A journey in scultpure through armature making

Explore armature - the 3D framework or skeleton used to create greater pieces of sculpture, which are often intriguing artworks in their own right. Use a range of materials and techniques such as drawing, soldering wire, welding steel rods and plaster sculptures in this fascinating course.

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Teacher Date Day Time Sessions Fee Enrol
Steve Holland 25 February Saturday 10am-2pm 10 $750 Join our mailing list

Course outline

In sculpture, an armature is a sturdy skeleton or framework around which clay, plaster or other materials can be modeled. An armature is a three-dimensional drawing which describes the essence of a finished sculpture and can be seen as a work of art in its own right.

This course will focus on the aesthetics and structure of armatures. It will explore armature making through a series of creative projects leading to the creation of a wire framework sculpture developed over a number of weeks. You will be introduced to a range of materials and techniques including drawing, soldering wire, welding steel rods and plaster sculptures. Discover your own sculptural expression as you adopt an individual and playful way of working in three-dimensions.

  • Week 1: Draw the sculptures
  • Week 2: Wire and newspaper figurative sculptures
    • Materials needed: soft fencing wire, tie wire, fencing crimps and wire clips, soldering irons, flux, solder, newspaper, masking tape, wood glue
  • Week 3: Sculpture drawing at National Gallery of Australia
    • Materials needed: A4 and A3 drawing paper, cardboard drawing board, drawing equipment
      Introduce geometric plane drawing techniques
  • Week 4: Wire and plaster sculpture based on drawings
    • Materials needed: soft fencing wire, tie wire, wire mesh, plaster, modelling tools
  • Week 5: Wire and plaster sculpture development
    • Materials needed: plaster, modelling tools
  • Week 6: Major project of making a wire framework for a sculpture
    • Materials needed: paper, drawing equipment, steel rod, wire
  • Week 7: Making a wire framework for a sculpture - cardboard model
    • Materials needed; cardboard, hot glue gun
  • Week 8-10: Making a wire framework for a sculpture

Learning outcomes

Students are introduced theory and practice in sculpture. Outcomes include:

  • Exploration of physical and conceptual qualities of different material.
  • An appreciation of historical and contemporary sculpture references.
  • Apply techniques of balance and geometric reference.
  • Creating a visually stimulating project.

Who should enrol

This is an introductory course suitable for all. Students planning to undertake future academic study are encouraged to participate and create a portfolio for submission to School of Art.

Course materials

You will need to bring a basic sculptor’s toolkit and some materials of your own choosing to incorporate into a wire framework sculpture. Other materials such as wire, plaster and steel rod will be provided.  

  • A3 drawing pad
  • Drawing implements; charcoal, a range of pencils, pens and felt tipped markers
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors
  • Cutting knife with a retractable blade
  • Several rolls of tie wire; fine and medium gauge
  • Long nose pliers
  • Bull nose pliers
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Camera to document sculptures


Steven Holland is a recent PhD graduate from ANU School of Art Sculpture Workshop. He works as a lecturer at the School of Art and is a practising sculptor. To see some of Steven's work please visit the following site, www.stevenmarkholland.com.au

Updated:  19 June 2017/ Responsible Officer:  CCE Manager/ Page Contact:  CCE Webmaster