Carving colourful stone – alabaster and soapstone with Paula Haughney

Ref: SLW13308

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About this course

Experiment with mark-making and texture as you learn stone carving techniques with these easy to carve stones. The whole process is covered from developing designs with models through to finishing and polishing.

Course Description

This is an exploration of carving in alabaster and soapstone, experimenting in mark-making and textured surfaces, pushing the boundaries of these wonderful colourful natural materials. Whether the subject matter is from nature or more abstract, you will carve several small sculptures. The colour and natural markings in the chosen stones will bring the form alive.

You will have the use of visual resources from bones, shells and natural objects to images of ancient and contemporary art.

Tuition is given by demonstration of the different techniques for various stones, and on an individual basis for beginners and those who wish to advance in their practice.

The course develops through the design stage to the finished piece, including the various ways of polishing and finishing the surface of the stone.

The tutor will give advice on where to source materials, tools and further information.


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


  • You will need to purchase alabaster and soapstone from the College Shop. It is not included in the course fee.

What students need to bring

  • Essential: Bring any pictures, models for inspiration.
  • Wear strong boots or shoes (no open toed sandals).
  • Bring an overall or apron as it can be dusty.
  • If you like to wear gloves to protect your hands when carving, bring some of your own that fit – like good gardening gloves.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Alabaster, serpentines and various soapstones are available to buy from the shop. They come in various shapes, sizes and colours from £3 per kilo.
  • Optional: Wet and dry paper, various grades
  • Sketchbook and drawing materials

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes stout covered footwear, i.e. no open-toes or sandals, and safety boots, if specified.


Paula Haughney portrait

Paula Haughney

Paula Haughney,sculptor, stone-carver, maker and teacher studied at Portsmouth Polytechnic and Eastern Illinois university obtaining a BA and MA in Fine Art Sculpture. Stone carving came later, once found, she realised this was her chosen medium. Now having over 30 years experience and many monumental sculptures completed she has taught at all levels, exhibits regularly and is included in public collections worldwide.


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

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