What you'll learn

The first thing you'll learn is how much you naturally know already...
Through a series of simple exercises you'll discover:
  • How even the most minimally sculpted figures can express profound emotion and movement 
  • How "chance" or "mistakes" show us new ways of expressing.   

We then go on to look at:

  • How to turn delicate clay into strong, lightweight and waterproof sculpture (without the lengthy and often costly processes of casting or firing) 
  • How to make armatures
  • How to sculpt in fine detail. 

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Weekend Courses are set out as follows:

Day 1: General intro, clay work, plaster lamination.

Day 2:  Armature making, detail sculpture using Super Sculpey.

The techniques taught can be used to create any type of sculpture, (Portraiture, Reliefs, Caricature/Figurative Sculpture, Animal sculpture, Garden Sculpture etc).  By the end of the weekend everyone will have one completed piece to take home as well as a second piece which can be completed at leisure, together with all the info needed, including sources of materials etc.  

The general atmosphere is relaxed and fun; a comfortable, friendly space for beginners of every age to explore and enjoy the pleasures of sculpting and to pick up some really useful time-saving-tips. There's absolutely no pressure to create the "perfect sculpture", the focus is purely on learning techniques/tricks-of-the-trade to promote confidence and know-how.  The rest is practice. 

Weekend workshops are offered throughout the year, (please see Class Dates)

One-Day-Workshop - in certain circumstances it might be possible to offer a single day's workshop, (please enquire by phone)

10 Week Courses allow students more time to refine their technique but the course covers the same subjects and uses the same materials.  (These courses will be resumed in 2015)

Specialised Courses/Classes will be put on throughout the year in Mould-making, Casting etc 


Laminated clay with MARBLE patinationLaminated clay with BRONZE patinationLaminated clay with GRANITE patination

Above: laminated clay sculptures with acrylic patinations

Horse by Charlie Haward medallion-gill-shaw

Above: Bronze resin relief sculptures with moulds.


The Fall of Phaeton by Charlie Haward: clay sculpture beforeThe Fall of Phaeton by Charlie Haward; bronze complete

Above: Clay relief sculpture and completed Bronze Resin cast

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During the course of the year there will also be trips to see current exhibitions, so if you're free and fancy it, we can head off to see whatever's on in London, Oxford, Cardiff etc etc.

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Chew Valley Arts TrailOnce every 2 years everyone who's been on a course is then invited to show their own work at an exhibition, partly as an excuse for a good party but also in order to experience the final process of making art: that of exhibiting.  Some students choose to offer their work for sale  (and plenty sells), some simply to show their work, but whatever the reason, we have a ball.


So to Sum Up

A One-Weekend-Course will teach you the basics of armature making, clay modelling and lamination, as well as introducing you to the the wonders of Super Sculpey.  A 10-Week-Course will allow you to take your time, develope your own style and gain a greater knowledge of anatomy. You can also, through the sharing of ideas and exhibition visits throughout the year, develop a clearer idea of what's possible with sculpture and have the chance of participating in a group art exhibition.  And if you choose not to sell your work, you'll have original sculpture/s for your home or garden. 

You'll also have had a really good time. (See Student Testimonials)

After class in the local pubHaving a laugh in class