We look in the mirror everyday, but how often do we truly examine the human face in detail? We know we have two eyes, a nose and a mouth, but do we truly observe what we are seeing – how the eyelids sit over our eyes, the form of the lips and the curve of the nose? Take a couple of days out from the stresses of your normal life and create a portrait in clay. We provide the model, tuition, clay, oh, and the perfect environment for total, unadulterated absorption!
Taught by the Studio’s co-founder Karin Ort, she will take you through the whole process of creating a portrait, from building your armature, applying clay, capturing a likeness and 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.
Armature building and getting down the basics
Learn how to build up your armature, getting the basic shape of your head.
Really observe the model, proportions and where key features sit in relation to one another.
Add more detail and facial features as the day progresses.
Building up the level of detail
Learn how to construct the key facial features like eyes, ears and the mouth.
If there is time, start hollowing out your piece and piercing it ready for firing.
Karin will do it for you if time is short.
This course includes:
- Inspiring and expert teaching from Karin Ort
- Step-by-step guidance covering…
- How to build a portrait head sculptured in clay
- The importance of keen observation of the human head and face in making your sculpture
- How to capture the characteristics of the face – you can work as realistically or abstract as you like!
- Mutual support from your fellow makers – and plenty of tea and coffee breaks
Anyone regardless of experience.
We generally limit the age to 14 years old+ though exceptions can be made where appropriate. Please contact James Orts and ask.
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 of your piece in one of our kilns
- 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 have a go at capturing the human face
- You want to get away from it all and immerse yourself in a creative environment
- You love creativity
- You’ve watched the Throw Down’s sculpture challenges and thought ‘I’d like to have a go at that!’
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 17 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:
‘My daughter and I had a wonderful weekend making a clay portrait. It was something neither of us had done before and I was a bit apprehensive at first to be able to make anything resembling a face but it was just magical, features come to life under your hands with of course the expert tuition of Karin who would just exactly help where and when it was needed. The group was really nice too, we had good chats over a cup of tea and during lunch. I got the bug for sculpting now and will do more of it in future, it is truly so much fun. Can wholeheartedly recommend this experience!’Marijke Munro
The Portrait sculpture weekend course with Karin Ort was wonderful!! Very warm and welcoming, in the beautiful Phoenix Studio setting. Karin, our tutor was really helpful and attentive, but also left us alone when we wanted to get on and try things out for ourselves, and happy to review and offer guidance afterwards. The life model was really professional and worked hard both days.
Having your finished piece fired as part of the course was also a brilliant finish to a wonderful weekend. I look forward to doing the next one again with Karin.Kevin Dobson