Get handy with form

Levels P-3

An introduction to form. Explore three-dimensional geometric and biomorphic shapes in sculpture, then experiment with plasticine to create your own 3D shapes to assemble abstract sculptures.

Learning objectives

  • Define the term ‘form’
  • Differentiate between ‘geometric’ and ‘biomorphic’ 3D shapes
  • Identify different ways artists have used 3D shapes in creating abstract sculptures
  • Apply and practise modelling techniques to create geometric and/or biomorphic shapes to create a makeshift sculptural piece

Workshop instructions

Resources & materials

• Plasticine or playdough in one colour
• Craft matchsticks
• Modelling tools like a cutter or roller


  1. Start forming the base of your sculpture. Squeeze the plasticine to warm up your hands and fingers, and to make it easier to work with. You want your base to be a geometric form, like a cube or a rectangular prism, and about the size of a matchbox. Pinching and squeezing the plasticine will help mould the shape.
  2. Create some more forms to add to your sculpture. These should be smaller than your base. Don’t forget to use your tools to help define your forms.
  3. Start to assemble your shapes on top of the base. Use matchsticks to hold your shapes together (making sure they can’t be seen).
  4. Continue this process, making and stacking your shapes on top, or next to, one another until you have around five to ten forms.
  5. Once you are finished, look at the back, sides and front of your sculpture.
    • Are there any parts that need to be more defined or smoothed over?
    • Are all the matchsticks hidden in the plasticine?
    • Have you added enough 3D shapes to your sculpture?
    • Is it holding well together and can stand on its own?