Wood, carving and turning

Folk art carved animals with Peter Clothier

Ref: SWE10005


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Places available

About this course

Design and carve a small scale animal in a folk art style from limewood. Create a template and carve using rotary cutters, as you develop skills that can be used for other projects.

Course Description

After choosing one animal you would like to make from the list of tiger, camel, kangaroo, zebra, giraffe, baby elephant and dog, you will begin carving in limewood. A kit of parts will be supplied to carve your first animal. Once the course is underway you will be shown how to make templates and the safe use of a jewellers saw and a motorised scroll saw for cutting out the wood for their next project which can be started once the first one is completed. You may work from the tutor’s templates or make your own from photos or images you have brought with you. The College computer suite may be used as a resource gathering images, if necessary.

The main carving technique taught for working on your animals will be carried out using rotary cutters and sanders. The finished carvings can be left as natural wood or painted with acrylic paint supplied. Alternatively you may prefer to paint your carvings at home allowing more carving time on the weekend.

The first evening will be spent explaining the process of making the animals and on instruction of the safe and effective use of rotary cutters and the health and safety considerations of their use. Once a small practice piece has been worked on, then you will begin to work on your chosen project. In the evenings you will be able to work unsupervised on their animal.


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


  • Materials, wood and acrylic paint are supplied for the course.

What students need to bring

  • No 6 and no 8 paint brushes
  • Photos of animals, side view especially
  • Pencil
  • Sturdy covered footwear is essential in the workshop/an apron if planning to paint

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Soft paint brushes and acrylic paint
  • Available from tutor:
  • Some additional materials


Peter Clothier

Peter Clothier trained initially as a woodcarver and later as an antique furniture restorer at West Dean College. Later still he spent three years studying Sculpture at City and Guilds Art School. Peter tutors woodcarving and wood sculpture at West Dean College beside being a freelance carver and restorer. He has contributed articles for Woodcarving Magazine and his book Sculpting in Wood is published by A and C Black.


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

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