Sculpture Workshops

Sculpture Workshops Oxford

Since  1990  I teach ceramic sculpture, and since 2014 in my  idyllic studio and garden in the village of Garford, Oxfordshire.

The conservatory with side room, at the back of my home , is an inspiring and relaxing space full of light. It is set within an enclosed garden and private courtyard displaying many sculptures. In the summer, I sometimes teach in the garden under two very large canvas gazebos.

I am  a trained and  selling sculptor, an art therapist, and  I have taught sculpture since over 30 years in  various studios  and settings (schools, colleges, galleries, social-care day-centres, private homes and holiday resorts).

Two Taster Sessions for Newcomers

These can be booked as a one-off experience , or as TRIAL sessions to join the regular classes later on

Student on her first session creating a sitting cat

All classes are suitable to complete beginners. In order to discover whether you enjoy sculpting,  my set-up and  teaching style, I encourage new students to join an ongoing class for two taster sessions, either on  a Monday morning or evening and/or Wednesday morning.

The students surrounding you will be the “regulars”, who have come for at least a term,  if not for longer. So there are many ideas and skills to observe and absorb; I find that these mixed-skills/experience groups provide a good learning environment, particularly for complete beginners.

For dates of TRIAL sessions,  please contact me. In the first session,  you  build up , manipulate and support the still-wet and sagging sculpture; in the second session, you  carve the dried/hardened clay and add fresh clay to it by scoring and dampening the sculpture.

Both sessions involve different skills, all needed to work on a sculpture, and get a taste of the skills  involved; and six hours are the  minimum time to complete a sculpture.

If after that initial experience  you want to continue sculpting, either join the group for  the remainder of the term if there is a space; or go onto a waiting list, and I will contact you  when a space come up (usually a month before term starts).

Session Cost

A one-off  three hour sessions costs £40 and £80 for the  recommended initial two trial sessions.

The clay and firing in addition is charged at cost at the end of the two sessions. Depending on size and weight , it costs something around £9 for a  hand-sized small sculpture 10-15cm tall.

Sessions cost less  (£35) once students join for whole term.

Adult Sculpture Courses

My sculpture courses are  made up of 12 sessions that run over a term ( around 14 weeks). They cater for students of any abilities or experience.

Once you have tested the classes by attending two TRIAL sessions, you might decide to join the on-going weekly sculpture sessions. They are fun, relaxing and therapeutic, enabling  each students to quickly pick up essential sculpting skills.

Within the nurturing and friendly environment of the group, the emphasis lies on enjoyment, self-expression and creativity, whilst also building up ceramic skills, sculptural competence and confidence. Concentration, patience and deep involvement with the work are a beneficial side-effect of the pleasure sculpting can provide.

Sculptures on display offer inspiration  and courage to start a project; a great variety of tools help manipulate the clay; and a multitude of  teaching materials inform and support the progress: a library of books, a large collection of laminated images, toy animals, plaster teaching aids , and a collection of natural objects (shells, bones, stones  and seeds).

Students also have access to comprehensive, online tutorials.

I have an individualised approach to teaching, similar to that practiced in  art schools: every student picks out their own project –  be in a head, figure, animal or abstract form, working at their own level, and developing their personal style and interests.

Thus students are inspired by the variety of other student’s work around them,  absorbing the skills of others in the group through osmosis.

This makes the sculpture workshops suitable for anyone motivated enough to come, from complete beginners to accomplished artists working in another medium. Many students keep coming back, although spaces  for new students do come up.  Sometimes there is a short waiting list, after students have completed their two TRIAL sessions; new students get contacted at the end of one term, when spaces become vacant in the next term.

Session Cost

Booking is  a month prior to the term of 12 sculpture sessions,; it costs  £420 ( £35 per session) .

For dates you already know that you can’t attend,  and inform me prior to the term, you  only pay 50% (=£17) .

Bespoke Workshop for individuals, couples, family or friends

Privately booked sculpture workshops mark many occasions:  holiday family treats, birthday gifts or  parties,  team-building workshops  or  an action-packed annual gathering of old friends.

Old school friends on their annual meet-up

Sculpting together with friends or family is a very satisfying way to enjoy, refresh or and deepen bonds: sharing a studio and a creative task is both a sociable activity –  yet  intensely personal and fulfilling. So there is room for plenty of  banter, but also concentrated moments of  silence and discovery. Evolving creations are both individual yet communal and in relationship with friends and family. Old friends are inspired by and learn from each other.

Two adult sisters getting together with their children

Mixed age groups shared with children (8+) or teenagers can be a very enriching family  experience all round, as sculpture works on all levels, stages of maturity or age. Children (8+) often encourage their elders as they can be more spontaneous, creative and less intimidated  by a novel  task; adults contribute concentration, seriousness and calm

to their  group.

Teenager engrossed in her creation

Teenagers, who don’t want to join their parents anymore on outings , will find that sculpting allows for plenty of private and creative space even when sharing a room with their family.

bespoke private children birthday sculpture art workshop

Birthday workshop

Individuals  book for a variety of reasons –  school exams ( GCSE or A-Level);  getting feedback on sculptures created at home; learning intensely one-to-one.

Individual student being taught one-to-one

Session Cost

For a three hour long workshop, inclusive of the clay and firing for  a small sculpture

People Per Person Total
1 Person £150 £150
2 People £120 £240
3 People £105 £315
4 People £90 £360
5 People £75 £375
6 People £70 £420
7 People £66 £460
8 People £63 £500

INSET Training  for teachers

INSET training for three art teacher from D’Overbroeke School in Oxford

Many schools don’t have a trained sculptor or ceramicist as part of their art team which partly explains , beside the logistical challenges ( storage, firing) why sculpture is rarely taught at schools.

I have taught many INSET workshops –  stand-alone and in conjunction to teaching pupils . I  really enjoy passing on my know-how and life’s experience of both sculpting and teaching  –  so that art teachers can apply it and disseminate it amongst their many pupils.\

For more information and course detail, please select the button below

Session Cost

Costs maximum of 6 (art) teachers

INSET: £650 for a whole day; £400 for half a day

or £420 for a 12 week’s term of a sculpture evening class  for one teacher

Please note there is a small additional cost for clay and firing

Course Content

The teaching approach is threefold:

1.Acquiring confidence through technical skills, tool use , understanding of form and observational experience,

2. Simultaneously learning to trust the creative and imaginative process, to the degree of being “guided” by both the sculpture and the quieter voice of one’s feelings, inner vision and intuition.

So sculpting confidence arises from experience and acquiring techniques; but equally from feeling at ease with sculpting, and trusting oneself and one’s judgement

3.  I refer a great deal to the work of other sculptors: current or modern 20th century, or from other periods or cultures from all over the world. A well supplied sculpture  library supplies books that can be borrowed

Many creative, aesthetic, technical and practical skills relating to ceramic sculpting will be learned  and practised informally, as and when the need  for them arises as part of the sculpting process:

– Understanding the nature of clay, its behaviour towards weight and wetness

– Armatures and support structures, dealing with gravity and balance

– Precise observation of planes and outlines when accuracy is the goal

– Awareness of proportions, relationships of variously sized parts

– Shaping smooth planes and curvature. in both representational and abstract works

– Knowledge of tools and their particular use,  applying fine motor skills

– Surface textures and contrasts

– Bonding, modeling, carving

– Coil, slab and solid sculptures

-Training the eye to see  afresh; zooming in onto parts, and  out onto the whole of the sculpture; using many viewpoints

– Creative decision making:, relying on one’s eyes rather than one’s thinking or imagining;  testing and trying various options on the sculpture