Tate Kids



Digital Makers: Be a 3D designer

Tate Britain
1 Hour

The Idea

Barbara Hepworth was an artist who created amazing sculptures. She was inspired by her natural surroundings, mountains and the sea, shells and animals. We want to think like Hepworth to make some 3D designs.

Dame Barbara Hepworth, Pelagos

Dame Barbara Hepworth Pelagos, 1946, © Bowness

Dame Barbara Hepworth, Mother and Child

Dame Barbara Hepworth Mother and Child, 1934, © Bowness


The Plan

You are going to make 3D digital models inspired by your surroundings. It can be something that you’ve seen before, use part of sculptures that you like or you can go outside and get drawing. We are going to be using modelling software online to design and then, if you want, you can go and print it on a 3D printer in a Maker Space near you!


You Need

  • A computer
  • A window open with Tinkercad (you might need to use your parents' or guardians' email address and then they can authorise it so you can get creating!). You can use other free modelling software online too.
  • Pencil and paper
  • Imagination (yep, turn that on!)

Do it!

  • Search the Tate Kids collection, go to the gallery or go outside.
  • Sketch your surrounding and draw sculptures. Think about the shapes and lines that make up the objects around you. Look at the curve of a shell or the holes in trees. Look at the detail. Think about colours. What are the colours in sculptures? Are they different to the colours in nature? Look at Barbara Hepworth’s sculptures. Look how she cuts out shapes from materials and how she adds shapes together.
  • Go onto Tinkercad. Sign up and have a go at the first few lessons until you feel comfortable with the software.
  • From your drawings, start to create a new 3D model on the plain. This is where your imagination is needed! Mash up your drawings with Hepworth inspired design. How would this sculpture look in a gallery? How would it look if it was in a forest?
  • Make sure you save your work. Why not explain to your friends or family what you have made and why? You can even export your design to Minecraft or you can print a 3D version.

Top Tips

  • Spend time on your first sculpture. Give yourself a while to develop your ideas and add details until it is a masterpiece. Then try making something in 10 minutes or 1 minute.
  • Think about nature. You can find out more about Barbara Hepworth and her thinking here.
  • Make a 3D model with someone else. How does working with a partner change what you make?
  • Finished making your sculptures? Why not make a landscape for them to be in. Think about if they were under water or on another planet…