Sculpture

Make a junky funky sculpture

Make a fantastic balancing sculpture exploring shapes and colours

The idea

Boy with sculpture he has made

© Tate

You are going to make a sculpture out of scraps of things joined together.

The idea is inspired by Sir Anthony Caro, a British sculptor who made a new kind of sculpture that didn’t look like anything else. He used steel in different colours and shapes, often to solve puzzles like how shapes might spill over an edge, fall out of a window or balance on a beam. He positioned pieces of steel to get the effect he wanted then welded them together.

The pieces in this sculpture Early One Morning seem to dance across the floor!

Sir Anthony Caro, ‘Early One Morning’ 1962
Sir Anthony Caro
Early One Morning 1962
Tate
Courtesy of Barford Sculptures Ltd

What you need

  • Cardboard rolls, pipe-cleaners, straws, lollipop sticks, paper plates, old bottles. Any odds and ends or ‘junk’ materials that you think would work!
  • Sticky-back plastic
  • Scissors

Step 1

Sir Anthony Caro, ‘Yellow Swing’ 1965
Sir Anthony Caro
Yellow Swing 1965
Tate
Courtesy of Barford Sculptures Ltd
Sir Anthony Caro, ‘Table Piece CCLXVI’ 1975
Sir Anthony Caro
Table Piece CCLXVI 1975
Tate
Courtesy of Barford Sculptures Ltd
Sir Anthony Caro, ‘Twenty Four Hours’ 1960
Sir Anthony Caro
Twenty Four Hours 1960
Tate
Courtesy of Barford Sculptures Ltd
Sir Anthony Caro, ‘Early One Morning’ 1962
Sir Anthony Caro
Early One Morning 1962
Tate
Courtesy of Barford Sculptures Ltd
Sir Anthony Caro, ‘Emma Dipper’ 1977
Sir Anthony Caro
Emma Dipper 1977
Tate
Courtesy of Barford Sculptures Ltd

Get some ideas for your sculpture. Take a close look at Anthony Caro's sculptures by clicking through the slideshow above. Do you notice how his sculptures all look as if something is about to happen?

How does he get them to balance? How does he make his circles and squares stand up? Can you find a way to do that? How does he use edges to get things to hang? Is this something you could do with your sculpture?

Top Tip!

It might help to draw some of Anthony Caro's sculptures or draw your ideas for your own sculpture.

Step 2

Kid's sculpture made from lolly sticks and a paper plate

© Tate

Work with your materials to try and develop your idea.

Try different ways of fixing the pieces of your sculpture together. You can stick your sculpture together using sticky-back plastic, but you could also cut holes into your pieces so that they slot together.

Step 3

Girl with her sculpture

© Tate

Kid's sculpture

© Tate

Kid's sculpture

© Tate

Kid's sculpture

© Tate

Kid's sculpture

© Tate

Kid's sculpture

© Tate

Ta-dah!! You have an exciting junky funky sculpture. Stand back and look at it carefully then give it a name.

In the slideshow above are some junky funky sculptures other children have made. Can you think of some good names for them?

More to explore