Since the UK went into its first lockdown in 2020, it’s been almost two years since we’ve been able to run our regular UK-based animal sculpture workshops. Having cancelled our 2020 programme, we had a number of clients who had chosen to postpone, rather than cancel, their workshop places. We also had a long list of people wanting to know when our workshops would re-start. In short, we had a backlog of students keen to get their hands on some clay!
Normally, we spread our workshops out through the course of the year. But this time, to clear the backlog, we decided to run a series of three workshops in consecutive months through September, October and November. It was hard work. But after so long in isolation, there was a sense that everyone was ready to get back together and start enjoying the shared experience that is such an exciting and stimulating part of joining a workshop.
I’m at a loss as to know where to start in thanking you for the most brilliant three days on your sculpture course. I loved every second… You’ve definitely opened my eyes to a completely different way in studying my dogs and animals in general.
Our animal sculpture workshops attract a wide range of abilities, from complete novices to experienced amateurs. Some travel individually. Some come with a partner or friend. But we are all united in our love of animals and our determination to capture their beauty and personality in clay. We’re all friends by the end of the workshop and the progress new students can make over the course of an intensive three-day workshop is nothing short of transformative.
I just wanted to say a big thank you for a wonderful course this week. All your guidance, skill and patience resulted in everyone producing fabulous work. Simon’s lunches were delicious… I am really looking forward to seeing my finished sculpture.
Our workshops begin with a slideshow presentation introducing my work, my background and influences and the fundamentals of animal sculpture. This is followed by a demo where I introduce some basic techniques and building methods. The slab-building method I teach is very simple and even novice sculptors are able to make good progress during these early stages. As their sculptures progress over the course of the next three days, I introduce more advanced modelling techniques to help students refine their work and bring their animal sculptures to life.
I’m always on hand to provide advice, demonstrations and a mix of group and one-to-one tuition. My husband, Simon, makes delicious home-cooked lunches and, of course, we keep everyone topped up with tea, coffee, cake and biscuits. After all, it isn’t all work. It’s supposed to be a bit of a holiday as well. Even my two dogs contribute, acting as (reluctant) models for any students having difficulty getting their heads around the finer points of animal anatomy.
It was such a pleasure to meet all the other students on the course and watch everyone’s pieces develop and all the lunches were delicious.
All our UK-based animal sculpture workshops include the opportunity to visit my studio, just down the road from the workshop venue. I also offer students a basic glazing and firing service, something that students without access to their own kiln appreciate. I’m always enormously impressed by the progress my students manage to make during the course of a three-day workshop and the incredible work they produce.
Our 2022 animal sculpture workshop programme will be up soon if you would like to join us next year. Sign up to our newsletter below to receive early notification, highly recommended as places always sell out fast.