Wax sculpting for lost-wax casting with Abigail Burt

Ref: SWE32465

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About this course

Wax sculpting for lost-wax casting is a relaxing introduction to the art of lost-wax casting, during which you will learn how to sculpt with natural wax and create items of your choice.

Course Description

Starting with a short presentation on lost-wax casting, you will then begin to work with an understanding of the global and historical context of the craft.

You will work with 200g of natural modelling wax, made by the tutor according to a traditional Newari recipe, using locally sourced beeswax. You will be guided to sculpt a subject of your choice. The possibilities are vast. Lost-wax casting is a technique used diversely, from sculpture to jewellery, to engineering, to household functional objects. Your tutor is enthusiastic to guide you to create something specific to you.

There will be an option for the sculptures to be left with the tutor to be bronze cast for an agreed additional fee, or kept safely for use on a follow-on, comprehensive bronze casting course later on in the West Dean calendar.

By the end of the course, you will have learnt an array of basic techniques for wax-sculpting. You will understand the use of wax sculpting within the context of lost-wax casting, as well as a ground knowledge of the whole process of metal casting, through a light introduction to the global and historical culture of lost-wax casting.

You will be given enough methods and understanding to be comfortable to continue wax-sculpting of your own accord following the course. Your tutor is an advocate of making methods accessible, and will emphasise the possibility of sculpting easily from home.

Course Materials


  • On this course, the tutor will supply some of the materials, including the natural modelling wax.
  • The College will supply some of the materials, including spirit lamps, isopropanol/methylated spirits, tools and equipment.

What students need to bring

  • A pencil
  • Simply bring some ideas of what object you would like to make.
  • Appropriate clothing as the course is held in the Sculpture Courtyard which is open on one side

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good variety of general art supplies
  • Available from tutor:
  • Bronze casting service

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. Please note: Your workshop will be in the Sculpture Courtyard, which is a 10 minute walk from the main house through the walled garden, or can be accessed by car. The Sculpture Courtyard is open on one side, so be prepared for any type of weather. Morning coffee and afternoon tea will be held in the nearby Carrington Studio. You will return to the main house for lunch.


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


Abigail Burt

Abigail Burt is a Royal College of Art Sculpture MA 2020 graduate. Her artist practice considers our connection with our environment, with an emphasis on ecological awareness and public participation. In 2019 she founded Kinstinct Arts, an arts and ecology platform, from which she is currently running the project Lost-Wax for Lost-Species. 


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

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Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.