Organically inspired sheet metal sculpture with Cara Wassenberg

Ref: SLW33367

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About this course

Develop your organically inspired design for a sculpture or vessel in sheet metal. Explore a range of sheet metal techniques, including spot and mig welding, riveting and fold forming.

Course Description

This course is an excellent opportunity to create a small eye-catching sculpture for your home or garden and explore some of the many ways of forming and joining sheet metal. Using an organic form as a starting point, you will develop the design of your unique piece through sketches, the making of a simple model and discussions with your tutor. You will look at the different ways of achieving texture on steel, copper and aluminium.

Initially, the tutor will introduce you to the range of materials, techniques and workshop equipment available and will give you some short introductory demonstrations.

With this knowledge, you will start some hands-on experimentation with the materials - copper, aluminium and steel sheet and steel rod, to gain confidence. This will lead you on to developing and finalising ideas and designs for your piece.

There are group demonstrations of techniques at appropriate points, and specific techniques are demonstrated to smaller groups or individually. The tutor will give help and advice to you when needed.

Techniques covered include spot welding, cutting, drilling, riveting, hammer/block forming and fold forming, raising, colouring and finishing, and the making of simple tools to achieve different textures.

Course Materials


  • All fuel costs and mild steel stocked by the college
  • Leather aprons, welding gauntlets, goggles, welding helmets and ear defenders can be borrowed from the forge.

What students need to bring

  • Organic forms or natural objects for inspiration, such as seed pods, flowers, leaves, shells, stones, fruit, etc., which will be used as a starting point for the sculpture
  • Any other visual sources, e.g. photos (if possible printed out), books, pictures and sketches
  • A photo of where you think you might like to position your piece (can be helpful)
  • An image of another artist’s work that has inspired you
  • You will need to wear clothing suitable for workshop use, together with steel toe capped boots. Please note that cotton or wool clothing is preferable to nylon or other synthetics. Shorts do not provide necessary protection. For your safety, it is mandatory to wear steel toe capped safety boots when undertaking a course in the Forge. You must provide your own footwear and bring it with you to wear on the course. If you fail to bring suitable footwear, you will not be able to take part in the course. Safety boots can be purchased from most tool hire shops and builders’ merchants, as well as online.
  • You must wear goggles (provided) and suitable protective clothing for this course. Leather aprons, welding gauntlets, goggles, welding helmets and ear defenders can be borrowed from the Forge or you can bring them along if you have them. If, for example, you have particularly large or small hands, your own leather work gloves are likely to be a better fit.
  • There is a lot of hammering in the forge during this course, so you may want to protect your ears with smaller internal ear plugs, as well as the external ones provided by the college. The 3M E.A.R classic ear plugs are particularly effective.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good variety of art and craft materials, including sketchbooks, drawing materials, protective gloves, etc.

Additional information

Please note: This course will be in the Forge, which is a 10-minute walk from the main house through the walled garden or can be accessed by car. As this course is held in the Forge, morning coffee and afternoon tea will be held in the nearby Carrington Studio. You will return to the main house for lunch. Please note that tutor supervision is always required when you are working in the Forge. The tutor’s instruction on health and safety will include access to and use of the power hammer. Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes safety boots.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

General Information


Cara Wassenberg

Cara Wassenberg is a sculptor with 25 years' experience of working in steel, copper and glass. She trained at University of the Creative Arts, Farnham and teaches part-time on the BA Metalwork course at UCA. She makes sculpture for galleries, exhibitions and to commission.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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