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In this installment of the Ceramic Arts Daily Presents Video Series, Melisa Cadell shares her straightforward and accessible techniques for sculpting the human form. In addition to demonstrating how to create figures with attention to anatomical detail, Melisa also addresses how to infuse the figure with emotional and gestural qualities that help breathe life into the work. Feeling that they are often overlooked, yet crucial to creating believable figures, Melisa starts out with her uncomplicated approach to the hands and feet. Then it’s onto the ever-important head and Melisa explains how understanding the anatomy and complexities of the head is crucial to conveying a message to the viewer. Finally, she brings it all together by sculpting an entire figure from head to toe. This thorough and insightful presentation will help you not only to sculpt convincing human figures, but also to create depth and character within your work.

Chapter 1 – Hands
Chapter 2 – Feet
Chapter 3 – Heads
Chapter 4 – Torsos
Chapter 5 - Head To Torso
Chapter 6 - Adding Detail
Chapter 7 – Sculpting Legs
Chapter 8 – Armatures

Total runtime: Approximately 4 hours


About the Author

Melisa Cadell

Melisa Cadell is a studio artist and educator who lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina with her family. Cadell holds a BFA from the University of North Texas and an MFA from East Tennessee State University. In addition to teaching workshops around the United States, Cadell currently teaches clay and mixed media sculpture at Appalachian State University and East Tennessee State University. Her work has been exhibited nationally and featured in publications such as American Style magazine, Ceramics: Art & Perception and 500 Figures in Clay (Lark Books, 2004). For more information, please visit
CLAYflicks Testimonials

“Wow. [The Stroke and The Splash] is such an informative and helpful video. As usual, professional and well thought out demonstrations by Mr. Scott. This video alone is worth the price of my CLAYflicks membership.” -William

“I’m not a total beginner but I learned several techniques that I plan to implement.” -Kathleen

“OMG! This is fantastic! Mel [Griffin], you are such a good teacher and are so fun! I love the gestural impressions around the drawing. Mel’s tips while drawing are so helpful. Thanks, Mel!” -Beverly

“Merci beaucoup pour tout ce partage de techniques et de conseil!!! [Thank you very much for all this sharing of techniques and advice!!!]” -Suarez

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“Thank you very much for this tutorial. Sam [Scott]’s instructions and considerations are so generous and obviously developed through a lot of experience. I really appreciate how explains the “why” of his various processes.” -Kathleen

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“Worth every penny! Lots of great “small gifts” of technique and details of finishing a piece to make it look professionally done.” -MB, South Carolina

“Keep on doing what you’re doing with encouraging a variety of ceramic artists to share their knowledge via your video productions…and I’ll keep enjoying & adding to my library of your videos. You’re doing great!” -KIB. Washington

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“The level of difficulty in the video was what I expected, and then some. Some was a challenge which is what I wanted. I wanted to learn something completely new and this was the perfect answer.” -KHB, California

“Very inspiring. Techniques were demonstrated clearly. I’ve already incorporated some of them in my work.” -Angela. NY

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