Sculpture as an art form is expected to be a three-dimensional object made out of solid materials such as wood, plastic, marble, stone or metal. Yet, within the realms of modern art, artists continually try to look towards new perspectives and to work in alternative materials. As a result of creative accidents and experimentation, there has been an emergence of soft sculpture. (See Reference 2) Artists have created a spectrum of soft sculpture from abstract forms to elaborate figurative sculpture using soft materials such as sponge, foam and sewn fabrics. (See Reference 1) If you want to make a soft sculpture, don't start with an ambitious project; start by making an abstract soft sculpture out of fabric geometric forms.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- No.2 pencil
- Art marker pens or coloured pencils
- Fabric swatches
- Glue stick
- Parcel paper
- Paper scissors
- Straight pins
- Dressmaker's scissors
- Needle and thread or sewing machine
- Wadding or sponge pieces
Design your soft sculpture on paper. Look to your natural environment or your imagination for inspiration to begin. Create your sculptural design using a construction of basic geometric shapes. Add colour using art marker pens or coloured pencils. Write pencil notes beside your design about what materials you would like to use. Include fabric sample swatches by sticking them onto the page with a glue stick.
Create a paper pattern for each soft object which makes up your soft sculpture. Use parcel paper and draw out the basic shape with the help of a pencil and ruler for each side of the three-dimensional shape. Cut out using a pair of scissors.
Pin your pattern templates on to your fabric. Cut the fabric pieces out using a sharp pair of dressmakers scissors. Remove the paper templates. Sew your object panels together by hand using a needle and thread or on a sewing machine with a running stitch. Leave a gap in one of the seams so that you can turn the material inside out to the right side. Stuff each shape with wadding or sponge pieces. Sew up the small gap.
Assemble your soft sculpture by sewing or gluing each shape to each other to complete your construction.
Tips and warnings
- Use wire to create a basic framework and stretch fabric around the frame as an alternative method.
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