Short courses


Casting from Life and Artefacts (Summer School Short Course)

  • 18 hours
  • 3 days


On this practical three-day course you'll learn about the principles of moulding and casting, and experiment with different types of materials and mediums

You'll learn about life-casting from the human body, and casting from 'still' life, using objects or spaces provided for you or small objects/sculptures you bring in.

There'll be a focus on alginate and plaster moulding and casting. 

Alginate has been chosen as the core material because it's a natural material which has a short curing time, allows flexible and highly detailed moulds to be made and is a safe material to use.

The course runs from Friday to Sunday, 9.30am to 4.30pm each day. You'll also have the option of attending extra-curricular events such as talks and exhibitions on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

This course is part of the annual summer school run by the Slade School of Fine Art at UCL.

Course content and structure

This three-day course will consist of a mix of demonstrations and group and individual activity.

You'll learn a number of techniques including:

  • piece-plaster bandage moulds
  • poured and lay-up alginate moulds
  • casting in a variety of plasters and wax, both solid and hollow casting
  • experimentation with pigmenting, finishing and direct sculpting techniques

Using alginate will allow you to experiment with all these techniques in a short time frame, and to create a variety of small sculptures.

Who this course is for

This course is suitable for beginners, more experienced students or professionals interested in different fabrication processes.

It's relevant for anyone involved with art, design and 3D making, or interested in finding out more about mould-making.

After this course, you might want to take our introduction to sculpture course.


You can request an attendance certificate after completing the course. These can only be supplied during the year you take the course and can't be produced retrospectively.


This workshop costs £240.

A 10% discount is available for UCL current students and staff. You'll be asked to enter your UPI number (available on your UCL ID card) when booking.

Course fees must be paid in full at the time of booking.

Only basic materials will be provided. Once you've been accepted onto the course you'll be sent details of the materials you'll need.

Slade Summer School

The Slade Summer School offers a unique opportunity for you to work within the studios and vibrant atmosphere of the Slade - a world-renowned school of fine art. 

You'll become part of a wider community of artists and will have a real sense of studying in an art school environment among Slade students and alumni. You'll test your abilities while learning new skills and different approaches to making art.

You can take part in a lively range of extra-curricular activities, including: 

  • art history lectures and artist talks introducing the varied contexts and histories of fine art
  • exhibition openings and talks by Slade undergraduate and postgraduate students about their work
  • a series of artists' projects run by Slade tutors, alumni and recently graduated student residents - you'll be invited into these studio spaces to discuss the works with the artists 

Evening events take place at 5pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. 

Take an extended programme of multiple courses

Many different one, two and three-week courses are available. You can build a personalised programme of study by taking a series of short courses over the ten-week period. 

Please call the Summer School team if you'd like do this - they have detailed knowledge of the curriculum and can help you plan a programme.

All the Summer School courses available are listed on the Slade website.

Further information

Read more about this course and others on the Slade website, which provides information about booking and cancellations.

Course team

All tutors are practising artists

All tutors are practising artists

The tutor for this course is Jo Guile.

Course information last modified: 30 Nov 2022, 15:59