Sculpting Mammals With Adam Matano - Atlas Obscura Experiences

Sculpting Mammals With Adam Matano

$90 per person Online Experience
6 sessions
See Dates
$90 per person
$90 per person
See Dates
What We’ll Do

In this six-part course, learn the fundamentals of sculpting mammals as you give shape to the endangered saola.

Course Description

With clay as your medium and artist Adam Matano as your guide, go through the process of designing, massing, and shaping a representational mammal sculpture. In this course, Adam will sculpt the critically endangered saola, also known as the Asian unicorn, a species so elusive it wasn’t officially recognized until 1992. Scientists speculate the remaining population could range anywhere from a few hundred to a few dozen. Participants are encouraged to follow along with Adam during live demos, and practice after class using recordings as needed.

As they sculpt their saola (or a similar mammal), students will gain an understanding of animal anatomy and proportions, and will learn to read photo references and pose an armature for the clay. By the end of the course, students will be well on their way to finishing their own sculpture, and they’ll also have a basic understanding and approach to animal sculpture that they can use for future creations.

Note: For students who wish to go deeper, we encourage you to join Adam's small-group workshops (limited to 10 participants) where Adam will talk technique and give direct feedback on student work. Workshops are available at an additional cost and meetings are held between weekly classes.  

This course is open to all interested participants; no prior experience is necessary.

Syllabus at a Glance

There are six total lecture sessions, each lasting for 2.5 hours on six consecutive Sundays beginning May 23.

For participants who wish to attend small-group workshops at an additional cost, there will be a total of four workshop sessions, each lasting for 2.5 hours on four consecutive Tuesdays beginning June 1, skipping June 22.

Lecture Series: Meets Sundays starting May 23.

Session 1 (Sunday, May 23, 3–5:30pm ET): Introductions and Animal Proportion

Session 2 (Sunday, May 30, 3–5:30pm ET): Starting the Clay, Learning the Bones

Session 3 (Sunday, June 6, 3–5:30pm ET): Gesture 

Session 4 (Sunday, June 13, 3–5:30pm ET): Basic Muscles and Forms

Session 5 (Sunday, June 20, 3–5:30pm ET): Hooves Demo & Portrait

Session 6 (Sunday, June 27, 3–5:30pm ET): Fixtures

Small-Group Workshop: Meets Tuesdays starting June 1, skipping June 22.

Session 1 (Tuesday, June 1, 7–9:30pm ET)

Session 2 (Tuesday, June 8, 7–9:30pm ET)

Session 3 (Tuesday, June 15, 7–9:30pm ET)

Session 4 (Tuesday, June 29, 7–9:30pm ET)

Between Sessions

Students registered for small-group workshops will be encouraged to send images of their work for critique. Adam will record a draw-over video of their photos on an iPad, accompanied with audio notes. These will be shared via Google Classroom.  

Course Materials

Links will be provided prior to the start of the course. Students should expect to spend somewhere between $50 and $60 on materials. 

Pricing Options

The price of this course reflects the price of the lecture series only. The price for participants who wish to join additional weekly small-group workshops for direct feedback and dialogue is $260 per person. 

If you are unable to pay the ticket price for this course, a limited number of no-pay spots are available (for the lecture series and small-group workshops) to increase accessibility for students, regardless of economic situation. Please note that this option is first-come, first-served, and reserved for those who would not otherwise be able to take this course. To learn more about our approach to pricing, including no-pay options, please visit our FAQ page.

Atlas Obscura Online Courses

Our online courses offer opportunities for participants to emerge with new skills, knowledge, connections, and perspectives through multi-session classes designed and taught by expert instructors. Courses can take one of two forms: Seminars are intimate, interactive classes—capped at nine to 25 students—exploring topics and crafts through discussion, workshops, assignments, and in-class activities. We also offer lecture series that can be attended live, or viewed via a recording that will be shared within 72 hours after each session airs. Class recordings for lecture series will be available with a temporary password for up to two weeks following the final session of the course.

To learn more about our current course offerings, please visit

For answers to commonly asked questions, check out our FAQ page here.

Where We’ll Be

Once registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite that will provide access to the class meeting. Please save the confirmation email as you’ll use it to access your course via Zoom on each scheduled date and time.

About Your Instructor
Adam Matano
Adam Matano

Adam Matano is a contemporary representational artist specializing in sculpture. His work is an organically evolving process combining a visceral reaction to life, his interest and admiration for the natural world and our relationship with it. The exploration of these ideas allows for psychologically dense, rhythmic artwork. Adam’s interest and involvement with nature and the arts began at a young age. Early in his career, he nurtured his musical interests, which now play an integral part in his overall aesthetic, its principles echoing in his sculptures. Most of Adam's subjects are real life models that he has spent time with through observation or interaction.
Adam attained his BFA in Sculpture at the Lyme Academy College Of Fine Arts in Connecticut in 2010. He is a signature member of the Society of Animal Artists, an elected member of the National Sculpture Society and an artist member of the California Art Club. Adam currently works and lives in Los Angeles, exhibiting his sculptures and teaching. You can find him on Instagram and Facebook.

What Else You Should Know

The lecture series is designed so students can participate live or watch a recording after each session airs. Sessions will take place live over Zoom, with dedicated Q&A segments for students to ask questions via video or chat. Within 72 hours after each session airs, we will email all enrolled students a recording of the session, which they can watch using a temporary link for up to two weeks after the course concludes.

Additional weekly workshops will take the form of small-group sessions that meet over Zoom. Students may be invited to participate in discussions, workshop their projects, and receive feedback from the course instructor.

In most cases, instructors will use Google Classroom to communicate with students outside of class. While students aren’t required to use Classroom, instructors will be using this platform to post resources, discussion questions, and assignments, when applicable.

We provide closed captioning for all of our courses, as well as transcripts upon request. Please reach out to us at if you have any questions, requests, or access needs.

Dates and Availability
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