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Introduction to Sculpture: Appropriation and Assemblage

Course Times & Enrolment

This course is currently unavailable.

Course Summary

This introductory course will allow you to explore the origins, traditions and possibilities of using found, appropriated and ready-made objects in art. With the guidance of an expert tutor, these objects will be applied to experimental and playful making. Included is the opportunity to develop a personal project and work with clay and plaster, throughout, you will be encouraged to explore your own materials and interests.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

No previous knowledge of the subject is required.

Special Information

Materials you will need to bring to the first class:

  • Sketchbook and pencils

  • Camera to document work, phone or tablet camera is suffice

In addition to the course fee, students are expected to provide the following list of indicative tools, materials and equipment:

  • Students will be encouraged to provide a range of their own materials for experimentation and/or for developing their personal project. These could include traditional art materials or found, recycled or improvised materials.

  • A small simple range of hand tools can be useful depending on the materials students choose to bring e.g. pliers, sharp knife, tape measure, sand paper, file etc.

Content of Course

Each session, students will be introduced to various aspects in relation to the course, exploring a combination of context references and practical exercises and demonstrations, which include:

1. An introduction to working and thinking in 3D.

2. The importance of materials and where do we start?

3. An exploration for the potential of plaster and clay.

4. Explore the interaction and introductions to making a small relief cast.

5. Discuss and explore associations to objects/materials.

6. Demonstration of basic making methods, e.g. use of glue guns, cutting and joining wire, introduction to range of hand tools, pliers, hack saws etc.

7. Opportunity to develop a personal project, encouraged to explore material culture interests to develop their own visual vocabularies.

8. A series of slide show talks: From Duchamp to ‘Art Now’, Temporary art works and Object to Art-object; how context, physical environment and presentation changes things.

Teaching method(s)

This course will be based and delivered in specialist art and design studios or workshops and will typically include a range of practical exercises and introductions to techniques, processes and concepts. This is supported by practical demonstrations, group discussions, contextual references and one-to-one support.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a knowledge of traditions within the contemporary art of assemblage and appropriation of found and ready-made objects.

  • Pursue areas of conceptual and visual interest to experiment with materials, objects and methods of construction.

  • Produce a series of temporary or permanent small sculptures.


Core Readings


  • Holzwarth, H.W., 2012 Art Now Vol 3 Taschen

  • Moszynsk, A., 2013, Sculpture Now Thames and Hudson

  • Collins, J., 2007 Sculpture Today Phaidon

Web Sources


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.