Pebble mosaics – a creative garden feature with Sue Rew


Ref: SLW11826

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About this course

Learn two different mosaic techniques, and recognise the contrasting shapes, colours and textures of pebbles and other materials that can be used to produce intricate designs for your mosaic slabs.

Course Description

A pebble mosaic can add a unique personal touch to any garden, creating a beautiful focal point.

This course opens with advice on developing a simple design suitable for this medium, with guidance on the qualities to look for in pebbles. You will start with the “pre-cast indirect method” which is more advanced but will need time to set. This method allows you to produce a 30cm x 30cm detailed design with a flatter surface. While your first mosaic is curing, you will move onto your second 45cm x 45cm square using “the dry mix direct method” which can also be used in situ.

We will discuss tools and methods of cutting and shaping stone and slate.

Course notes are provided for both techniques including material sourcing, so you can use your new skills to complete more projects at home. It will also be a good opportunity for you to talk through any ideas or projects you have for your own garden, including tips about installation.

The workshop is open in the evening for anyone wishing to sort pebbles and plan designs.

The College will provide black, white and yellow quartz pebbles and cut slates. You are welcome to bring your own choice of coloured pebbles/rocks/slates if they are 3cm (1.25”) to 5cm (2.25”) in depth. Pebbles less than 3cm in depth are not suitable.


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


  • The College will provide black, white and yellow quartz pebbles and cut slates. You are welcome to bring your own choice of coloured pebbles/rocks/slates which are a suitable size i.e. 3cm (1.25”) to 5cm (2.25”) in depth.
  • On this course the tutor will supply some of the materials including cut slates and some pebbles. The College will supply most of the other materials including wooden moulds, pebbles, Top mix (cement, sieved sharp and soft sand), non-shrink cementitious grout, plasticiser, pre-mixed concrete and waterproof tape.

What students need to bring

  • If possible bring ideas for two potential designs, one to be drawn onto 30cm x 30cm thick clear plastic, the other a cut out cardboard or foam board template to fit a 45cm by 45cm square. Some pre-cut templates will be available to use.
  • 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: Frost proof pebbles e.g. 3cm-5cm or other rocks you may wish to use.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Drawing / sketch pad, pencils
  • Available from tutor:
  • There will be the opportunity for you to purchase 3cm round coloured glass nuggets if you wish to use them in your design. The extra cost is £15 for approximately 60 nuggets. This charge should be paid to the tutor before the end of the course, by cash or cheque.
This course is held in the sculpture courtyard studio which is 10 minutes walk from the main house through the walled garden, or can be accessed by car. You will have morning coffee and afternoon tea near the studio and return to the main house for lunch. The course is in an outdoor covered sculpture studio, you will be working outside throughout the course so please bring appropriate clothing. Covered sturdy shoes are essential. Please note the mosaics will be very heavy and will require two people to lift them. They will need to be transported home flat and measure 18inch/46cm plus a frame and 12 inch /30cm square.


Sue Rew

Sue Rew was trained by world renowned pebble mosaic artist Maggy Howarth. She has run her own studio workshops for the past eight years. Her mosaics can be seen in local Cotswold gardens participating in the National Gardens Scheme. She is a member of British Association of Modern Mosaicists.


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

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Further study options

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