Sculptors are artists who create three-dimensional works of art. They can create their pieces through the individual use of metal, wood, glass, wire, stone, concrete, plastics, paper, clay or fibreglass or any combination of these and other materials; moulding, cutting, welding or carving art pieces from such materials.

Some of their works could be realistic, whilst others may be abstract representations of objects, nature, people, events, etc. Sculptors mostly create their pieces to fulfil their own need for self-expression, but could also be commissioned to make a specific piece by a client. They can display their art works in art galleries, flea markets, art exhibitions, or in their own homes.

Generally sculptors work in their own studios or design and art studios located in office buildings. Their surroundings are normally well illuminated and ventilated. Sometimes they are exposed to odours emanating from the various media they use, such as paint, ink, glue, etc.

Personal Requirements

  • creative, artistic and talented
  • enjoy working with your hands
  • able to work independently
  • able to bear isolation for long periods
  • able to visualise three-dimensional designs
  • able to develop new ideas continually

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

Compulsory Subjects: Art or a related subjects is highly recommended
Recommended subjects: Art, Design Studies, Engineering and Graphic Design


  • An art portfolio is required to demonstrate your creativity, abilities and commitment.
  • If you intend studying towards a degree in Fine Art at university, you will need to a Bachelor's pass in matric. If you intend studying a diploma in an art-related field, then you will need a Diploma pass in matric.
  • Meet the admission requirements (APS) set by the university or requirements set by the college.

What to Study

Many sculptors are self-taught and have no formal training. Such sculptors are usually exceptionally gifted.

Degree: BA (Fine Art) - various universities - e.g. UFS, US, RU, Wits

Diploma: CUT, DUT, VUT, TUT

A course in Ceramics and Sculpture is offered at Port Elizabeth TVET.

Certificate and short courses: there are various courses offered at colleges and specialised art colleges, including sculpting, ceramics, etc.

For admission to formal training and employment, be prepared to show a portfolio of your work and attend an assessment interview.


  • art galleries
  • art exhibitions
  • flea markets
  • any organisation or private individual who might commission you to create a specific work
  • self-employment, some sculptors start their own businesses or form cooperatives with other sculptors

Further Information

National Arts Council
P O Box 500
Gauteng, 2113
Tel: (011) 838-1383

Artthrob Online magazine

68/1114 Wargrave Road
Henley-on-Klip, 1961
Houghton, 2041
Tel: 082 230 2255

Getting Started

  • start experimenting with various mediums used in sculpting such as the ones mentioned under the “description” of a sculptor above.
  • visit art galleries and art exhibitions
  • visit flea markets and observe some styles used by sculptors

Programmes by Study Institutions

Related Occupations

A PACE Career Centre Product. © All rights reserved | Developed by Netgen (Pty) Ltd. Disclaimer: Please see disclaimer