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Visual Alchemy

Visual Alchemy – the 3D Artists’ Book


On this experimental 10-week course, you'll have the chance to explore mixed media materials and how we can manipulate them.

To book your place today, simply click the 'Book Now' button to be taken to AUB's secure online store, where you can complete your booking. You can also sign up to our newsletter for short course updates.

What you need to know

When does it run?

Wednesday 17 January – 20 March 2024

How long is the course?

10 Wednesday evenings

What time will your classes be?


Where does it take place?

Classes will take place on AUB's campus.

You'll be taught in AUB's industry-standard studios with access to professional resources.

Who's this course suitable for?

This course has been developed for creatives aged 18+.

Perfect for anyone who's interested in experimenting with unusual materials and have a passion for investigate 3D forms and surface textures.

It's suitable if you're a beginner or if you have some previous experience with art and design and wish to develop your skills further.

Do you need previous experience or qualifications?

This is an introductory course, so no previous knowledge or experience is required.

If you'd like to discuss if this course is suitable for you, get in touch with us: or +44 (0) 1202 363222.

How much does this course cost?


What's included in this price?

All additional creative art materials and resources not listed in the 'what to bring' section. See below.

Are there additional costs?

Please be aware you'll need to bring small artefacts with you to contribute to your Artists' Book. This may incur an additional cost on top of your course fee if you need to purchase any items. Refer to the 'what to bring' section for further details.

What should you bring to class?

  • A selection of small, short-term collectible items that relate to your chosen project theme (project details will be discussed in your first class).
  • Example items could travel tickets, cogs, springs, unusual papers, tea, old books, boxes, miniature bottles, luggage labels, fabrics, shells, and buttons. The possibilities are expansive and only limited by your imagination.

Why should you choose this course?

  • Come away with enhanced knowledge, skills, and confidence to create striking and imaginative visual pieces
  • Learn a wide range of manipulation techniques to create interactive art, turning the 2D form into 3D
  • Experience using a variety of different mediums and materials
  • Embrace your originality and innovation
  • Receive expert support and guidance from your industry professional tutor at every turn
  • Leave with increased confidence and the skills to continue creating beyond the course
  • Study in an encouraging and friendly setting alongside 12 like-minded creatives

About this course

This course has been specially developed to push the exploration of mixed media materials to the next level. It's intended to encourage you to reconsider what we can use as media and the processes and techniques we can apply with them. You'll question the traditional format of the ‘book’ and heighten your understanding of what we can use as materials and how we manipulate them.

Throughout this course you'll design and work towards creating a 3D Artist Book or ‘vessel’ that incorporates print making, illustration and collage using quirky materials that are gathered or found.

You'll be working within a self-chosen theme, creating, and exploiting media to visualise your ideas. Guidance will be given in idea generation and illustration skills to transform your chosen individual narrative or theme into 2D and 3D elements, allowing you to include visual clues within your 3D final piece.

You'll be introduced to 3D skills including card sculpture and paper cutting. You may wish to build your own Artist Book from scratch, reconstruct, extend, and embellish an existing book or modify a box to hold and display your artworks in all its eccentric magnificence.

During the course you’ll be introduced to artists’ work, both contemporary and historical, to inform and inspire you. An insight into the work of contemporary artist book sculptors, Victorian paper theatres and fine artists will encourage you to further experiment with a variety of avant-garde methods of making textures and patterns to incorporate in your work.

Through a variety of tasks, you'll experiment with paper mechanics and printmaking related to your chosen theme or narrative. You'll explore ways to manipulate paper through construction and cutting techniques to create 3D structures. Negative space and silhouette will be considered in visualising your ideas and bringing your pages to life.

In addition to developing artistic design strategies, you'll be encouraged to bring your own curiosities to incorporate into your 3D. These could include small collections of found objects, travel tickets, paper samples, sand, or fabrics. Creating your own printmaking boards will enable you to experiment with quirky textures and colours that relate to your theme.

Your final piece may be a vessel of created and found curiosities, a pop-up sculptural Artists' Book or a ‘3D portable gallery’ of your musings.

  • Paper sculpting and cutting techniques
  • Exploration of 3D form and how to incorporate interactive elements into your work
  • Creating and experimenting with obscure media
  • Exploring and questioning a range of artistic processes
  • Explore the possibilities created by negative space and silhouette
  • Manipulation of materials for effect
  • Illustration approaches
  • Collage with ‘significant’ materials
  • Idea generation methods
  • Creation of your own printing board
  • Printmaking
  • Explore a variety of design aspects, including layout
  • Experimentation of paint application
  • Creation of an interactive 3D sculptural Artists' Book or 3D ‘portable gallery’

  • Possess the skills needed to create an intriguing and imaginative Artists' Book
  • Understand a range of processes related to paper construction and mechanisation to transform the flat page into 3D
  • Have hands-on experience experimenting with layout, negative space and other design aspects
  • Have increased confidence in your own skills and feel inspired
  • Have boosted creativity and imagination
  • Be encouraged to experiment and explore your ideas, remembering that there's no right or wrong way to be creative
  • Possess the foundations to continue creating beyond this course
  • Leave with a range of beautiful pieces that you've designed and created

All students with 100% course attendance will be issued with an official AUB Short Course certificate of attendance.

After this course, you could:

  • Continue to harness your creativity and develop your metal crafting skills further; explore our full range of Art, Design, Drawing and Painting short courses
  • Broaden your creative horizons and try your hand at a range of disciplines; explore our full range of evening and weekend courses
  • Continue to develop your skills at home as a hobby

  • You'll study at a leading specialist university – we know what we're doing when it comes to providing unparalleled courses
  • Our tutors are industry professionals, so you'll learn from the best
  • We cater for all abilities and have no formal entry requirements for this course, so there's nothing holding you back
  • You'll learn in a safe and encouraging environment where there's no right or wrong way to be creative
  • You'll learn 'by doing' and always feel fully included and supported
  • Benefit from our incredible campus and its industry-standard studios, and use state-of-the-art equipment and software to unleash your creativity
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Book your place today

Book now

Meet your tutor

A watercolour self-portrait of tutor Laura Wyatt.

Laura Wyatt

Laura Wyatt is a professional illustrator and watercolour artist whose work is playful and interactive, often featuring pop-up elements.

On this course you'll develop a range of new design skills and practical techniques to enable you to create an imaginative and intriguing Artists' Book. You'll learn how to manipulate and mechanise paper to transform the flat page into a 3D masterpiece as well as experiment with different materials to create something truly unique.

Important information about evening and weekend courses

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Short Courses FAQs - Evening and Weekend and Saturday Art School

If you have any questions about our Evening and Saturday Short Courses, you may find the answers in here.

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Short Courses Booking Terms and Conditions

Please read our Terms and Conditions before booking onto our Evening and Weekend courses.

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Suggested Suppliers

Information about resourcing specialist materials/consumables that you may need to bring these with you

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How to Enrol

Looking to book onto one of our Evening and Saturday courses? You’ll find everything you need to book your place here.