The sense of achievement you get from taking a lump of clay and turning it into a miniature person is hard to describe. Hours of considered observation, tweaks and refinements and suddenly they are formed – a tiny person who has so much invested in them, they could almost be alive! Take a couple of days out from your normal life to create a figure in clay. We provide the life model, tuition, clay, oh, and the perfect environment for total absorption!
Taught by the Studio’s co-founder, Karin Ort, she will take you through the whole process of creating your model, from constructing the form using simple shapes, to refining and becoming more detailed as you start to capture a likeness. Then onto preparing your model for firing. It can be as figurative or abstract as you like – the choice is yours – and Karin will help you create your artistic vision. Once finished the piece will be allowed to dry out and, once dry, will be fired in one of our kilns. It will then be yours to collect, take away and keep.
With almost twenty years of teaching experience, Karin has an exceptional eye for detail and is able to guide and encourage students through to reaching their creative potential.
Building up the form and getting down the basics
Learn how to build up the figure, really focusing on where parts of the body sit in relation to each other.
Focusing on the negative space around the model and getting your proportions correct.
Adding more detail and facial features as the day progresses.
Building up the level of detail
Learn how to construct the key features of the form – face, hands, feet and hair.
Prepare your piece so that is ready for firing in our kiln.
Working on the surface pattern and finish of your piece, deciding what level of detail to work to.
This course includes:
- Inspiring and expert teaching from Karin Ort
- Step-by-step guidance covering…
- How to construct a human figure in clay
- The importance of keen observation of the human form in making your sculpture
- How to capture the characteristics and musculature of the model
- Mutual support from your fellow makers – and plenty of tea and coffee breaks
Anyone. Though we generally advise that students be 16 years old+ though exceptions can be made where appropriate.
What is included in the price?
- Two full days’ teaching (10am-4.00pm)
- Tea, coffee, biscuits/cake
- A professional life model
- All your materials, clay and firing in the kiln
- Use of a beautiful purpose-built art studio with all the equipment & materials you will need
- Beautiful countryside setting
This course is for you if:
- You want to explore the wonderful, tactile medium of clay
- You want to learn new skills
- You want to explore capturing the human form
- You want to get away from it all and immerse yourself in a creative environment
- You love creativity
- You’ve seen them modelling on the Great Pottery Throwdown and want to have a go yourself!
Pre course prep
There is little to do in preparation for this course in all honesty. If you wanted to be fabulously studious, you could always sketch a friend or loved one. It doesn’t matter how good or bad your drawing skills and subsequent sketches are, its just about the act of truly observing what it is you are trying to capture on paper. These observations you gain from sketching will transfer across to your sculpture.
You will be sent an automated email on booking which prompts you towards a document that helps you prepare for your time at the studio . If this does not happen then please email James before the course.
Beyond the course:
Having completed a Phoenix Studio course many of our students choose to explore the medium further. They may come on another course, sign up for our midweek clay life modelling terms – one taught, one untutored (a waiting list may apply) or carry on independently at home (you can bring your pieces here for firing). You can even start coming to our Phoenix Art Club Sessions.
Whatever you choose, we are more than happy to help and advise you in taking those first creative steps!
If you are travelling from further afield and would like to stay in the area for your visit then have a look at our recommended list of local B&Bs and hotels.
ABOUT THE TUTOR
Karin Ort is the cofounder of the Phoenix Studio.
Always creative from a young age, Karin discovered clay modelling in 1995 when she started doing weekend courses with Mary Orrom at Great Missenden. She then studied for a part time National Diploma in ceramics and surface pattern at Barnfield College, then enrolling on an HNC in 3-dimensional design.
In 2004 she started running sculpture workshops at the studio. These sessions proved so popular that over the last 14 years she has introduced many people to the delights of modelling in clay.
Karin has an exceptional eye for detail and is able to guide and encourage students through to reaching their creative potential. When not teaching at the studio, Karin produces her own work, selling it at exhibitions and through commissions.
Karin has had great feedback from her courses. Here are just a couple of testimonials:
This was my third trip to the Phoenix Studios, having done a couple of the animal clay courses. I was quite apprehensive about my ability to create a life model but Karin remained calm and positive throughout, guiding us all to produce some amazing pieces. The atmosphere was most supportive , with Karin looking after both students and model with care and consideration. I would highly recommend the weekend to anyone , you will be delighted by what you achieve!Lucy Cross
WOW! If you’re wondering/contemplating… stop and book it NOW! If I can do it, so can you!
What a fabulous weekend! It was fun, rewarding, relaxing, stimulating (can it be both? -yes it can apparently!), exciting, therapeutic…just wonderful. I shouldn’t have put it off for so long!
Karin is a fab teacher and everyone on the course was so friendly and kind. It was great to be learning and achieving in such a lovely nurturing environment.Bev Wilson