Otago Polytechnic

Sculpture night class: Modelling animals in clay


Plaster Room, Dunedin School of Art (Riego Street)

One class per week for eight weeks: Thursdays, 6.00-8.00pm


Term Intakes 15 February, 3 May, 12 July, 13 September 2021
You can apply anytime by clicking the light blue APPLY button (directly above the fee shown to the right of your screen). This will take you to our Eventbrite page where you can apply and pay online.

Learn to create small animals in clay using the techniques of coiling, slab building and pinching to achieve a recognisable likeness of the animal form.

This workshop is suitable for both beginners and people with some experience. The course fosters observation, through an understanding of anatomy, form, scale, detail, while encouraging imagination. Students will analyse their understanding of what they see, and have imagined, and present a finished sculpture and a number of modeled sketches. The outcome will include a set of technical tasks and the developmental work towards the production of their individualised project.

In this workshop the tutor, Tori Clearwater, will share her experience of modeling the animal figure and tips and tricks for the successful building of an abstract or figurative sculpture. This course will address issues of structure and design as well as expression and appropriate texture. The ideas will be worked out by means of smaller models. The class will be taught through demonstrations and through one on one teaching and conversations with each participant. The aim is to support each participant in the realisation of their own work. Each participant will finish one or more small to medium size figures that will be fired. There is also the chance to learn how to create a simple mould from one or more of the figures created. Participants are welcome to bring sketches for their own projects.

2021 term dates 

Term one

15 February - 16 April

Term two

3 May – 25 June

Term three

12 July - 3 September

Term four

13 September - 5 November

Please note:There will be no classes on Otago Polytechnic or public holidays. No classes during Easter week of 5 – 9 April. 

What if I want to attend the same course next term?

If you want to repeat this course, you will need to apply and pay for each term separately via our Eventbrite platform (by clicking the APPLY tab in the top right corner of this page).

Learners under 16
  • We welcome learners under 16 but they do need parental consent to take this night class. 
  • If you are a learner under 16, please do the following:
    • ask your parent or guardian if it's okay for you to do this night class 
    • apply online and tick the box during the application process that says that you are under 16 
    • ask your parent or guardian to send an email to anca@op.ac.nz (Art Night Class Administration) letting us know that they're happy for you to take the night class. 

Classes are held in the Plaster Room, in the Sculpture Department, at the Dunedin School of Art. Please click here for a map.

Go to the main entrance of the Dunedin School of Art at 19 Riego St (off the Anzac Avenue end of Albany St).


Classes will be presented by Tori Clearwater.

Tori Clearwater is a recent graduate with a BVA with Honours in Sculpture. She works with clay to represent the animal form.


Please come in wearing old clothes or have something to cover your clothes with like overalls. Covered footwear is required. Please bring in any ideas, images or artists that you would like to use as inspiration.

Clay is available for purchase on site, price starts at $17 for a 10kg bag. Students will need to bring cash for clay purchase.  


For enquiries, please email Artnightclass@op.ac.nz


While every effort is made to ensure that this sheet is accurate, Otago Polytechnic reserves the right to amend, alter or withdraw any of the contained information. The fees shown in this document are indicative ONLY. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change and are dependent on the development and implementation of Government policies. Please note that additional fees may from time to time be required for external examination, NZQA fees and/or additional material fees.