Pebble mosaics – traditional method with George Howarth

Ref: SWE31668

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2 places available

About this course

Learn the traditional method of pebble mosaic making where pebbles are placed into a dry mix of sand and cement and the mosaic is made in-situ.

Course Description

This course is aimed at those new to pebble mosaic and those with basic experience wishing to hone their skills. The traditional method is the easiest technique to learn and this course aims to give a thorough understanding of the process from design to construction. You will briefly delve into the history of the technique and look at examples from around the world to see what is possible. The principles of design will be trained and the medium explored, looking at both the advantages and limitations of this technique. An emphasis will be given to sound construction methods to ensure the strongest possible product.

Over the course of two days, you will complete a 50cm square practice piece, which you can take home. You will also have gained the skills and confidence necessary to undertake your own projects in-situ.

The first evening will include a presentation in the form of a slide show and a talk on the history, examples and an overview of the craft and design principles.

On the first day, you will work out designs and begin your practice pieces. Although these practice pieces must be made in moulds so they can be taken home, the tutor will concentrate on teaching the practicalities of in-situ construction along the way.

On the second day, you will see the pieces completed and finishing techniques will be explained. Before finishing the course there will be an opportunity to explore, discuss and get advice on any future projects you may wish to undertake after the course.


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 most of the materials, including black, white, yellow and red pebbles, sand, cement and wooden moulds.

What students need to bring

  • A pair of thin waterproof gardening gloves
  • Apron
  • Covered sturdy shoes
  • You will be working outside throughout the course, so please bring appropriate clothing.
  • Bubble wrap or old towels to protect the mosaics while being transported
  • Optional: Any special pebbles/pieces of stone you may like to use (These may or may not be suitable, but we will try to incorporate them.)
  • Optional: Any preliminary design ideas (Detail must be limited for the traditional method. Bold and simple is best. We can figure out if/how your ideas may translate on the course. Not everything is suitable for the medium.)

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good variety of art and craft materials
  • Available from tutor:
  • There will be some larger ‘jewel’ pebbles, slate and sandstone features to purchase from the tutor.

Additional information

Please note: Your workshop will be in the Sculpture Courtyard, which is a 10-minute walk from the main house through the walled garden or can be accessed by car. The Sculpture Courtyard is open on one side, so be prepared for any type of weather. Morning coffee and afternoon tea will be held in the nearby Carrington Studio. You will return to the main house for lunch. Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no open toes or sandals). Safety boots if possible. Masks are provided, but you might like to bring fitting gloves to work in. Possible equipment restrictions in tutor absence.


George Howarth

George is a pebble mosaic artist and runs Maggy Howarth Studios; a thriving design studio and workshop which has produced hundreds of commissioned artworks over 35 years. He is the son of renowned pebble mosaic artist and creator of the pre-cast technique, Maggy Howarth. George has taught similar courses at Maggy Howarth studios and now brings his expertise to West Dean.


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

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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.