Stone carving – patterns, weaves and knots with Paula Haughney

Carving in stone and wood

Ref: S5D11508

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About this course

Take inspiration from woven patterns, knots and ropes to create a carved stone sculpture in the round and in relief. From nautical knots to decorative Celtic patterns you will explore the scope offered by these intertwining forms and how to carve these seemingly complex shapes.

Course Description

Woven patterns, knots, twists and weaves are fascinating. The functional subject becomes a satisfying three-dimensional form in its own right. They are everywhere; woven mats, plaited hair, bread and fences to mention a few, knots such as turk’s head and monkey’s fist found in a book of 3,800 knots could all give endless inspiration for an interesting carved stone sculpture in relief or in the round.

For the first project you will work with a small square piece of maltese limestone to carve a woven pattern. You will begin by physically making knots to understand the way the rope passes up and under or how it weaves through to make a pattern. From this you will then design a simple woven pattern on paper, setting it out in a mathematical way. Finally you will carve a small relief in the maltese limestone to learn the techniques of relief carving and undercutting.

For the next project you will design and carve your choice of subject through discussion with the tutor. It can be a relief carving, a knot or a figurative sculpture with a woven element.

Individual tuition and group demonstrations on carving and techniques will be given throughout the course. This course is for beginners or for those with experience and teaching is tailored to your needs, requirements and ambition. There will be resource materials and images available for inspiration and ideas, and a tutor talk with images on the first evening. The tutor also provides you with relevant printed information throughout the course. All tools and equipment are provided by the college for you to use during the course.

At the end of the course, there will be an informal class display of work completed and in progress to review and celebrate the experience and journey throughout the week.


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

What students need to bring

  • Bring any examples of knots, twists and weaves with you for display and any inspirational images.
  • Strong boots or shoes
  • Overall as it can be dusty
  • Gloves for working in

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • We have a generously stocked craft shop that stocks general art materials.
  • Stone is stored at the sculpture courtyard. After choosing it is paid for in the craft shop.
  • A variety of stones – Maltese and other limestones, slate, alabaster and soapstones – in different weights, sizes and shapes from £2.45 – £6 a kilo will be available to purchase.
  • Available from tutor:
  • Some old architectural stone
This course can be physical and it is better to stand when carving, though it can be achieved sitting down. It is held in the Sculpture Courtyard which is a short walk away from the main house and it is open to the elements on one side. Bring suitable clothing and an umbrella. Morning coffee and afternoon tea are provided nearby in the Old Dairy. 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.


Paula Haughney

Paula Haughney,sculptor, stone-carver, maker and teacher studied at Portsmouth Polytechnic and Eastern Illinois university obtaining a BA and MA in Fine Art Sculpture. Stone carving came later, once found, she realised this was her chosen medium. Now having over 30 years experience and many monumental sculptures completed she has taught at all levels, exhibits regularly and is included in public collections worldwide.


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

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