Stone carving – animals with Patricia Barker

Carving in stone and wood

Ref: S4D11934

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About this course

Try direct carving an animal of your choice in soft Maltese limestone.

Course Description

From prehistory, humans have been carving representations of animals. This course will start with a brief survey of animal carving in stone from different eras and cultures, to give you an idea of the possibilities and range of approaches to the subject.

The aim will be to simplify the forms to suit the material, suggesting perhaps the essence of an animal subject rather than attempting a detailed description. Forms can be realistic or abstracted, as desired.

To develop your idea, you can make drawings if you wish and then sculpt a small clay sketch that will fit the proportions of the stone. This will be used as a guide for beginning the carving.

You will be using blocks of Maltese limestone which is relatively easy to carve. You will be shown how to use carving tools and given guidance through the different stages of the carving. There will be basic advice on stone carving for any beginners and individual guidance for all to help you advance your practice.

At the end of the course you will have an animal carving and have gained knowledge and confidence in stone carving techniques.


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


  • Clay, wet and dry paper in various grades, Abranet, wax, rags and a piece of Maltese limestone 10x8x8 inches approximately.

What students need to bring

  • Reference material for their chosen animal subject.
  • Sketchbook and pencil if desired.
  • Work clothes and head covering.
  • Sensible shoes/boots. Sandals must not be worn in the workshop.
  • Can bring gardening type gloves.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • General drawing materials including sketchbooks and pencils.
Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toed shoes or sandals. Safety boots if possible. Stone carving is a dusty activity, safety equipment such as eye shields and dust masks will be provided. Apron or boiler suit, hat (it can be dusty), gloves to work in or to handle stone (need to fit). Sun cream if working outside or umbrella if forecast rain. The workshop is open on one side so be prepared for any type of weather. Stone carving is most effective standing up but can be achieved sitting down. 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.


Patricia Barker

Patricia completed an MA in Fine Art at University of Central England in 1994. She has exhibited at The Discerning Eye and the Royal Society of British Artists. She is a member of Chelsea Art Society and in 2020 was awarded the Sloane Stanley medal. 


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

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