Bas Relief Composition w/Mike Magrath

Thursday | 4/11-5/23 | 1:30-4:30 P.M.

Michael Magrath has spent most of his life in the Pacific Northwest. He discovered figurative sculpture while in his early thirties, and has since dedicated his life to the betterment of his craft and the furtherance of sculptural art. Primarily self taught, he has nonetheless studied and taught in a number of rich sculptural environments, including the University of Washington, the Florence Academy of Art in Italy, and Gage Art Academy. Reflecting a decade spent in the building trades as a carpenter, painter, foundryman, and shop technician, he brings a craftsman’s approach to his work. Regardless, his interest in the figure naturally steers toward the narrative and symbolic. Of no particular denomination of religious faith, Magrath attempts to excavate, understand, and depict the universal truths that lie at the core of religious and human experience. His primary focus lies in the embodiment and reinterpretation of mythology in contemporary contexts, and is most interested in its potential to reinvigorate the human spirit, particularly in the face of the cynicism of the modern world.
1:30-4:30 P.M.
All Levels Welcome
Gage Capitol Hill
The academy will provide the clay and armature materials needed for the first day of class. However, Please bring a pair of wire cutting, needle nose pliers the first day of class. The usefulness of the following  tools will be discussed during the first session. Most of the tools below can be found locally at Seattle Pottery Supply, Artist & Craftsmans Supply, and/or Hardwicks.

Clay Modeling Tools. These tools are strongly recommended :

  • Needle Nose, Wire Cutting pliers. Please have by first day of class.
  • Fettling Knife. Stiff type, Don’t get a flexible one.
  • Small Ribbon rake* (Sculpture House 404 or 405a) – can often be purchased locally at SPS or A&C Supply and online at

Not required, but good to have :

  • 100g sandpaper – 1/4 sheet
  • Ruler or Measuring tape
  • Kemper WT16 and/or JA17 and/or Mini Duron Set (5 Pcs). Hardwicks, SPS, Sculpture House
  • and/or Mini Duron Set  (5 Pcs) Rubber or metal pottery Kidney. SPS
From Egyptian hieroglyphs to Rodin’s Gates of Hell, relief is an ancient, yet under-appreciated art with great narrative and creative potential. Working from your own source materials, design and execute a relief composition in clay or other media. Learn the techniques of low relief, sgrafitto, and be exposed with lectures and presentations to historical and contemporary approaches to this exceptional and versatile medium. All levels welcome. Drawing experience helpful.
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