An all-day course, introducing basic stone carving techniques. A simple shape or motif is drawn onto a piece of stone, which is then carved in relief. The longer session allows for a larger carving and slightly more complex design than is possible in the ‘Have a Go’ sessions.
This one day workshop is a great introduction to the craft of stone carving. Learn to make a relief carving around 20 x 20cm (8 x 8 inch) in Portland stone. Bring your own design or work from our reference materials. You can expect a good balance of theory and practical skills, as well as the support and advice of a master craftsman.
You could also book several of these sessions to create a larger project: please ask for details.
Please note that this course does not cover letter cutting.
What will I achieve?
You will learn the techniques of carving a relief onto stone and removing the unwanted background material. You will learn how to use the tools utilised in stone carving, providing a basic understanding of this heritage skill. During the day you will create a relief carving on a 20 x 20cm (8 x 8 inch) Portland stone tablet. (We use Portland stone for our shorter courses as it is softer than Purbeck stone.)
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is suitable for complete beginners as well as those who have previously attended a two-hour ‘have a go session’ and who want to create a more detailed or deeper relief carving. It’s also a welcoming space for those who wish to continue practising their skills in a supportive environment with a tutor on-hand for guidance .
You do not need any particular skills, simply the ability to hold tools in both hands- a chisel in one, and a dummy (stonemason’s hammer) in the other. Stonecarving is easiest done standing up but a stool can be provided for anyone who would find this tiring.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
This is a tutor-led, practical, hands-on class, with a supportive atmosphere. It’s also great fun with a rewarding conclusion as you get to take your own relief carving away with you. All work is completed in our purpose-built on-site workshops.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to prepare in advance or bring?
Stone, tools, and safety equipment will be provided. Please wear old clothes and stout shoes which cover your toes and protect your feet. You don’t need to prepare anything in advance. The course fee includes complimentary teas, coffees and biscuits – please bring a packed lunch with you.
See what our participants say
“The course was excellent and it was very satisfying to learn a new skill.” (Steve)
“Thank you for the excellent course and all the pics. Amanda was a fantastic teacher – please pass on my best wishes and thanks to her.” (Clare K)
|Maximum 8 people
|One Day (10AM to 4PM)
|Adults looking to produce slightly more complex work than the Have A Go course allows.
Nico Johnson was a senior newspaper editor when she attended a stone carving festival a decade ago and discovered she had a natural talent for carving. She was taken under the wing of several well known stone masons, who helped her develop and hone her skill until she was recognised in her own right as a proficient relief stone carver.
Nico has a love of rediscovering and reviving ancient art, including designs depicted in murals, friezes, pottery and repeating patterns from around the world. Many of her own carvings depict faithful recreations in stone of almost-lost original designs, symbols and signs.
Having visited Egypt many times, exploring archeological ruins and researching traditional methods of decorative art, Nico spent time in the Qasr al-Aguz region on Luxor’s west bank, gaining an understanding of methods of alabaster extraction and block coring in the carving factories which continue to follow ancient Egyptian masonry techniques. Nico later trained as a relief carving tutor, before joining us here at Burngate.
Having now retired from her position as an editor, Nico brings her infectious passion for teaching carving to Burngate, offering enjoyable, supportive and fun classes. When she is not teaching at Burngate, she works to commission, based at her remote ‘carving shack’ out in the forests of north Purbeck.
Nico teaches regularly at Burngate, and this year will be teaching some of our Have a Go Stonecarving and Introduction to Stonecarving courses.
CARVING | SCULPTURE
Amanda makes abstract stone sculptures inspired by plants and fungi. She loves carving in the company of others and celebrates nature, community and care for the environment through her work. She is a qualified teacher, has taught on an Art Foundation course, and has years of experience teaching children and adults from beginners to university level. Amanda has an honours degree in Fine Art – Sculpture and a Masters in Art and Architecture and is a passionate advocate of the benefits of art and making for wellbeing.
Amanda recently received Arts Council funding to support her development of teaching on-site/mobile stone carving. She has completed numerous public art commissions including large carvings for the Forestry Commission, carved stone musical instruments for a city square in Southampton and sculptures celebrating the local distinctiveness of villages in Kent. She has recently completed a sculpture and drawing project celebrating biodiversity in ancient woodlands.
Carving | Sculpture
Jonathan Sells is a professional stone carver and mason who studied architectural carving and stone masonry at Weymouth College, Dorset, where he trained with Portland stone masons.
As a sculptor and artist he is self-taught. His over thirty-five years experience has enabled him to work successfully with architects, public bodies and individual members of the public to create unique and inspiring pieces of artwork.
Jonathan has extensive experience of teaching stone carving to members of the public across a wide range of sectors and age groups, including schools, hospitals and businesses.
As an international sculptor, he works from his studio based in Purbeck, Dorset, where he happily undertakes selected hand carved stonework commissions including fireplaces, garden furniture, water features, birdbaths, functional artefacts for inside and out, wedding and birth gifts, letter cutting and restoration work.
CARVING | SCULPTRE
Sarah Moore is a painter and sculptor working mainly with Purbeck stone, but also other stones as well as marble and alabaster. She attended Weymouth College masonry and architectural carving and letter-cutting course after completing a ceramics degree.
Her work is mainly based on the human form and her early career as a radiographer gives her an understanding of the structure of the human body which has continued to inform her work through her drawings of dancers and musicians some of which will be translated into carvings in stone, either representational or abstract.
Sarah is a qualified teacher and has taught ceramics, stone carving and wood carving in further and higher education as well as teaching on painting and stone carving holidays in the wonderfully inspiring landscape of southern Italy.
She has work in public and private collections.
She likes to encourage children and young people to carve stone, it helps them to concentrate and gives them a great sense of achievement. Sarah is studying an MA course in fine art.