Preparatory Course in Sculpture

The Preparatory Course in Sculpture is a part of the study program Sculpture, Object, Installation at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, Slovakia. The students in the first year complete two courses in other departments by their choice in the winter term. In summer term they come to their home department and complete the preparatory course there. Studying at different departments enables students to acquire knowledge from diverse artistic fields and to experience various approaches and creative processes. They also have a possibility to meet and communicate more intensively with their colleagues from different departments.

The first part of the course prepared for students from other than sculpture department offers a possibility to learn about the basics and main principles of sculpting. The given topic reflects current tendencies in the contemporary fine art featuring interdisciplinary overlaps.

Modelling is the main part of sculpting literacy. Students model realistically diverse things and objects in various scales. A simple plaster mould and casting into plaster is another step in the process of creating of a sculpture. The students also learn about the ways to prepare and use plaster casts for bronze casting, realization in stone or other final materials. 

In the second part of the course, students create free spatial compositions on a given theme exploiting their newly acquired experience. Everything can be considered a sculpture since the 1960s. Thereby this project offers plenty of space and freedom in the choice of material and realization process. The emphasis is placed on the students’ creativity and their ability to master the given theme artistically in sculptural formation. 

The course also includes a short prompt response to a given topic, or a joint weekly project of students, which encourage communication, flexibility and a prompter response. Presentations on well-known Slovak or foreign authors are included as well. 

Students of the Department of Sculpture, Object, Installation attending the course in summer semester are required to meet higher standards regarding modelling, casting (there is a possibility to work with a silicone mould) as well as the final project. Two brief assignments supplement the semester course. 

Theoretical knowledge of art history and especially sculpture history, which the students of the course earn in the ongoing practical work, plays a significant role in the course. This basic practical and theoretical know-how should deepen and enrich their knowledge and prepare them for further studies at AFAD. 

The results of the creative work in the courses are presented at the end of each course. This presentation is important in the study process. The students have an opportunity to confront the results of their creative work with their colleagues and a public, especially during the semester exhibition of students’ works (Prieskum) and at AFAD open days at the end of each semester. 

One of the main roles of the course is to encourage and motivate students on their own artistic way and provide them with the quality base for their further studies and work.

Mira Podmanická