Unit of competency details

CUVSCU501A - Refine sculptural techniques (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to CUASCU501 - Refine sculptural techniquesUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages and clarify intent. 14/Jan/2016

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 12/Oct/2011


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100301 Fine Arts  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100301 Fine Arts  12/Apr/2012 
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Modification History




This version first released with CUV11 Visual Arts, Craft and Design Training Package version 1.0

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to refine sculptural technique and to develop an individual style in a body of creative work. This occurs through a process of research, refinement and evaluation.

Application of the Unit

Visual artists and designers working with three-dimensional (3-D) forms may apply the skills and knowledge in this unit. They have a well-developed command of technical sculptural skills and may work in one or more media. This is combined with the conceptual and creative skills to create a coherent body of work.

Technique refinement is a largely independent activity with mentoring and guidance as required. It would normally include work with several different techniques as part of the process of developing an individual style. In practice, this process is integrated with the skills described in the unit CUVPRP501A Realise a body of creative work.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.


Not applicable.

Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content


Performance Criteria 

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria

1. Research sculptural ideas and techniques

1.1 Support professional practice by expanding own knowledge of historical and contemporary sculpture 

1.2 Research ways that other artists have used different sculptural techniques 

1.3 Investigate how particular sculptural techniques work to achieve different technical effects 

1.4 Evaluate the relationships between sculptural techniques and ideas

1.5 Adapt and use relevant ideas and approaches with consideration of intellectual property requirements 

2. Select sculptural techniques for refinement

2.1 Consider the opportunities  offered by different sculptural techniques

2.2 Determine limitations and constraints  of particular techniques

2.3 Select sculptural techniques for refinement 

3. Determine safety requirements for sculptural work

3.1 Investigate safety issues associated with sculptural work

3.2 Set up work space according to safety requirements

3.3 Use and adapt materials, techniques, tools and equipment

3.4 Establish and follow safe work practices 

3.5 Monitor key safety issues during the production of work

4. Consolidate sculptural technique to professional level

4.1 Develop increasing confidence and skill through practice and experimentation

4.2 Proactively identify and resolve technical problems  in sculptural projects based on developing expertise

4.3 Challenge and test ideas, and allow new and unpredictable ideas to emerge

4.4 Evolve ideas and other professional skills through ongoing experimentation with technique

4.5 Develop own ways of working with techniques to create individual style

4.6 Create a coherent body of sculptural work  that shows command of selected sculptural techniques

5. Evaluate own sculptural technique

5.1 Evaluate development of own technique with others and seek feedback

5.2 Seek and participate in conversations that challenge and explore different concepts and approaches

5.3 Reflect on the particular ways that experimentation with different techniques has informed own artwork

5.4 Identify ways in which technique may be further developed  as part of a professional practice and build ideas into future work

Required Skills and Knowledge

This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • communication skills to engage with others about the technical and conceptual aspects of sculptural work
  • critical thinking and analytical skills to:
  • evaluate and make judgements about relationships between sculptural technique, effects and ideas
  • make critical evaluations of own sculptural technique
  • make critical evaluations of research findings
  • initiative and enterprise skills to identify and act on opportunities for own practice presented by research and experimentation
  • learning skills to develop and refine own skills to a professional practice standard
  • literacy skills to analyse complex and varied information about sculptural technique
  • problem-solving skills to identify and resolve technical problems in sculptural work
  • self-management and planning skills to create a coherent body of sculptural work
  • technical skills to show command of chosen sculptural techniques at a professional level
  • technology skills to use the internet as a research tool.

Required knowledge 

  • relationship between sculptural technique, and particular effects and ideas – in the work of other artists and in the context of own practice
  • extended range of information sources that support research in sculptural practice
  • cultural, sociological, philosophical, aesthetic, political and commercial influences on sculpture, in historical and contemporary contexts
  • professional development opportunities for artists and designers seeking to develop a practice that includes sculptural work relevant to the medium of work
  • elements and principles of design and how they may be used, adapted and challenged in the creation of work
  • intellectual property issues and legislation associated with sculpture as a professional practice
  • sustainability issues for the professional operation of a creative practice
  • OHS requirements for the set-up and operation of a professional work space for sculptural work.

Evidence Guide

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Evidence of the ability to:

  • evolve and refine sculptural technique through a demonstrated process of experimentation
  • develop individual style in own work
  • produce a coherent body of professional work that includes the use of well-developed sculptural technique
  • research sculptural technique in the broader context of other artwork and artists
  • use safe and sustainable work practices.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • equipment, materials and tools used to produce sculptural work.

Method of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • evaluation of sculptural technique within a body of work produced by the candidate
  • evaluation of processes used by the candidate to evolve and refine sculptural technique
  • evaluation of the work documentation
  • direct observation of sculptural work in progress, including exploration of, and experimentation with, techniques
  • questioning and discussion about candidate’s intentions and the work outcome
  • review of portfolios of evidence
  • review of third-party reports from experienced practitioners.

Assessment methods should closely reflect workplace demands (e.g. literacy) and the needs of particular groups (e.g. people with disabilities, and people who may have literacy or numeracy difficulties, such as speakers of languages other than English, remote communities and those with interrupted schooling).

Guidance information for assessment 

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

  • CUVPRP501A Realise a body of creative work.

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Sculpture  may be:

  • abstract
  • assembled
  • contemporary
  • free-standing
  • kinetic
  • relief
  • representational
  • traditional.

Sculptural techniques  may include:

  • applications of alternative modelling and mould-making materials used to:
  • block and case moulds for casting production
  • make dies for extruders
  • make moulds
  • make larger site-specific works
  • make patterns or templates
  • using a variety of physical support materials for armatures and reinforcement
  • techniques for:
  • assemblage
  • bending
  • carving
  • casting
  • ephemeral installation
  • fabrication
  • joining
  • laminating
  • modelling
  • mould making
  • pressing
  • slumping and draping
  • surface treatment and decoration
  • use of machinery for:
  • cutting
  • forming
  • finishing
  • use of materials, such as:
  • clay
  • found objects
  • glass
  • materials from nature
  • metal
  • plastics
  • recycled materials
  • stone
  • wood
  • use of hand and power tools for forming models, patterns and templates.

Technical effects  may include:

  • combination of two or more materials
  • multiple layering of different surface treatments
  • surface treatments, such as:
  • eroded finishes, including sandblasting, water erosion and acid etching
  • fumed finishes
  • lustres
  • painted and glazed finishes
  • patinas
  • polishing and burnishing
  • wax
  • use of colour.

Intellectual property requirements  may relate to:

  • copyright
  • design licensing regulations
  • form of acknowledgement or credit
  • moral rights
  • protocols for the adaptation of work by others
  • trademarks.

Opportunities  may relate to:

  • communication of ideas
  • personal affinity with particular techniques
  • potential for combining techniques
  • potential for interactions between technique and media
  • private and public commissions
  • short-run production of series of small sculptures
  • themes in work.

Limitations and constraints  may relate to:

  • availability of materials
  • capacity of technique to deliver required effect
  • finances
  • location and geography
  • own interaction with technique
  • resources
  • time.

Refinement  may include:

  • ability to use selected techniques with confidence
  • ongoing demonstration of the development of selected skills and techniques
  • use of selected techniques in a body of professional work.

Safe work practices  may include:

  • completing material safety data sheets (MSDS)
  • correct disposal of waste materials
  • dust and fume extraction
  • ergonomic safety
  • managing risk
  • reporting accidents and incidents
  • safe use of tools and equipment
  • using clearly designated wet and dry areas
  • using personal protective equipment (PPE).

Technical problems  may include:

  • limitations of own technical skill required for:
  • forming techniques
  • surface treatments
  • assembly and installation
  • limited availability of space for:
  • production of work (making, assembling and finishing)
  • clean, dry and secure storage of work in progress
  • displaying finished results
  • other limitations, such as:
  • limited availability of and/or access to specialist tools and equipment
  • equipment and machinery breakdown.

Coherent body of sculptural work  is:

  • conceptually resolved
  • technically resolved
  • thematically connected
  • documented in terms of its development
  • subject to critical feedback by others.

Ways in which technique may be further developed  may include:

  • collaboration
  • further study
  • intensive workshops
  • mentored guidance
  • new projects.

Unit Sector(s)

Visual communication – sculpture

Custom Content Section

Not applicable.