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  The British Academy Award is based on a design by Mitzi Cunliffe - the children's section of the 24 Hour Museum. - the children's section of the 24 Hour Museum. April 21 2014
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Home > Topic > Art and Design  > How To Make Salt Dough Sculptures

How To Make Salt Dough Sculptures

Sculpture has been used for thousands of years as a record of what happens to people and how they feel. Artists use materials like salt dough, wood, stone and even ice, glass and sand to make sculptures.

Salt dough is great for sculpting. Read on for a recipe and ideas for some very simple sculptures...

Shows two children's clay sculptures of small figures

In modern times, stranger stuff has been used - how would you fancy making a sculpture of blood?

We certainly don't but a famous artist called Marc Quinn has. He once made a sculpture of his head using frozen blood. Not one to try at home!

© Anra Kennedy

In these pictures, you can see clay figures made by children at St Luke's Infants School in Brighton. They made the sculptures as part of their School Arts Week.

Don't they look great?

© Anra Kennedy

Shows many clay figures all standing on a white cloth.

Thousands of abstract terracotta clay figures arranged in a crowd.

The children got the idea from the sculptor Anthony Gormley who has made several works of art using thousands of tiny clay figures.

When they are set up in a museum, his people fill whole rooms and even look as if they are all walking in one direction!

Antony Gormley, Field for the British Isles, 1993. See below for © info.

It takes many hours and many people to set up an Anthony Gormley piece. You can see what's involved by watching this video clip of Field for the British Isles being set up.


Shows a volunteer helping to set up Field for the British Isles

The video clip might take a while to download, depending on your internet connection. Be patient though - it's amazing to see it all coming together.

You can see another of Gormley's sculptures on the Tate website.

A sculptor might use tools or just their fingers to create the shape they want. Why don't you have a go? Try moulding some salt dough with a range of tools - spoons, fingers, pastry cutters.

You can get a recipe for salt dough here. Might be a good idea to ask an adult before you start cooking though.

The salt dough recipe is from the National Portrait Gallery website.

Gormley picture © Arts Council Collection, Hayward Gallery, London; purchased with support of The Henry Moore Foundation and the National Art Collection’s Fund.