Carve a tropical butterfly in limewood with Alex Jones

Wood, carving and turning

Ref: S1D11557

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About this course

Learn the basic techniques and processes of woodcarving as you create the delicate wings of this tropical beauty helping you to get to grips with the carver's tools.

Course Description

During this course you will be taken through the process of carving this beautiful insect, a creature from College founder, Edward James’ tropical retreat in Mexico.

You will carve in lime, a wood favoured by the master carver of the 18th century, Grinling Gibbons. The subtle qualities of limewood bring sculpture to the fore without having to wrestle with a troublesome grain and gives the opportunity for creating the illusion of the butterfly’s light delicate wings.

As you work, you will be taught to use woodcarving chisels safely, both with the mallet and by hand. You will carve a pre-cut piece of lime wood provided, to speed up the process and allow you to get started quickly with the wood carving tools and the creation of form.

By the end of the day you will have carved a finished butterfly this can be simply clear-sealed on the day and waxed at your leisure or, if you wish to take it further, your tutor will advise you on the best approach of using pigments and paints.

Having completed the course, you will be able to plan and design further shallow relief carving projects and be in the perfect position to develop your new found skills further.


Timetable for one day courses

Students should arrive by 9am for registration.

Classes are from 9.15 - 5pm

Lunch is included.

Course Materials


  • On this course the College will supply a piece of limewood, which is included in the course fee.

What students need to bring

  • Clothing and footwear suitable for the workshop. It is essential to wear sturdy covered footwear (not sandals).
  • The College provides carving tools for use on the course but you may bring any carving tools (chisels, mallets, gouges) you already have if you wish (please mark any tools you bring to the course with your name).

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Graphite pencils/rubber/pencil sharpener
  • A4 Paper and tracing paper
Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. You may need safety boots, if specified above.


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!"

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