Introducing Lydia Smith - a figurative sculptor living and working in the UK, who also happens to be a fantastic tutor. We spoke to her about her decision to develop clay kits as a response to the pandemic lockdown...
Lydia sculpting a male portrait
My sculpture studio is located in the countryside of Buckinghamshire, just outside the not so busy right now London!
When COVID-19 took hold in the UK and the country went into lockdown it got me thinking about ways that I might be able to help. I have always found being creative comforting and so I set about finding my own way to help to people at home to be creative, safe and sane during this strange time. So I proudly introduce to you my 'STAY HOME SCULPTING KIT'.
Many great businesses are adapting to the new world that we find ourselves in: diversifying and many even able to convert their efforts to support the Coronavirus response. So I thought we artists should do the same! That's why I would like to encourage as many people as possible to learn with me during this time (and beyond!) through one of my online courses how to sculpt a life-sized portrait bust!
When I sculpt it keeps my brain active and engaged, meaning that time just flies by and I am totally focused on the task at hand. The mindfulness achieved from working with clay is therapeutic and helps to reduce anxiety and negative thoughts.
I will be teaching you an observational method of sculpting so no detailed measurements are required. This frees the mind and allows you to sculpt based on what you see, how you interpret it and to train your eye.
Sculpting a torso out of clay
The method you will learn from my online teaching will allow you to either mould and cast or fire your finished piece. I will explain more about that on the course.
Whilst I was working out how I could help people at home to get creative and enjoy working with their hands and clay I was also considering how I could support our wonderful health heroes caring for us and keeping us safe on the frontline of the NHS...
I will donate a percentage of the profits to the 'NHS Charities together' association. By enjoying this craft kit you get to learn, be entertained and occupied, and at the same time get to support the National Health Service, its staff, volunteers and patients at this critical time!
Side profile of Lydia's sculptural work
Details of the Original Stay Home Sculpting Kit:
1. One wooden armature (flatpack)
A two-part pre-drilled wooden stand with fixings (one large screw). *You will need a screwdriver / drill with a drill bit for assembly.
2. Model reference photos (downloads)
You will be sculpting a Female Portrait model, the reference photos are to be downloaded in JPEG format.
3. Stay at home sculpting manual (pdf download)
A step by step instruction booklet written for you to read at your leisure and refer back to whenever needed. Includes some very helpful Top Tips too! There is guidance from building the armature through to how to finish your sculpture.
4. Live YouTube group sessions and pre-recorded demos
There will be live YouTube group question and answer sessions set up for all those who have purchased the kit. Each pre-recorded demo will demonstrate the different chapters of the manual.
*The demonstrations will be accessible via a link to a private YouTube playlist.
5. Personal tutor video calls
You will receive two 30 minute private video calls to discuss your sculpture at different stages. Calls will be arranged at mutually convenient times. I will be available to answer questions via email at any time and please feel free to send me images of your work throughout the process.
Three kit options:
ORIGINAL STAY HOME SCULPTING KIT
*This kit does not include the clay & tools
Price £200 (including charity donation)
ORIGINAL STAY HOME SCULPTING KIT
25 kg Grey or Terracotta Stoneware Clay
*This kit does not include the tools
Price £230 (including charity donation)
I hope you get to enjoy one of my stay at home sculpting kits and that I get to (virtually) see you soon,
If you enjoyed reading this here are more articles to help you through the lockdown >