Sculptural woodcarving with Alex Jones

Ref: SSS31573

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1 place available

About this course

Whether you are new to woodcarving or have an existing project idea to develop and refine, the tutor aims to hone your sculptural woodcarving skills to enable you to broaden your creative horizons to realise your ideas within a fun and supportive learning environment.

Course Description

This sculptural woodcarving summer school will guide woodcarvers of all levels, from experienced to enthusiastic beginner, through the exciting process of taking a design idea from the first stages of drawing through to the final finished carving.

You will be able to either bring existing project idea to develop and refine, or be guided through a new design of your own choosing. The tutor can also provide a selection of design starting points, if necessary. You will explore how woodcarving can bring your idea to life. Beginners or those new to carving will gain skills and techniques working on a relief carving (flat-backed), while those with experience may choose to work on a three-dimensional carving.

You will learn to explore and develop the full potential of your sculptural carving skills. The tutor will teach techniques that can both simplify and open up the possibilities of new ways of carving that can be taken forward and honed on new projects. It aims to broaden your creative horizons to realise your ideas, within a fun, inspirational and supportive learning environment.

You can use both photographic images and drawing to explore and guide your design. You will become confident in the application of different tools and the sharpening of carving chisels and understand the importance of carrying out this process. The tutor will also discuss different types finishing techniques to bring out the best of your wood sculpture.

By the end of the course you will understand how to plan and develop future ideas using your new carving skills.

Summer School highlights:

The Summer School week is an immersive learning experience with more time to develop your creativity and embrace opportunities for creative development beyond your chosen course. A detailed timetable for your Summer School week will be given to you on arrival. This will include:

• Short inspirational talks by tutors and displays of their work

• A short creative experience session in another discipline/media or course

• An optional evening at the Chichester Festival Theatre (if pre-booked)

• An optional lunchtime tour of West Dean Gardens, the historic rooms at West Dean College, or West Dean Tapestry Studio.

• A celebration dinner on the last evening themed on Impressionism, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the first Impressionist exhibition held in Paris in 1874. Feel free to respond to the theme if you wish.

• Informal end-of-course group reviews and displays of students' work in studios

As evening events are planned as part of the Summer School week, dinner is included in the course fee to enable all students, including non-residents, to participate fully

Course Materials


  • On this course the College will supply drawing paper/tracing paper supplied for use by the group.
  • Sketch and tracing paper to work out your design
  • A piece of lime wood (approx. 20cm x 30 cm x 3 cm)

What students need to bring

  • Please source some ideas, starting points, photographs or sketches, which you may like to work from.
  • Seasoned timber, oval shaped, if you wish to work in the round/use your own. Limewood is available at the college.
  • Graphite pencils/rubber/pencil sharpener
  • An ipad is useful if you have one
  • Apron/overalls and sturdy covered footwear (no sandals) are essential to wear in this workshop.
  • The College provides carving tools for the course, but if you bring any of your own carving tools (chisels, mallets, gouges), please mark these with your name.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Drawing materials

Additional information

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


Timetable for Summer Schools

Several evening events are planned throughout the week, a detailed timetable for the summer schools will be given to you on arrival.

Arrival Day

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).

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 should vacate their rooms by 10am please.

General Information


Alexander Jones sculpture

Alex Jones

Alex Jones learnt his craft at City & Guilds Art College and in a traditional studio before concentrating commissions. His work can be seen at Durrell Wildlife Park, Jersey and the Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall. He has many pieces in private collections worldwide and has appeared on the BBC's Spring Watch and as a featured artist on the TV programme "Flog it!"


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

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