Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Decorative Design Workshops

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Art and Art History

DESCRIPTION This study-unit, structured on different workshops relating to different artistic disciplines, aims to give the student a basic grasp of design and decoration applied to stained glass production, metal and wrought ironwork together with the complex and time-honoured technique of bronze casting. The unit will introduce the student to basic ideas of design and decoration which will be then applied to an intense hands-on experience in the different ateliers of masters and practitioners.

The initial lecture will introduce the full programme to students for them to be made aware of how the unit will be structured and what is expected from this practical study-unit.

The study-unit will require the student to understand the different processes and phases from the first aesthetic idea to the production of a tangible product, including the design of the work and its transformation into a final work which is meaningful and sensitive to international design ideas and decoration. The artistic production throughout the workshops will reflect cognisance of the major styles in decoration and design in Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries, but also a general understanding of good practice in the decorative arts and ornament.

Study-Unit Aims:

This study-unit aims to:
- assist students in obtaining an understanding of basic design and decorative ideas and major issues in the decorative arts such as ornament and its application;
- assist students in the understanding, application and mastery of the different techniques and materials related to stained-glass production, metalwork and bronze casting;
- make the student aware of the fundamental concepts and processes in design and decoration and their application in the production of an artefact

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- engage with the tools and skills for the creation of basic works in stained-glass and metal which reflect a good knowledge of design and decoration and the major styles in the 19th and 20th centuries, together with a good knowledge and understanding of the methodologies and techniques used in bronze casting.
- comprehend the basics of design and decoration and the process of crystallising a basic idea and transform it into a tangible artefact through different hands-on tasks.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will have:
- understood the basis of stained-glass production, the creation of metalwork and the process of bronze casting. This will instill in the student a better understanding of the creation of decorative works and the useful and important technique of bronze casting.
- an extensive insight into the ideas, techniques and processes inherent to the manufacture of decorative design material.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Martha Mitchell et al, Stained Glass Basics, Sterling Publishing Inc, New York, 1997.

Tom Lipton, Metalworking – Doing it Better: Machining, Welding, Fabricating, Industrial Press Inc., New York, 2013.

Sarah Craske, The Secrets of Bronze Casting, The Crowood Press Ltd, United Kingdom, 2013.

Philippe Garner, The Contemporary Decorative Arts from 1940 to the present day, Phaidon Press Ltd, Oxford, 1980.


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Portfolio 100%


The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.