Stone carving – inspired by the landscape with Paula Haughney

Carving in stone and wood

Ref: SSS10553

Suitable for all

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About this course

Stone is a natural part of the landscape. Create a sculpture inspired by what you see. There will be some carving insitu in the West Dean landscape and all aspects of outdoor carved stone sculpture covered.

Course Description

Explore the ideas and techniques for carving stone sculptures destined to be outside in different environments. Learn how to make sculptures that belong and embrace their surroundings.

You will learn about:

1. The types of stone suitable for being exposed to all weathers and conditions, and where to source them.

2. Design, planning and methods of carving.

3. The different surface textures and finishes, desired look and maintenance.

4. Plinths and secure mounting of sculpture or natural earth settings.

5. The importance of light to enhance the carving at different times of day and seasons.

For the first exercise inspiration will be obtained by walking out into the surrounding landscape around the College, whittling a portable piece of chalk and placing it in the environment. By recording and drawing its situation you will achieve a sense of place and what is possible.

You will consider images of natural rock features, ancient structures and more contemporary artists who have placed their work in the landscape to gain an understanding of how this is successful. You will reflect on your own piece which can be figurative or abstract. Inspirational resources will be available in the studio and in the College Library.

Teaching is given in groups and on an individual basis, tailored to your skills and requirements.

There is a wide choice of stone available to purchase including different limestones, soapstones in blocks and natural rock shapes. The tutor will also have some reclaimed architectural stone.

A feature of the Summer School is an immersive learning experience, with more time to develop your creativity and embrace further opportunities for creative development beyond your chosen course.

Several early evening creative sessions (5.10pm - 7pm) are planned throughout the week. Extra activities will differ this year in response to social distancing. A detailed timetable for your Summer School week will be given to you on arrival. This will include:

• Short inspirational talks by tutors and displays of their work

• Sign up for early evening tutor-led drawing sessions in the garden

• Time to relax or explore in the tranquil West Dean Gardens

• Take a break from your course with some free time on Tuesday afternoon, from 3.30-5pm

• Informal end-of-course group reviews and displays of students' work in studios


Timetable for Summer Schools

Several evening events are planned throughout the week, a detailed timetable for the summer schools will be given to you on arrival.

Arrival Day

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).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, 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 should vacate their rooms by 10am please.

Course Materials

What students need to bring

  • Shoes suitable for walking
  • Shoes suitable for the Workshop – closed toes (no sandals)
  • Waterproofs and warm clothing (to be on the safe side)
  • Start thinking about landscapes
  • Collect inspirational images
  • Look at natural and sculptural forms with a sense of place

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Drawing materials and sketchbooks
  • Wet and dry papers, diamond pads
  • Carving tools (in addition to those available to use in the Workshop)
  • Plasticine
  • A wide choice of stone – limestones and soapstones in different shapes, sizes and colours, from £3 a kilo. The stone is stored at the Sculpture Courtyard and paid for at the College Craft Shop.
  • Available from tutor:
  • Additional stone, small chalk boulders and reclaimed architectural stone from old buildings.


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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