Carving in stone and wood

Relief carving in stone – plant forms with Jo Sweeting

Ref: SWE09454

Suitable for all

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Places available

About this course

Experience the process of carving a relief in limestone. Taking inspiration from the shapes and textures of plants you will hand cut your design directly onto stone using traditional tools, including chisels and mallets.

Course Description

This course offers an introduction to low/medium relief carving in limestone and the aim is for you to complete a hand carved panel based on a botanical design. Techniques for hand cutting designs direct onto the stone are demonstrated to help you design and draw out ideas based on seasonal plant forms onto stone panels.

You learn to use traditional stone carving tools such as mallets, claws and chisels safely and with care. Techniques demonstrated and used include chopping, chasing and levelling and you work on stone available to buy at the College.

Help is given on all aspects of design, drawing out and tracing onto the stone, suitable for those with minimal drawing skills. Those with some previous experience could attempt deeper relief carved areas and, if required, put letter cut text onto the panel with guidance.

The tutor will give group demonstrations and individual tuition as required. A project can be set, if required, or you may work on your own designs with support as needed.


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, 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 tutor will provide plant forms.

What students need to bring

  • Please bring any of the items below, if you have them

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Layout paper, Tracedown or carbon tracing paper
  • HB pencils, wax crayons
  • Eraser, ruler
  • Diapad rubbing blocks
  • Different stones are available from 50p to £6 a kilo. Blocks will be available from £15 - £45.

Stone carving is a dusty activity so wear appropriate clothing. Safety equipment (safety glasses and ear defenders) can be borrowed, masks are provided but you might like to bring fitting gloves to work in. Foot covering strong shoes or boots (steel toe caps preferred) must be worn when in the workshop. Full health and safety instructions will be given.



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

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