Free-form Wire Sculpture with James Ort, Dates To Be Confirmed

Free-form Wire Sculpture with James Ort, Dates To Be Confirmed

Come and spend two days getting wired!

Learn how to use wire to make the sculpture of your choice – the only limit is your imagination!  This course is perfect for releasing the creativity that we all have inside ourselves, regardless of your ability or experience. And the best part is that wire is so accessible you can carry on doing it at home with minimal expense!

Join James for this inspiring and practical course that will teach you how to create free-form wire sculpture, essentially just using some wire and basic hand-held tools. Over the two days will be shown how to turn your own ideas into life. James will give a brief talk about the various techniques and approaches on the first morning, leaving you with the rest of the two days to lose yourself in creativity. James will be on hand the whole time to guide and advise you every step of the way.

Wire is such an amazing medium to work in – it can be surprisingly pliable and easy to manipulate.  At the same time however, it can assembled in ways that bring great strength and rigidity.  This makes creating very dynamic forms a reality, something that is not always easy with most sculptural mediums such as clay or stone.  It’s basically like drawing in air!

What James loves about wire is how you can keep it so minimalist – the human eye can see just a few lengths of wire and the minds eye fills in the gaps. It is surprising how so little material can give such a vivid sense of mass, movement, energy and form. When James creates his own sculpture, he really focuses on symmetry, flow and anatomy. He will talk you through the principles of how he works but ultimately, it’s up to you to find a way of working that suits you (though James may give you a wee nudge along the way if required!).

All the wire you will need is provided for this course, it’s just up to you on how you use it. Please note, James prefers to create living forms (such as animals and humans). You can create abstract forms too but if you want to make man-made objects with straight/precise lines, such as cars or planes, then this course may not be for you.

£225 for the weekend's tuition, the use of tools & materials


We normally redirect you to James’s website to book this course, but it is playing up right now!

To secure your place, please email us using Places are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.



Brief talk & demonstration.

James will demonstrate what can be done with wire and how to make it happen. Special attention will be paid to ensuring your pieces have structural integrity WHILST capturing your chosen subject’s form.


Your time create!

You’ve seen how & what can be done, now you have the rest of the weekend to create. James will be on hand to offer advice & support as needed.

This fun course includes:

  • Informal, relaxed & attentive guidance for every student, provided by James Ort
  • A morning demonstration showing…
  • How to best use the range of different gauged wires
  • How to assemble your sculpture in order to make it both stable and lifelike
  • How to handle the wire to bring symmetry, flow and and a sense of dynamism to your creation
  • Whilst this course does not use mixed media elements and only uses wire, James will provide hand made ceramic beads which can be added to emulate eyes.
  • Ideas on how to display your work to best effect at home and how to carry on creating beyond the course

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-4.30pm)
  • The use of materials and equipment needed to make a sculpture
  • A printed course handout outlining the technique’s main principles
  • Tea, coffee, biscuits/cakes
  • 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 your creativity but lack the confidence to do so on your own
  • You want to delve into a creative medium that can handle the wild thoughts of your imagination!
  • You want to get away from it all and immerse yourself in a fun, creative environment
  • You want to experiment in a medium that is accessible and cheap to pursue at your own leisure – this could be your new life’s passion!
  • You have been dreaming for years about making a piece of art to go in your home or garden

What should you make?

  • Anything really! James really dislikes restricting what his students make however, please keep the following points in mind…
  • The tutor’s areas of expertise.
    • James love sculpting all kinds of animals, human and natural forms – this is what he specialise in and excites him.
    • He is not as confident in creating man-made structures, wire trees, shells or dandelion/seed heads. That’s not to say he can’t help you realise your vision mind (he has helped many students create these over the years!), they are just not quite as within his comfort zone so to speak.
  • Be realistic about the size of your sculpture!
    • A life size elephant may be pushing it on a two day course!
    • Please try to create something that can be completed in two days.
    • A life size dog, heron or red kite is about as big as you should probably go.
    • We do ask that any unfinished sculpture be taken home with you after the two days as storage is a problem.
    • If you need more wire to finish off your sculpture after the course then we would happily sell you additional materials or tell you where to get them from.

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).

You will be sent an automated email on booking which prompts you towards documents that help you prepare for your time here. If this does not happen then please email James before the course.

Shortly before the course date, James will email the attendees to see what they plan to make – this is an opportunity to identify any hurdles that need overcoming in advance, so you can hit the ground running on the course itself!

Need accommodation?

If you are travelling from further afield and would like to stay in the area for your visit then have a look at our recommend B&Bs and hotels.  Click here for the list.

Beyond The Course

Having completed a Phoenix Studio weekend many of our students choose to explore the medium further. They may come on another sculpture course here (following on from this course, the 3-day Wire and Mixed Media Sculpture Course with James would be a fine choice to add to your newly found knowledge). We are more than happy to help and advise you on how to reach out to the wider creative community and in taking those first creative steps when you get home! After the course, James also sends out a follow-up email with links on where to source materials for sculpting at home.

I love the medium of wire for many reasons, but for me one of the main is the accessibility of course.  Anyone can try it regardless of their background, it’s easy to take up and so open to interpretation – as such, you see raw creativity in it’s purest form.  I love it!

I simply arm students with the basic techniques and ideas, it’s then it’s up to them to interpret what they have been told in their way (that’s not to say that I am not there to offer help when needed!).  Often the artists who sign up for the course will learn as much from their fellow students as they do from me.  It’s about sharing ideas, inspiration and experimenting.

James Ort – Course Tutor


James Ort

James is the main tutor of this course. He is a wildlife artist. He has always loved animals and his late Grandfather, the Ladybird Children’s book illustrator Brian Price Thomas was a big catalyst for both his love of wildlife and art. His main passion is sculpture, where he is equally drawn to ceramic and wire.

James also has been the manager of the Phoenix Studio for over a decade now, having moved up to Oxfordshire from Brighton where he worked in conservation.

We get wonderful feedback from the artists who attend this course.  Here are a just a few testimonials:

It’s really put the fire back in my belly and given me the push I need to start being creative again.  It was the perfect place to meet like minded people and become inspired, all in such idyllic surroundings.  I really enjoyed the freeness of the weekend with access to all the random bits of junk, with the only structure being have fun, meet people and make something you may never have had the opportunity to do before.  With James’ guidance, advice and collaboration it was great to get that Eureka moment…!
Rachel from Waddesdon
I’ve had a wonderful two days wire sculpting with James. He is a fabulous tutor with lots of enthusiasm and patience.
The studio is very peaceful and relaxing it was especially lovely to see his hens wandering about too.
This course has really inspired me especially seeing everyone’s creations too, we all did something different.
I would definitely recommend this course and I will be back to do something else next year.
Thankyou James.
Barbara Harwood

I enjoyed a fantastic weekend arriving as a novice but leaving on a huge high having actually managed to create a masterpiece (!) under James’ patient guidance! I was extremely impressed by his creativity, humour and the very efficient way he runs the studio and the speed he managed to start us all off. I can’t wait to make a return visit and am now inspired to greater achievements. How lucky I was to have found such a venue and cannot thank James enough.

Liz Pow

This is now the third time I have been taught by James on the wire and mixed media course. It has once again been an inspirational experience generating so many creative ideas that I cannot wait to return and also attempt something at home. James has the ability to empower you to believe you can achieve your creative goal. His positive and relaxed teaching approach, together with the calm studio setting including ‘clucking chickens’ makes his courses irresistible.

Irene Pratsides

£225 for the weekend's tuition, the use of tools & materials


We normally redirect you to James’s website to book this course, but it is playing up right now!

To secure your place, please email us using Places are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.

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