Sculpture - working with found materials

Sculpture - working with found materials

This lesson plan introduces the idea of making sculpture from natural materials found in the landscape around you. Firstly watch artist Heather Toulson demonstrate how to work with found materials at Yorkshire Sculpture Park and then have go yourself with things you find around your school.

This workshop was delivered on one half day by artist Heather Toulson with a group of Year 6 pupils. We suggest you break the workshop into two sessions, individual and group sculptures. The end product of these sessions should be a series of photographs and not the work itself which is meant to be temporary. For the group sculpture we recommend that you create groups no bigger than six to eight pupils otherwise it becomes difficult for everybody to be fully involved without adult intervention.

Follow the links on this page to find out more about the work of Andy Goldsworthy.

Key Stage:

KS2&3 Art and Design


The six films show how the group we worked with created sculpture from found materials. This lesson plan can be used to:
To start a sculpture project.
To develop ideas and understanding of processes and materials. As part of study of any artist using natural materials in their work.
As part of individual study.

Andy Goldsworthy

Begin by watching this film of artist Andy Goldsworthy at work in the gallery at Yorkshire Sculpture Park on a large scale chestnut screen.


Ground rules for collecting natural materials to be ingredients for a sculpture.


Making a personal selection of materials

Joining Techniques

Techniques for joining materials; pinning with thorns, tying with string and weaving.

Individual Sculptures

Practicing the construction techniques by making individual sculptures.

Starting a group sculpture

A large-scale group project with more substantial materials.

Building a group sculpture

Devising new techniques for construction and the need for collaboration.

End Product

Reflecting on the process and the end product.

Teachers view

A teacher reflects on the social-skills benefits from the workshop and the links to other parts of the curriculum.

Development Activity:

Elsewhere on CultureStreet you can find out more about Andy Goldsworthy and his exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. There are other sculpture lesson plans and content around sculpture.

Andy Goldsworthy

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

David Smith

The Kelpies

Learning Objectives:

Pupils should be taught:
to increase their proficiency in the handling of different materials
1. identify the materials used in the work of Andy Goldsworthy and the reasons for using those materials
2. identify techniques used in producing sculpture from natural materials
3. create an individual small scale sculpture using the techniques outlined
4. create an larger scale group sculpture using the techniques outlined
5. realise that there are contemporary artists who create art as a living....understand the motivations behind the choice of art as a career
6. to review what they and others have done, say what they think and feel about it and what they might change

Research, Notes and Links:

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