Brian Fell’s ‘top tips’ for sculptors

(Last modified: February 11th, 2019)

We’re really excited to get our latest competition up and running. One of you budding sculptors will win a place on Brian Fell and Owen Cunningham’s ‘Midsummer Metal’ course over at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Sculptor Brian Fell working with metal

All you have to do is get your creativity flowing and show us your latest and greatest work. To give you some inspiration for your entry we dropped in on Brian to get his ‘top tips’ for sculpting a masterpiece:

Inspiration  

Take a look back into the history of sculpture. There are a limitless number of styles and subject matters from different eras. Find one that means something to you and start there.

Equipment

The best place to work is an industrial premises that has a lot of space and light. It’s good to get the help of qualified technicians to help choose good quality equipment. At the very least you’ll need a vice, hammers, drills and an angle grinder. If you can afford it, invest in a bench shear for cutting sheet metal and an arc welder. You might also want to think about getting yourself a plasma cutter, a MIG/TIG welder and oxyacetylene equipment, but these can be a little pricey.

Techniques

There are tons of amazing books on sculpting techniques, along with engineering books which can be really useful. There are also plenty of videos on YouTube if that’s how you prefer to learn. The best way I find to learn new sculpting techniques is practice – that’s what ‘Midsummer Metal’ is all about.

Draw

Doodle, draw and sketch out your ideas. Pen and paper are your best friends. After you’ve got a design you’re happy with, try making prototypes – wire, rod and even matchsticks are great. I personally use scissors, card and glue.

Health and safety

Last but definitely not least, make sure you stay safe in the studio. The bare minimum you’ll need to properly protect yourself are leather gloves (not rubber), toe protectors, goggles and earplugs.

That’s about it. Drink tea. Have fun. It’s only art.

Get involved in the competition here.