Connecting Students to Clay and to themselves.
"Some years ago I was invited to talk to students from a school in the eastern suburbs.
I have been an artist specializing in sculpture since graduating from the VCA Melbourne University in 1995.
From this first contact with grade 5/6 students, I recognized school students have little contact with sculpture. I realized that art teachers try their best to give their student a wide range of artistic experiences, yet due to an extremely busy curriculum and timetables constraints, teachers are unable to offer the student the specialized knowledge the that I have learned over 20 year." Adrian Ward.
Adrian realized that art teachers are losing ground with their students regarding fine motor skills, under the increasing pressure of new technologies which occupy ever greater amounts of children’s time.
From this initial experience, Adrian began teaching grade 5/6 student, challenging and expanding their skills with one of the most difficult yet rewarding aspects of sculpture, self-portraiture.
"I have been amazed by the portraits students have created. They are totally honest in depicting themselves and are free from expectations which stop adults so often in the creative process," says Adrian.
The Portraite Classes.
"In the classes, I walk students through every aspect of their face details to be transformed into sculpture, while assisting the student that may be lagging behind." Adrian believes that no student should be left behind, at the same time, students need time to develop their artistic language.
Student knows how to make funny faces but the skill to make something from the real world takes real skill, skills that Adrian has learned to transfer to students, so they can really look and use their eye-hand coordination.
"I have refined teaching students, the nose, the eyes, the mouth, ears etc into a step by step process that can develop students ability for self-expression that creates a great end result." Says Adrian.
Also, Adrian gives students a healthy dose of sculptures art history while they are busy engaged in the process of creating.
Air Drying Clay.
Another important aspect of the classes is the Air Drying Clay. This specialized clay not only dries hard enough to paint but to be taken home and to last, as a record of the student's development at that age for prosperity.
Many schools have working kilns but to create this scale of portrait sculpture to be fired in clay would be impossible to achieve for so many students. It is not only possible but affordable in Air Drying Clay.
Other aspects of the classes cover Life Drawing and related art history as part of the course's curriculum.
The 8-11 week course offers an alternative educational process to the standard arts curriculum and is at the same time traditional sculpture practice.
Portraiture sculpture is a skill practiced by sculptors for thousands of years and for budding artists portraiture is the most powerful of artistic developmental journeys.
Fern Tree Gully PS Students Life Drawing,
from lesson one.
Eastwood PS Still Life Drawing, from lesson 2
Short course 8 weeks, full course 11 weeks.
The structure of the sculpture classes:
Drawing and Artist Talk.
Students will learn drawing techniques with a variety of still life subjects.
They will practice shading and using basic shapes to understand the building block of art used to understand the physicality of the world.
Armatures and tool making.
Students will assemble their armatures from prefabricated materials i.e. wood post and board, wire, foil, etc.
Students will also make their own tools from icy pole sticks.
Will be dedicated to modeling.
Students working under my instruction will learn comprehensive sculpting techniques from my many years of sculpting experience.
At the completion of modeling the portraits, the student will have the opportunity to paint their work with complete freedom of expression.
Students will finish and present their pieces.
to the class for review by their fellow students. An exhibition is also a possibility for all or selected works at a location at the school or council gallery space.