Carving in wood
Time: 18:00 - 21:00
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Course Code: VU787
Duration: 12 sessions (over 12 weeks)
What is the course about?
This course aims to develop your understanding of sculpture through the medium of wood carving. Whatever your previous experience, you will be guided in making models of your designs, transposing these to wood, and the skills of carving the wood itself. You will develop a strong understanding of form and mass, learn about the work of other wood carvers, and produce beautiful carvings to take home and inspire your further work.
What will we cover?
There will be discussion with illustrations on various aspects of carved sculpture, to give focus for the term’s work. You will be encouraged to make clay or plasticine models (maquettes) of your ideas, before embarking on your carving. Your tutor will advise you on how to scale up your design onto the wood, and will give you guidance on the use and care of carving tools throughout the course. Advice will also be offered on displaying completed sculptures, and appropriate oils and varnishes.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Produce a suitable design in clay.
- Handle carving tools competently and safely.
- Carve in wood from your own ideas.
- Demonstrate an understanding of form and mass.
- Appreciate the work of other woodcarvers.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
The course is open to all levels; from those who have no previous knowledge or experience of woodcarving to those who have carved in wood (or stone) previously.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
There will be group talks on issues concerning the whole class; otherwise teaching will be on an individual basis. There will be design projects set, for example, to sculpt a head, a naturalistic subject or an abstract theme. But you are also encouraged to bring sketchbooks with your own ideas for discussion with the tutor.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Tools are provided by City Lit, although you may wish to buy rifflers (very small files) for reaching detail. If you wish to buy a set of woodcarving tools for yourself, you will be advised of suppliers during the course.
Stout shoes must be worn in the sculpture studio at all times.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
The City Lit sculpture department offers a wide range of exciting courses that will allow you to progress from beginner to advanced and learn a range of techniques. After this course you may wish to join a similar course to develop your skills further or try something completely different. We offer courses in prop making, metal, clay, wax, carving in stone and wood, mould making and casting in Jesmonite, or pewter and much more! Alternatively, you may wish to progress onto the year-long City Lit Sculpture course VU841, which helps you to build your own individual sculpture practice and culminates with an exhibition in a London gallery.
We are constantly adding new courses. Please ask your tutor for advice or browse the City Lit website for inspiration. It is also possible to contact our visual arts team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling 020 7492 2700 Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm.
Alexandra Harley is a sculptor with an immersive engagement with materials working in Stratford, London. She began teaching woodcarving at City Lit in 1985 and has taught other materials including bronze, stone and life modelling. She was elected to the Royal Society of Sculptors in 2000 and The London Group since 2017. She began studying sculpture at Wimbledon School of Art under Katherine Gilli and Glyn Williams and at St Martins School of Art under Tim Scott. Alexandra Harley has had several prestigious fellowships in Japan and the USA and was awarded the Brian Mercer Fellowship spending time in the Mariani Bronze Foundry, Italy, in 2016. Exhibitions include the ING Discerning Eye, Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, Royal Society of Sculptors Summer Exhibition, Creekside Open, Cork Street Open and the London Group Open; she has an extensive international CV and work in private collections. Her sculptures seek the capture of a fleeting moment and engage with the suspension of movement by fixing a physical interpretation of a brief and transitory fragment in time. With an internal energy pulsing through the complex constructions, her sculptures evade a single analysis.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.