Magda Gluszek: Head and Hands Workshop

Magda Gluszek: Head and Hands Workshop

May 19 & 20, 2018: 10:00am – 5:00pm
$230.00 Nonmembers (includes 2 meals)
$207.00 Members (includes 2 meals)

My favorite part of sculpting the human body is adding expression to a pose. Some of our most instantly readable expressions originate from our faces and hand gestures. In this workshop we will focus on building heads and hands to communicate emotion. Adjusting the position and placement of a hand on a face can mean the difference between communicating fear, nervousness or glee.  


Feel free to bring inspirational images of heads, faces, or facial expressions, or work from your imagination. We will learn basic facial proportions as well as how to form details like eyes, noses, mouths, ears and hair. I will demonstrate a solid construction technique in clay, which will allow for the greatest flexibility to change our poses as we build.  Heads will be created on a very simple plumbing pipe armature. I will also demonstrate how to remove a head from the armature and hollow it out, so that you can complete the hollowing process on your own.


Workshop includes:

  • 2 lunches provided by Jerona Cafe
  • 25 lbs of clay

Required tools


Prior to the workshop, students should construct a simple armature with the following materials:

  • Floor flange and threaded metal pipe. These can be purchased in the plumbing department of any major hardware store. Type of metal is not important. The diameter of the pipe is not important, as long as it fits the flange. The pipe should be at least 6” long.
  • Wooden board for mounting floor flange. The board should be at least ¾” thick and at least 12” x 12” (Specific dimensions are not important)
  • 4 wood screws ½” long, for mounting flange to board
Floor flange and pipe
Image of armature after assembly

Recommended tools

Tools/materials for participants:


  • Students should bring a couple of basic wooden sculpting tools with which they are most comfortable. I suggest Kemper JA17 wooden sculpting tool (or something similar)
  • A cheap plastic putty knife 1.5” wide:
  • A wire tool
  • A scoring tool (or needle tool)
  • Plastic to cover work
  • Spray bottle to wet down work
  • apron
  • several sheets of scrap newspaper
  • masking tape
Kemper Sculpting Tool JA17
Plastic putty knife 1.5”

Hollowing Tools:


(some students may not be ready to hollow during the workshop and may wish to complete that process on their own after the demonstration)

  • Small buckets for collecting clay scraps during hollowing
  • A piece of foam (like an egg crate) for laying sculpture on while hollowing


Optional tools and materials:


  • Banding wheel (that is strong enough to support up to 25 lbs of material)
  • Free-standing mirror
  • Students are welcome to bring sketchbooks with ideas and figurative
  • imagery that they find inspiring
A trim/ribbon tool for carving out sculptures: