Clay Animals with James Ort, 2nd & 3rd April

Clay Animals with James Ort, 2nd & 3rd April

Spend a weekend learning how to make clay animals using a contemporary technique that is loose, expressive and breaks all the rules.  The course is great for beginners and experienced artists alike.  And the best part is that you can make pretty much whatever animals you like too.

The course is taught by artist, James Ort.  He specializes in a form of contemporary clay modelling which pushes clay to its limits – it’s a fast, easy to learn technique which brings life, energy and grace to the creations.  Over the two days James will demonstrate the principles of the technique to you through a series of short demonstrations.  The rest of the weekend will be spent making your own pieces with guidance and support every step of the way.  Once completed, your masterpieces will be dried out and then fired in our kilns.  You will then need to return for a later glazing session to bring colour and life to your pieces.

This fun weekend course includes:

  • Informal, relaxed & attentive guidance for every student, provided by James Ort
  • Step-by-step demonstrations covering…
  • How to build an armature for reclined, seated and standing animals
  • How to to apply the clay to best capture the animal’s anatomy
  • How to create expressive facial features and character
  • An outline of the firing process in our kiln room
  • How to glaze your work using underglazes on a separate session a few weeks after the weekend course

£165 for the whole weekend, the return glazing session, all your clay, materials, glazes and firings



Reclined or seated animals.

Make pretty much the animal of your choice (so long as it is lying down or has it’s bum on the floor!). We will make an armature and then be adding clay.


Four-legged standing animals.

The more challenging part of the course is making a four-legged animal. You will learn how to make a armature using a range of materials and techniques.

Suitable for?

Anyone regardless of experience – we generally limit the age to 14 years old+ though.

What is included in the price?

  • Two full days teaching (10am-4pm-ish)
  • A printed course handout outlining the technique’s main principles
  • Clay, firings and glazes*
  • The return glazing session (16th & 17th April)
  • Tea, coffee, biscuits/cakes
  • Use of a beautiful, purpose built art studio with all the equipment & materials you will need
  • Beautiful countryside setting
*the tutor reserves the right to add a surcharge if the artist chooses to work much larger than is typical for the course

This course is for you if:

  • You want to explore your creativity but lack the confidence to do so on your own
  • You want to get away from it all and immerse yourself in a fun, creative environment
  • You want to experiment in clay but aren’t interested in pottery
  • You love animals

Pre course prep

If you have signed up for the course or are considering doing so then you just need to do a little preparation beforehand.  In a nutshell you need to collect reference material from which your sculpture will be based (i.e. pictures of your subject matter from various angles).  Please read the following two documents:

Need to Know Information pack and the Choosing Reference Material Selecting Guide.

Return Glazing Session

Your creations from the weekend will need to be dried & bisque fired before they can be glazed.  This means that you will need to return at another time to glaze your work.  I will be running glazing sessions on either the 16th or 17th April.  Please check which of the dates you could attend and put them in your diary.  Email James to book your slot too! (

At the end of the course we are confident that you will come away with two pieces that you can be happy with and have a great sense of pride & achievement.  Who knows, discovering ceramics may change the course of your life – it certainly has mine!

James Ort – Course Tutor

£165 for the whole weekend, the return glazing session, all your clay, materials, glazes and firings


James Ort


James is the tutor of the weekend course and runs the Phoenix Studio.

Alison Pink


Alison is a budding artist who comes to the studio to work.  She helps run James’ weekends – offering students advice & making sure that things run smoothly.

We get wonderful feedback from the people who attend this course.  Here are just a couple of testimonials:

What a great weekend, everyone got something really good & rewarding out of it.
James is a great teacher & made it all look easy and not daunting at all. Top marks!
The weekend flew by & what a great sense of achievement, I think we all surprised ourselves.

Henry Rossiter

I had a great weekend thanks, and was able to activate the right side of my brain for a change!

Really pleased with what I was able to achieve in such a short space of time!

Nicola Cook

If you are travelling from further afield and would like to stay in the area over the weekend, just get in touch and we can recommend local hotels and B&Bs many of whom offer our students discounted rates.

£165 for the whole weekend, the return glazing session, all your clay, materials, glazes and firings

Comments are closed.