Course Start Dates
Course dates are flexible; please get in touch for the next available date.
About the Course
Learn how to carve in a single day with one-to-one tuition.
Please note that dates are very flexible (weekdays) and we are currently taking bookings for several months in advance.
A one day course specifically aimed at complete beginners with no previous knowledge. Learn how to carve a relief in wood in a single day, (the very foundation of all sculpture in the round) with highly personal one to one tuition in the beautiful surroundings of the Peak District National Park. One to one tuition is by far the best and quickest way to learn a new skill, without the usual distractions of a group situation. This is a serious course for those interested in art, and provides the first step to a more creative and artistic future.
Sculpture and carving have been a constant source of wonder and fascination for thousands of years and are especially relevant as a design statement in the 21st century, with its feeble, impersonal and sanitized design paralysis. Carvings are like a magnet, and in any design, they always become the focal point to which people gravitate.
Perhaps the enchanting and magical nature of carving has something to do with the mystery of the process, and that only certain gifted artists posses this great esoteric knowledge. Fortunately this is not the case, and a complete beginner with no prior knowledge can understand and master the basics of relief carving in one single day session. The key is one-to-one tuition offered personally by Gareth.
- How to use and sharpen carving gouges
- Principles of drawing and the creation of movement
- How to carve the shape of the subject with various gouges
- The principle of emphasis to create life and drama
- How to carve without breakage
- Undercutting to create shadow lines and the illusion of depth
- Working up the background for greater clarity of the subject
- Appreciation and study of the difference between carving wood and stone
At the end of one day the client will have completed, and will be able to take home a relief carving of a couple of oversized ivy leaves carved in oak, sycamore or lime, along with photos for social media and bragging rights for friends.
The participant will also be taught the six keys to engender a creative mind set -
- Embracing nature
- Positive affirmation
Relief carving is the basis of sculpture and without its mastery, sculpture in the round will always be unconvincing and inadequate. So, make the first step and embrace this wonderful art form, release your creativity and become the envy of your friends.
One day workshops held at the 16th century farm, nestled in the beautiful Peak District National Park, Cheshire, where you will be inspired by nature and taught by a true master of sculpture.
Full day workshop
£280 per participant for a one to one workshop
£230 per participant for a one to two workshop.
Why not take advantage of the discounted rate for two, and share the experience with a partner or friend.
If booking with a CraftCourses voucher for part or all of the course fee, please fill in the contact form above. Your voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.
What's included in the price?
All tools and materials provided.
Copious amounts of tea/coffee/biscuits and banter.
Gareth was absolutely lovely, he re-organised his busy schedule at short notice so that I could have this course on my birthday.
I am very grateful for that, it was the best birthday I have ever had. Everyone has been impressed with the carving I came home with. I have never carved before but now I feel I can go ahead and just play with wood. His home is unique, it was a bit like being in a hobbit house, it was a magical day away from civilisation, tuning in to nature. Gareth was so interesting to talk to about all-sorts of topics. I came back from that day so happy and calm, thank you so much Gareth,
Anne Granby - - #25988
It's difficult to know what to say without repeating all the other reviewers! As someone who is relatively unartistic (but married to an artist), I had thought of woodcarving as being more woodwork then art. However, I learned from my day with Gareth that woodcarving is very definitely art! Gareth emphasised form and movement and freedom and composition as well as teaching the hand skills necessary to create a beautiful piece of wooden art. I thoroughly enjoyed learning a new skill and being coaxed and encouraged to engage the left side of my brain. Gareth is quite unique; he thinks for himself and expresses himself beautifully through his work and through his word. Through conversation, we touched on a number of fascinating subjects which were outside my normal 'field of vision' but were complementary to art in its widest form. I especially admired some of his work which was on display - from full-size life drawings to stone sculpting. I also liked and admired his beautiful bespoke furniture; he is a craftsman and artist of the highest order. Thank you, Gareth for a fascinating day.
John Forbes - - #25752
I bought this wood carving day as a present for my mum who has always loved wood sculptures and was keen to learn some carving skills herself.
Gareth was brilliant to spend the day with. Patient and enthusiastic, he made learning fun and explained everything very simply so we both created gorgeous leaf carvings and had a really enjoyable day. Both bitten by the carving bug now!
The house is filled with beautiful sculptures and furniture in wood and marble which added to the relaxing pastime and made the experience just perfect!
Sarah James - - #24102
An excellent day of thinking outside the box to have the creative mindset before delving into the wood carving lessons.
We talked nearly non-stop and pondered over the many philosophical topics all of which helped towards the journey of a creative thinking process.
My grateful thanks to Gareth who gave such a warm wonderful welcome and enlightening moments and for his teaching guidance.
I learnt a great deal and will be carrying on to start on my own journey to wood carving, life drawing and become a better observer.
Gareth’s house in the rural settings is a wonderful place . For me, It’s a step back in time before all computers have intrude into every aspect of modern lives. His art sculptures and art works are just simply delightful and uplifting and vibrant but sends a serious message us all to look after and treasure our planet and nature herself.
Mr Jones is simply an amazing teacher and an extraordinary craftsman.
Steven Kwong - - #24078
Gareth is “as mad as a box of frogs”! Like a box of frogs, he is fascinating, pleasing, natural, constantly in motion and bright green (well not that last one..). He is a unique individual with a true passion for teasing art, emotion and life-like movement out of wood and stone and other inanimate things like you and I.
I had the privilege of spending several days with Gareth and tackling a more complex project which I have brought home to complete. It strikes me I have probably packed months of experience in what we christened “co-carving” where Gareth would demonstrate, I would try to repeat, he would adjust/fix and so on until I found I was actually producing results that were very (very) pleasing.
I can thoroughly recommend Gareth, his amazing house, his very tasty cooking and even his choice of biscuits to you. Bring a Sat-Nav and enjoy your journey to middle-earth, once you are there you’ll realise it was worth the effort.
Ian - - #23515
D: This was great; I had a lot of fun and learnt a lot of techniques. The workshop has helped me understand art in a different way. It improved my own woodwork and drawing skills significantly. I really recommend it!
[L: I got the full-day woodcarving workshop with Gareth as a present for my husband (‘D’). He’s been interested in whittling and woodwork for some time, but is still a beginner and looking to learn more. He had a fantastic time, learned a lot, came home excited to do more, and was extremely proud of the carving he made!]
L and D Ryder - - #23228
An incredible and magical day. I came with only a little whittling experience but Gareth made me feel very relaxed and opened my eyes to the world of wood carving and sculpture. We had some really interesting conversations and the whole day tapped into a creative resource I never knew was within me. My creative taste buds are now alive and I'm looking at various ways to express my innate creativity.
What's more, Gareth's home is a real gem and looks like something out of Lord of the Rings! The baroque/gothic furnishings remind me of Harry Potter/Edward Scissorhands... truly amazing! I was also fed with a delicious stew of organic vegetables, beans and lentils. All this set in the quietude of the most fabulous English countryside.
Andy - - #23053
I had a great day with Gareth at his remote farmhouse. I found him a excellent teacher and came away with a relief carving of vine leaves in lime wood. Lunch was also excellent.
Guy Davis - - #22574
I was initially attracted to this workshop after seeing Gareth’s work in a sculpture gallery in London, and then discovering he held carving workshops.
I’ve always considered myself creative and I’ve painted in the past, whilst my husband on the other hand is a non-creative who fortunately, and somewhat reluctantly agreed to join me for a little moral support.
Upon arrival we had a good look around the farm at some of Gareth’s work, which really inspired us to pick up mallet and chisel and have a go ourselves. Before long (after basic initial instruction) we were both carving away at a simple relief in cherry wood, and loving the creative process. By the end of the day I just managed to finish my relief, although my husband's wasn’t complete, and that might be something to do with the fact that he spent some of his time in the meadow watching a pair of hunting barn owls.
This workshop is a must for anyone interested in sculpture and learning how to carve, with the added bonus of a beautiful location with plenty of wildlife. Gareth is very friendly, affable, accommodating and his work is quite beautiful. I will be back in the future for some stone sculpture tuition.
Cheryl Greenwood - - #21321
I must say I was filled with fear and trepidation at the thought of attempting an art form that has long intrigued and fascinated me. I always assumed carving and sculpture required great strength, and as a petite woman I was slightly nervous to say the least.
Fortunately, all my fears were allayed upon meeting Gareth, who has a relaxed, quirky personality and immediately made me feel very welcome.
Gareth first taught me the principles of relief carving, and how this is always the precursor to sculpture in the round. Before long (with the help of Gareth) I was carving my first relief and although I broke my first leaf, Gareth taught me how to reform the shape by going deeper into the block.
By the end of the day I felt so proud of having carved my first relief in wood. The tuition was intense, as you would expect with one to one, but at the same time enjoyable and inspiring. The sculpture studio is set in a beautiful, tranquil location and my abiding memory was being taught the six keys to release creativity whilst listening to the sweet melodious sounds of a song thrush.
A truly wonderful day, and I will definitely be returning for more sculpture tuition.
Victoria Whittell - - #21228
Course dates are flexible; please get in touch for the next available date.
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