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Clay Sculpting

1hr 50min artist-led workshop for KS1 - KS4

Using a range of tools and techniques students will create clay sculptures inspired natural objects and the shapes and textures of Barbara Hepworth’s work.

Session overview

Focusing on the sculptures of Barbara Hepworth, this workshop explores the inspirations behind her artworks and her use of shape, texture and materials. Through a series of looking and drawing activities in the galleries, pupils will be encouraged to observe the artworks, and record their ideas and creative responses.

In the learning studios pupils will use these ideas to inform their exploration of clay. Experimenting with a range of tools and natural objects they will create individual clay sculptures, considering shape, form and texture.

In groups they will then collaborate to tell the story of their artworks in their own sculpture displays and be encouraged to critically think about their work.

Take back to school

Pupils will create their own clay sculptures using clay. Once fully dry (at school) they can be painted, or left as their natural clay colour. Please bring boxes to transport the work back to school.


£185, 10% discount for Wakefield district schools

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Key Vocabulary:

Shape, Texture, Pattern, Surface, Sculpture, Form, Two-Dimensional, Three-Dimensional, Landscape, Inspiration, Organic, Natural forms, Assemblage, Process, Surface design, Composition

Learning outcomes and curriculum links

This workshop inspires and challenges pupils to experiment with new materials and create their own works of art. They are encouraged to think critically about the art they experience in the galleries, developing their visual language.

“The workshop was really exciting for the children. We don’t get to use clay often as teaching wise our expertise are sometimes limited. This was a fabulous way to get the children excited, yet focused on clay.” Year 4 teacher, Sandal Magna Community Academy


Art and Design

  • Produce creative work exploring their ideas and recording their experiences in the galleries.
  • Experiment with different types of art and materials, including drawing techniques and working with clay.
  • Use drawing and sculpture techniques to develop and share their ideas.
  • Learn about artist Barbara Hepworth, her importance in history, and make links to their own work.


  • Develop vocabulary and visual literacy in response to the artworks they see.
  • Articulate opinions on the artworks and convey ideas confidently.
  • Participate in collaborative conversations and use discussion in order to learn, elaborating and explaining their understanding and ideas about the artworks and their own creative work.


Art and Design

  • Produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences in the galleries
  • Use a range of techniques and media to record their observations and increase their proficiency in the handling of different materials.
  • Evaluate and analyse creative works, using the language of art. Develop critical thinking to analyse their own artwork and that of others.
  • Learn about great artist Barbara Hepworth and understand the historical and cultural development of her art form.

Design and Technology

  • Learn how to take risks, and be challenged to be resourceful and innovative to identify and solve problems.
  • Use specialist tools, techniques, processes and equipment.
  • Test, evaluate and refine their ideas.


  • Develop new specialist vocabulary and visual literacy in response to the artworks.
  • Use discussion in order to learn; elaborating and explaining clearly their understanding and ideas about the artworks and their own creative work.
  • Listening to and building on the contributions of others, asking questions to clarify and inform.

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