At Department of Nursing, University College Lillebaelt in Denmark we use an experiential technique called sculpting in our simulation program. Sculpting is a kind of non-verbal role play in which participants are given a certain character and create a 'sculpture' by arranging family members, social circles and professionals in ways which reflect the quality of the relationships of the people involved. The aim of this study is to further describe the sculpting exercise and present a small scale evaluation study using a qualitative descriptive design. An evaluation sheet was formulated by the authors and filled out by 114 Danish third-year nursing students. The results show that sculpting is experienced as emotionally demanding, but in a good way. It is experienced as an eye-opener that helps to identify the possible complex and emotional dynamics in a family experiencing critical illness and impending death. Sculpting seems to increase nursing students' personal knowing related to palliative care. An experiential learning technique like sculpting can be introduced in other parts of nursing education to raise students' awareness of what they themselves bring into a situation and how this may affect their clinical judgments.