Wire & Mixed Media with James Ort, Dates To Be Confirmed

Wire & Mixed Media with James Ort, Dates To Be Confirmed

Come and spend three days delving deep into how to make wire sculpture and exploring ways of incorporating mixed-media elements into your piece too. This course is essentially a deluxe version of James’ Freeform Wire Sculpture Course.  You’ll be get to use a few additional tools, materials and techniques to bring other qualities to your creations.

James has spent over a decade bringing together and experimenting with different materials in his sculpture. Now you will be able to learn from his trials and tribulations, exploring the various techniques to see what works for you. You will be able to add bespokely shaped pieces of sheet metal (cut with either electric shears or a plasma cutter), add found or upcycled items to you piece. You can also add fabric soaked in PVA to your sculpture or bring colour to them using spray paints. We supply various mixed media materials but you are also encouraged to bring your own, particularly items that have sentimental or personal value. These could include items anything such a feathers, fabric, string, beads, toys, jewellery, etc.

The course will start by James giving a demo on how to create a wire form and then he will pepper the rest of the time with other demonstrations on how to add mixed media elements to the pieces. Students will be left with a lot of time to explore and problem solve themselves, with James being on hand for advice when needed!

Wire is such an amazing medium to work in – the wire used 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.  It’s basically like drawing in air! When James creates his own sculpture, he really focuses on symmetry, flow and form.

The addition of the 3rd day on this course means that students will be able to develop their ideas more fully without being so constricted by time restraints.

£320 for the three day course, including tuition, the use of tools & materials

(very, very rarely small surcharges may apply for some materials if a student's ideas go way beyond what has been budgeted for!)


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 james@phoenixstudio.co.uk. Places are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.



Brief talk & demonstration.

James will discuss what can be done with wire and how to create a sculpture from it. Special attention will be paid to giving the piece structural integrity WHILST capturing form.


Your time create!

You’ve seen how & what can be done, you will be able to start creating your wire form. James will be on hand to offer advice & support as needed. Additional mixed media elements can be added at this stage if you have reached that point.


Adding mixed media flare!

Everyone piece is unique to them and you will be encourage to do what is best for your sculpture. By this point, most students would have finished their wire sculpture and will spend the day adding whatever mixed media elements they want to their piece.


This fun course includes:

  • Informal, relaxed & attentive guidance for every student, provided by James Ort
  • A morning demonstration showing…
  • How to use a range of wire gauges and types (for example fencing wire, chicken wire and sheet metal)
  • How to assemble your sculpture in order to make it both stable and lifelike
  • How to handle the wire to bring symmetry, flow and visual movement to your creation
  • How to incorporate a range of mixed media elements into your sculpture
  • Ideas on how to display your work 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 want to try using new materials, explore different medium and exciting new tools
  • 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 loves sculpting all kinds of animals, human and natural forms – this is what he specialises in and excites him.
    • However, 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 (he has helped many students create these over the years), they are just a bit out of his comfort zone so you both may have to do a bit of research beforehand about what it is you want to do.
  • 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 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.

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.

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 course many of our students choose to explore the medium further. They may come on another course, start coming to our Phoenix Art Club Sessions, or carry on independently at home. We are more than happy to help and advise you in taking those first creative steps, help connect you to the wider creative community.

I love the wire & mixed media weekends 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 manages the Phoenix Studio, moving up to the Shire from Brighton nearly a decade ago. He quickly took up sculpting, finding he was equally drawn to ceramic and wire (he teaches courses in both mediums here at the studio).

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.

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

£320 for the three day course, including tuition, the use of tools & materials

(very, very rarely small surcharges may apply for some materials if a student's ideas go way beyond what has been budgeted for!)


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 james@phoenixstudio.co.uk. Places are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.

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