All students should familiarize themselves with the Sculpture Studio Access Policy, listed below, prior to using the facilities.

Students interested in sculpture will find abundant resources at CCA, where the artisanal workshop meets the high-tech laboratory.

About the Oakland Sculpture Facilities

The Sculpture facilities are composed of the following features:

• Bronze foundry and wax-working space
• Metal fabricating and welding shop
• Outdoor forge
• Plaster and mold-making studio
• Woodworking shop
• Flexible installation space
• Student sculpture gallery

In addition, students can propose their own site-specific installations to be created anywhere on the four-acre historic Oakland campus.


CCA is one of the few remaining art colleges in the United States that continues to operate a traditional bronze foundry, with both 160- and 90-pound capacity furnaces, large and small burn-out kilns, sand-casting equipment, numerous wax-working stations, a sandblaster, patina torch, and a one-ton overhead swivel crane.

Metal Fabrication & Welding Shop

The Metal Fabricating and Shop is equipped with oxy/acetylene, MIG, and TIG-welding equipment as well as a spot welder and plasma torch, vertical and horizontal band saws, a chop saw, drill press, belt sander, mill, and lathe. In addition, a four-foot manual slip roll for bending 16-gauge mild steel, plus a sheet metal brake, shear, and notcher also exist.

Both the foundry and fabrication shops feature large rolling gates to accommodate the maneuvering of large works as well as to let light and fresh air into the workshops. Our outdoor gas forge is equipped with a traditional anvil, swage, and forging tools. Students are required to wear leather welding and safety clothing, gloves, and face shields when working. Some materials such as scrap metal, sanding disks, various waxes, and casting metals are available to students for free or at cost.

Woodworking Shop

The light-filled woodworking shop features a complete set of traditional carving, hand, and power tools as well as all of the basic woodworking equipment -- including a top-of-the-line SawStop table saw, panel saw, band saws, drill presses, sanders, miter saw, router, planer, and jointer.

A dust collection unit exists in the woodshop; all students are provided with eye and ear protection as well as dust masks. A limited number of consumables such as craft paper and sandpaper is provided to students free of charge, and materials such as lumber and plywood can be ordered through the studio manager.

Plaster Studio

In the plaster and mold-making studio, students have access to reusable retaining wall pieces for constructing mold boxes as well as mold-making materials such as chicken wire, tar paper, plaster, sand, and concrete. A vacuum-forming machine also exists. For students interested in modeling from the figure, a set of sculpture easels and an actual skeleton are available. (Clay can be purchased on campus from the Ceramics Program.)

Classrooms & Exhibition Space

Sculpture Program courses take place primarily in two large, bright classrooms, each of which is equipped with state-of-the-art flat-screen monitors, worktables, stools, and limited storage space. In addition to the student sculpture gallery, which is booked throughout the year with senior exhibitions and other course-specific projects and critiques, several spaces are also available for Sculpture students to install their work, including two large hallway vitrines, a small, enclosed installation space, and a movable wall.

Additional Sculpture Resources

The Sculpture Program's administrative office houses the Sculpture Program library and an industrial sewing machine that is available to check out. Sculpture students also make use of an outdoor work area as well as nearby picnic tables and bike racks. Every student receives a locker, and seniors are given their own studio space.

Additional Campus Resources

Sculpture students often use CCA’s Digital Fine Arts Studio for projects that involve fine art printing on various media as well as a Media Center on each campus and computer labs for working in photography, video, sound, kinetic work, and performance.

The program encourages an interdisciplinary approach to materials and working methods. As such, Sculpture students have additional access to facilities when enrolled in courses in the following programs, among others:

Jewelry / Metal Arts
Interaction Design

Students on the San Francisco campus have access to the New Materials Resource Center, an excellent place to research materials for a project and browse samples and suppliers. After completing the required orientation, students can use the San Francisco shops, including an outstanding woodshop, alternative materials shop, and a spray-finishing booth. Additionally, students can experiment with 3D rapid prototyping, CNC routing, and laser-cutting equipment.


Shaklee Building, Oakland campus
Montgomery Building, second floor, San Francisco campus

Access Hours

The Sculpture facilities are open only at times when faculty members, staff personnel, or student monitors are present in the shop areas. Hours vary from semester to semester. Current lab hours are posted outside the respective shop areas.

Access Policy

Access to the Sculpture facilities is granted to those students who have successfully completed a safety orientation issued at the Oakland campus. Priority is given to Sculpture majors and those enrolled in Sculpture courses; however, all students currently enrolled at the college are welcome to use the equipment after the required safety orientations have been completed.

At no time is anyone allowed to work alone in the shops.


Mary Catherine Richardson
3D Studio Operations Manager