Sculpture with Surrey Adult Learning

The sculpture studio at the Guildford Centre is full of character; a comforting musty odour - the reflection of years of paint and clay – meets the olfactory senses. Learners are busy focusing on their individual projects and a life model is preparing to sit. The creative spirit flows and learners are intensely passionate about their individual pieces of artwork.

The course welcomes all levels of learners with a desire to learn more about sculpture and the SAL Tutor Mark Swan is incredible. He has been teaching and mentoring learners to reach their goals for many years. Some of the learners attending Mark's course are at the beginning of their learning journeys, whilst others are mastering their craft, refining and perfecting their skills towards becoming professional sculptors.

Several of the more experienced sculptors are also active members of the Surrey Sculpture Society and showcase their pieces at events during the year, including high-profile venues such as RHS Wisley and The Savill Garden.

Learner Ali Osman was busy making the finishing touches to his personal sculpture War Horse, an extraordinary endeavour and the result of extensive research and design. Ali comes from a very artistic background, having completed a Bachelor of Arts and Design degree in Rome with the intention of moving to the US to pursue a filming career. He originally came to England to master the language but settled here and went to work for Yorkshire Television in publishing.

Ali explained the process behind the creation of his sculpture which involved hundreds of sketches, a final rough, and armour to build up the shape and support the head of the horse. Ali uses newspaper, aluminium, and metal supports. The clay was used to build up the sculpture to the right shape, but he didn't expect the horse sculpture to get this big.

In order to track the progress of his sculpture, Ali took photographs, and the eye of the horse had to be re-positioned on several occasions.

Unfortunately, Ali was unwell for some time, resulting in the clay sculpture drying out. It is taking a lot of work to soften the clay so that Ali can finally complete his clay sculpture, which includes casting it in rubber and completing the finish with a bronze casting
Ali complimented the skill of SAL tutor Mark Swan and said: "This class is great, Mark helped me to get it back again; he is knowledgeable and approachable."

  • Updated: 31 May 2020