired to try yourself.

Key Stage:

KS 3&4


This lesson can be used:
-to start a sculpture project,
-to foster an understanding of the link between discoveries made outside the arts, and artists practice
-to practice the use of maquettes as preliminary studies for 3d work and be aware of its similarities to the use of sketches prior to painting.

Suggested Classroom Activity

This film shows artist Halima Cassell at work in her studio and talking about her carved clay sculptures. This film introduces the processes and helps to explain some of the thinking behind her work. The aim of this 4 minute film is to inspire students to want to have a go themselves at using the techniques demonstrated in a similar way to Halima does.

Suggested Classroom Activity cont

In this short clip Halima Cassell talks about how a project at college inspired her to find her own identity and helped to develop her work into what we see today.
Task the students with a similar project to the one that so inspired Halima at college. Ask your group to design a decorative ceramic form inspired by a holiday destination they know or wish to research. Their inspiration could be Clacton, it could be Casablanca, it is entirely up to them.
What you will need

What you will need

To make a clay sculpture in response to the brief you will need:

-Your own geometric design inspired by a pattern on a building near you.


-Simple pottery clay carving tools

Examples of geometric sculptures

This example sheet shows work by artists making sculpture using geometric designs in a similar way to Halima Cassell. It may give you ideas for your sculpture design project.

Download examples_geometric.pdf

Development Activity:

Find out more about the artist featured here by watching the short video Who is Halima Cassell . Students explore practical and relevant critical and contextual sources such as the work of historical and contemporary artists, craftspeople and designers and the different purposes, intentions and functions of art, craft and design as appropriate to their own work.

Learning Objectives:

Through using this lesson plan students should:
- increase their proficiency in the handling of different materials.
- gain knowledge and understanding of the work and approaches of artists, craftspeople or designers from contemporary and/or historical contexts, periods, societies and cultures.
- learn to refine their ideas as work progresses through experimenting with media, materials, techniques and process.

Research, Notes and Links:

Download this lesson plan