Sketching in Space: How to Get a Quick Start on Sculpting the Hand

This clip was excerpted from Figure Sculpting in Clay, which is available in the Ceramic Arts Daily Shop!

Figure is not an area of ceramics that I have explored much probably because it seems like such an overwhelming endeavor. But watching Melisa Cadell’s video
Figure Sculpting in Clay, made me want to give it a try.

In today’s excerpt, Melisa shows how you can start off with a simple tracing of your own hand on a slab of clay and quickly create a “claysketch” by adding and taking away clay. It is pretty cool how quickly this fairly convincing hand comes together. Though this clip doesn’t take us through to the final refinements of the sculpture, it will help dispel the fears you may have about sculpting the figure because it is such a practical way to approach it. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.


To learn more about Melisa Cadell or to see more images of her work, please visit

  • Jeannie L.

    Great tutorial – like other videos, I wish the camera-person was less shaky, not so close so when the artist moves, the movement goes out of the frame. Or films the artist’s face, when s/he is showing a technique. Wow, we’re missing a lot then.

  • Kelly A.

    Great lesson. Can’t wait to try it. Thank you!’

  • tara b.

    This is a spot on tutorial. Thank you

  • Joanne R.

    Very well done! I’m totally new to working with clay and loving my classes. I’m going to experiment with this at next class. Thank you.

  • Louise B.

    Absolutely brilliant approach to teaching the “complex” anatomy of the hand. I used to pour over anatomy books like Barcsay’s for hints. It’s funny, but as you explain it, it seems so obvious and simple. I guess that’s what they call genius! I wish I had had your video when I was back in school many, many years ago. Thank you soooo much!!!

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