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In-person course

Clay life modelling weekend with Karin Ort

Clay life modelling and sculpture weekend course in Oxforshire

About the Course

Take a couple of days out from your normal life to create a figure in clay. We provide the model, tuition, clay, oh, and the perfect environment for total absorption!

Taught by Karin Ort, she will take you through the whole process of creating the human form, getting your proportions right and preparing your model for firing. It can be as figurative or abstract as you like – the choice is yours – and Karin will help you create your artistic vision. Once finished the piece will be allowed to dry out and, once dry, will be fired in one of our kilns. It will then be yours to collect, take away and keep.

Karin has an exceptional eye for detail and is able to guide and encourage students through to reaching their creative potential.

Suitable for?

Anyone. Though we generally advise that students be 16 years old+ though exceptions can be made where appropriate.

What is included in the price?

Two full days’ teaching (10am-4pm)
Tea, coffee, biscuits/cake
A professional life model
All your materials, clay and firing in the kiln
Use of a beautiful purpose-built art studio with all the equipment & materials you will need
Beautiful countryside setting

Nothing, bar a packed lunch and maybe an apron if you want one!

This course is for you if:

You want to explore the wonderful, tactile medium of clay
You want to learn new skills
You want to explore capturing the human form
You want to get away from it all and immerse yourself in a creative environment
You love creativity
You will need to bring:

Nothing, bar a packed lunch and maybe an apron if you want one!

Beyond the course:

If you wanted to continue exploring clay then you could make pieces at home and bring them here for firing.

We also have two mid week classes that you could join – one taught, one untutored (a waiting list may apply). Equally you can sign up for another weekend course!

Need accommodation?

If you are travelling from further afield and would like to stay in the area for your visit then have a look at our recommended list of local B&Bs and hotels.

If you will be redeeming a CraftCourses gift voucher on this course, the voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.

What's included in the price?

Inspiring and expert teaching from Karin Ort
Step-by-step guidance covering…
How to construct a human figure in clay
The importance of keen observation of the human form in making your sculpture
How to capture the characteristics and musculature of the model
Mutual support from your fellow makers – and plenty of tea and coffee breaks

Two full days’ teaching (10am-4pm)
Tea, coffee, biscuits/cake
A professional life model
All your materials, clay and firing in the kiln
Use of a beautiful purpose-built art studio with all the equipment & materials you will need
Beautiful countryside setting


James Ort at The Phoenix Studio
The Phoenix Studio
Chinnor Rd
Towersey, Near Thame
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Platinum Badge
What does this mean?

This craft course provider has been awarded Platinum status for receiving 50 or more 5 star ratings from previous students.

The Students' Choice award ensures that course providers get recognised for their efforts in the teaching and practice of UK craft.

They also allow tutors to gain valuable feedback on their courses and for new students to find the course that's right for them.

Suitable for

  • Accommodation offered
  • Corporate days out & team building
  • Engagement, birthdays & anniversaries
  • Hen dos
  • Intermediate level
  • Parking provided
  • Public transport
  • Romantic
  • Stag dos
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Teenagers
  • Wheelchair users

Available as a gift

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2 days

Available dates:


In-person course
- - #22396

What a fantastic course. I just loved it. Karin was a brilliant teacher, very helpful and patient! Never having done anything like this before, I was rather apprehensive but what a wonderful 2 days it turned out to be. It has inspired me to try more sculpting. I met some lovely people on the course too. I would not hesitate to recommend this course, and the Phoenix Studio in general. What a fabulous place - just wish I lived closer so I could attend more of their courses.

In-person course
- - #22273

My daughter persuaded me to sign up for this course and I loved it. Last time I did anything arty was at school which was a long time ago. So feeling a bit anxious I turned up to a lovely group and a great teacher. Karin is so patient and encouraging. After not knowing if I would be able to create something iI wanted to take home, I am now waiting on it coming out of the kiln with great anticipation. A great way of taking your mind of everything apart from the clay and model. More fun than a meditation weekend.

Response from The Phoenix Studio:

Thanks for the lovely review Elaine! You're right, sculpting is like meditation, only more fun! I am so glad you enjoyed your time here and we hope to see you again soon!

In-person course
- - #21948

What a superb course. Entire absorption - everything thought through and provided. Karin explained and guided us all through, making sure no one was missed out, perceiving our attempts, alongside us all the way. The model was perfect, a difficult pose was kept all the way. If you have not been before, go - you will not regret the life skill you have gained, the kind nurturing place and people. Indulge all of you as soon as you can.

Response from The Phoenix Studio:

Ahhh thanks Carol, what a lovely, lovely review! So glad you enjoyed it! See you on a Monday soon x

In-person course
- - #21931

Such an enjoyable weekend! I arrived, total beginner and completely intimidated by the prospect of a life modelling weekend, and was quickly put at ease and enabled to get on with it with advice and support when needed. I've come away feeling proud of what I have done and learnt and can't wait to come back for another course. Many thanks Karin!

Response from The Phoenix Studio:

Such a lovely review, thanks Felicia! And I see you're coming back for clay portraiture in October too - how exciting! See you soon, Karin and James

In-person course
- - #18660

Just spent a Fab couple of days at the Phoenix studio which is a lovely purpose built facility in peaceful surroundings. Karin is an excellent tutor, very patient and knowledgeable with a good eye for detail. Highly recommended.

Response from The Phoenix Studio:

Thanks for the lovely review and for coming for yet another course with us Pam, sorry to have missed you this time. Hope you have a lovely Christmas! James x

In-person course
- - #18653

What a lovely weekend we have all had!! Karen's teaching was excellent, the studio was cheery and well organised and there were even home made flapjacks.

It's a great opportunity to focus on something for several ours and feel great about the outcome whatever its like. Time whizzes by and the other students are always lovely. It's surprisingly relaxing. I would think that everyone who attended wanted to come back again. I would thoroughly recommend it.

Response from The Phoenix Studio:

Ahhh thanks for your lovely words Caroline and your continued loyalty to the studio! Have a great Christmas xx

In-person course
- - #15225

This was my third trip to the Phoenix Studios, having done a couple of the animal clay courses. I was quite apprehensive about my ability to create a life model but Karin remained calm and positive throughout, guiding us all to produce some amazing pieces. The atmosphere was most supportive , with Karin looking after both students and model with care and consideration. I would highly recommend the weekend to anyone , you will be delighted by what you achieve!

In-person course
- - #12197

As a complete beginner, I had no idea whether I could do clay-modelling. I collected my piece of clay and thought, "what now?". But Karin patiently came to each of us, encouraging everyone and helping us really look from every angle. The course was in lovely surroundings and it was great chatting over teas and lunch. I was very pleased with what I achieved by the end of Sunday and look forward to collecting my (now fired) piece in the New Year. I will be back to do more!

In-person course
- - #9038

My fourth trip to the Phoenix studios and I can honestly say I love going there. Karin and James are fantastic. Not only are they genuinely lovely people they are knowledgeable, patient and helpful! To be able to indulge in two days of total creativity is a treat amidst my busy teaching life. The time simply flies by. Thank Karin once more!

In-person course
- - #6985

A great weekend at the Phoenix Studios, very therapeutic. Highly recommended but wear comfy shoes!
This is my second head at the studio. I'm very much a novice with very little arty talent but under the directions of the very patient Karin, I've created pieces of work I'm so proud of.
The group is small, which means you get almost 1-2-1 instructions....a real plus for me.
Can't wait for the next workshop.

In-person course
- - #6960

If you're wondering/contemplating...stop and book it NOW! If I can do it, so can you!
What a fabulous weekend! It was fun, rewarding, relaxing, stimulating (can it be both?-yes it can apparently!)exciting, therapeutic...just wonderful. I shouldn't have put it off for so long!
Karen is a fab teacher and everyone on the course was so friendly and kind. It was great to be learning and achieving in such a lovely nurturing environment.

In-person course
- - #6955

I so enjoyed this course! Despite having never modelled/sculpted in clay before I found the course a revelation. Karin is kind, patient and calm, even when things go wrong and she shows you how to remedy problems. I eventually produced a head of which I was proud, and having found the whole event warm and friendly, and the weekend went by so quickly, it was sad to leave at the end! I would definitely like to do another course next year and would recommend it to anybody.

In-person course
- - #6954

This course exceeded all my expectations. As an absolute beginner I was afraid I'd be out of my depth. But thanks to Karen's encouragement and relaxed tuition I actually produced something I'm quite proud of. What a lovely surprise to discover something that I can enjoy improving for years to come. Loved every minute and will be back soon.

In-person course
- - #6949

I've done a few courses at the Phoenix Studios now, but I always come back to this one. The guidance is excellent, the models are always top notch and the Studios themselves are just the nicest place to visit and create in! I can't recommend this course more highly - Karin is a wonderful teacher and I've never seen anyone go home with anything less than brilliant work - even those who've never tried sculpture before! One warning: it IS addictive...

In-person course
- - #6763

This was a fantastic course. The atmosphere was great, the tuition was excellent, the studio is a lovely place to be, and I even came home with a lovely sculpture. Somehow the course managed to be both relaxing and totally focused. Karin was a really good teacher, going round each of us in turn and explaining what we needed to do. I would definitely recommend this course to anyone.

In-person course
- - #6762

Karin is an amazing and inspirational teacher. I can't wait to take further workshops with her. Like Jane, I recommend anyone who every thought they might enjoy sculpting to give it a go with Karin. They won't be disappointed!

In-person course
- - #6760

I was a complete novice at sculpting and also not known to be 'arty'. However Karin is some kind of magician at teaching key principles and techniques so that a figure in clay appears! The atmosphere and environment is peaceful and relaxed, with plenty of teas/coffee and biscuits to sustain you morning and afternoon. So if you are even vaguely tempted, I would thoroughly recommend having a go. Wear comfortable shoes and get is a great.

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