Clay sculpture on an armature
Dora Gordine was a famous female sculptor of her time and made many portraits of famous and not so famous people in her studio at Dorich House in London. These were mostly modelled in clay on a wire armature a technique that is still used by artists today.
Find out more about how they were made and give your class the opportunity to work in exactly the same way as Dora Gordine by watching the videos below.
Key Stage:KS 3&4 Art and Design
Overview:This lesson plan can be used:
To start a sculpture project.
To develop ideas and understanding of processes and materials.
As part of study of any artist using armature building or modelling in their work.
As part of individual study
Sculptor Dora Gordine
Dora Gordine modelled heads of famous people, friends and locals at her studio in Dorich House. Her sculpture was made by modelling clay on a wire armature and was later cast into bronze or plaster. In this video Glyniss Lipscombe from Dorich House Museum describes how she worked.
There is a longer version of this film elsewhere on CultureStreet where a Year 9 group find out about Dora Gordine, Dorich House and her other sculpture.
Modelling in clay on a wire armature
This short time-lapse video shows the making of a basic wire armature and the addition of clay to make a simple sculpture of a head.
This is a low cost workshop that anyone can try by watching the video a few times and seeing how the artist works. If you follow our top tips you will have success.
What you will need
To make a clay sculpture in response to the brief you will need:
-Some bendable sturdy wire and a small piece of chicken wire for the armature and a piece of chipboard with four holes drilled in it. Ready made armatures for heads are available to buy but they tend to be expensive so we made our own.
-Clay. We used the cheapest terracotta clay but any grey pottery clay will be fine. We used a basic pottery clay tool set but you can use plastic cutlery or anything else you can find.