Workshop with found materials

Workshop with found materials

Make sculpture with what you find around you. Inspired by artists like Andy Goldsworthy, this group went collecting! Artist Heather Toulson, from Yorkshire Sculpture Park, then helped with sculpture-building techniques. The temporary sculpture was recorded in photographs.

Key Stage:

KS2 Art National Curriculum: Primary Art.

Learning Objectives:

Pupils should be taught: to increase their proficiency in the handling of different materials


Watch artist Heather Toulson demonstrate how to make a sculpture with found materials at Yorkshire Sculpture Park and then have go yourself with things you find around your school The 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. We are always keen to showcase those images in the Culture Street gallery so please send them to us. 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.


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


Making a personal selection of materials.


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


Practicing techniques by making individual sculptures.

Start group

Starting a large-scale group project.

Build group

Constructing the piece: the need for collaborative work.

End Product

Reflecting on the process and the end product.

Teachers view

A teacher reflects on the social-skills benefits from the workshop.

Development Activity:

Make a sculpture on the beach or in the woods using our interactive activity Trees and Tides This activity allows the user to create land art in a virtual environment. There are no instructions the user has to be the artist and work it out for themsleves. Tips. Be aware the wind gets up in the woods and the tide comes in on the beach if you take too long. The pebbles can be cracked and scratched using a rock and a hole can be dug with a stick to create a black space.

Research, Notes and Links:

We have produced a  lesson plan to accompany this workshop.