Three-dimensional wire animals with James Ort

Ref: SLW13209

About this course

Learn how to use wire to make animal sculptures of your choice. An inspiring and practical course where you will learn free-form wire sculpture techniques to bring your ideas to life.

Course Description

This is a perfect course for releasing creativity, regardless of your ability or experience.

Wire is an amazing medium to work in – it can be surprisingly pliable and easy to manipulate, and at the same time it can be 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 is basically like drawing in air.

The wire used is so accessible that you can easily carry on at home with minimal expense or materials.

Join the tutor for this inspiring and practical course that will teach you free-form wire sculpture techniques to bring your own wild ideas to life. The tutor will give a brief talk about the various techniques and approaches at the start of the course, leaving you with the rest of the time to lose yourself in your sculpture. You are welcome to make any mammal, bird, fish, amphibian, reptile, insect or crustacean of your choice. The tutor will also be on hand to guide and advise every step of the way.

When the tutor creates his sculptures, he focuses on symmetry, flow and form. He will talk you through the principles of how he works and will guide you to find a way of working that suits you.

As your sculpture progresses, you can incorporate a range of other mixed media materials into your design, if you choose to bring any along. Otherwise, you can let the wire speak for itself, using the linear form to bring your specimen to life.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • On this course the College will supply all of the materials, including: various gauges of wire, cable ties, black and white milliputt. Pliers and wire cutters will be provided by the College for your use.

What students need to bring

  • You will need to think about what animals you would like to create before you attend the course. You will be required to gather reference material to work from (a guide on selecting reference material will be emailed to you by the College, which you should read at least a week before the course’s start date).
  • It is possible to incorporate other mixed media materials into your sculpture. These could include found objects, small pieces of scrap metal, beads, feathers, old keys, branches, leaves, basically anything you wish. You are encouraged to bring your own materials to the session if you want to explore this option further (only wire is provided for the course, though the tutor will bring a variety of black ceramic beads which can serve as eyes).
  • Please bring a 2B pencil and some coloured felt tip pens.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good selection of general art materials including pencils, pens and paper.

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals.


James Ort

Grandson to Ladybird Children's Book Illustrator Brian Price Thomas, James started creating from a young age and is inspired by nature. He began teaching over 5 years ago and teaches people of all ages. James exhibits his work at various shows, galleries and events including Art in Action in 2016.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

Courses of interest

Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.