The choice of topic is yours! Make an animal, human figure or head or an abstract form. The tutor Beatrice Hoffman employs an individualised approach to teaching, similar to art schools, with every student picking out their own project - and being inspired by the variety of other student's work.
This is an enjoyable weekly clay sculpture class for adults, running mostly weekly throughout the term with seven to ten sessions per term:
Newcomers are encouraged to first try two sessions one-off, to see if sculpture and my teaching style suits them, and if they are positive, they can book for the whole term, provided that there is a space.
The sculpture teaching studio is idyllically situated in a conservatory surrounded by a sculpture garden, in a village just outside Oxford. The teaching space has been "Corona-proofed" by including an extra side room, stronger lighting, and socially distanced individual small tables. Corona-safety routines are in place - mask wearing and disinfecting of hands before entering the court yard.
There are some 100 toy animals (Schleich), many sculpture books , examples of sculpture ( by Beatrice and students) and a huge library of laminated images available for inspiration and instructions. The group size is kept small (6-8 students).
The tutor Beatrice Hoffman is a professional sculptor with over twenty years of teaching experience in schools, colleges, gallery courses and her own studio; she is a qualified art therapist, and partly trained as a teacher.
Clay and firing is paid for separately, at cost only.
Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 2 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.
Tea, coffee, biscuits
A large variety of tools to get to know and use
A well equipped studio with much stimulation and inspiration
A lovely sculpture garden to relax and look out onto
Time away from your usual life in a creative space
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.
I joined Beatrice's sculpture classes as a complete beginner after my son attended one of the summer workshops. I thoroughly enjoyed the time spent sculpting. I found it so relaxing - thoughts of everything else just melt away. Beatrice is a very good teacher and always pushes you that extra mile to improve.
This term, I've been fortunate to find an occasional space on Beatrice's very popular sculpting course. This has been a fantastic, life-changing experience for me. Beatrice very quickly gets you started, and then guides you, not only in simple technique, but also in how to make your work appealing and beautiful. She never dictates to you, but offers advice from her years of being a wonderful sculptor herself. I really couldn't recommend her course enough - I have so much to learn!
“Beatrice’s sculpture workshops have been very inspiring. I have enjoyed every minute, learnt a lot and spent quality time with like minded people. Highly recommended!”
"I have never sculpted before and I undertook the ambitious task of my dogs head. I can honestly say I have really enjoyed the classes, Beatrice has taught me so much about sculpting. The sessions are very relaxed, where you can go at your own pace. Beatrice's style of teaching is informal, which I much prefer, providing help as and when was needed. Her extensive experience gently instructed me at each stage of my sculpture, which helped me overcome problems and aided me to move my work along. I can highly recommend the classes."
I am a newly retired lady who is trying to tap into her creative side and I have really been able to let that flow in the sculpture classes run by Beatrice Hoffman.
Beatrice is inspirational , charming and so knowledgable. Beatrice takes the time to work with you to find out your inner passions which she then develops with you.
The classes are thought provoking and you are totally absorbed in your work. All the students are full of passion for their work, but it’s also fun and friendly.
I feel I have started to find a passion for sculpture that will develop more and more with each class. Thank you Beatrice I love being part of the Daventry group.
I look forward to the weekly class with Beatrice from the moment it finishes when I return home exhilarated and exhausted. Beatrice is both a successful sculptor and an inspiring teacher. Our class embraces a variety of styles of sculpture and Beatrice both helps and extends our resulting achievements by her gentle but rigorous tuition. Our talk is not limited to our own efforts but Beatrice has references and examples from all ages to broaden our outlook. Her own work is assured and both wonderfully inventive and professional. We also have great fun and at 76 of age this is an elixir!
_Sue B._ November 2019
I have been attending Beatrice’s sculpture sessions for nearly four years now, which speaks for itself. They are very addictive and often the high point of my week – something I do just for me and that is totally absorbing. The time flies by. Beatrice is very skilled at pitching her teaching at whatever level you are working. She very quickly sets beginners at their ease and helps them achieve satisfying results right from the start. The more you progress – and you do – the more she stretches you, encouraging you through the inevitable times of frustration and challenging you to attempt that extra 20% that makes the difference between an ok result and one that is more satisfying than you thought you could achieve. Alongside the practical skills you learn, you also find that your eye is constantly being trained. There aren’t many things that you can start late in life and get significantly better at when you are in your 70’s, but under Beatrice’s tutelage, I have. Beatrice is very kind, the groups are mutually supportive and the coffee is delicious!
_Sue C._ December 2019
Fantastic class. Beatrice is a brilliant artist and a very warm host. Her knowledge of sculpture is fantastic and her eye for detail is great. She's never afraid to tell you or show you where a sculpture doesn't work and how to rectify it.
As a person who has never been involved in Art Classes, it came as a pleasant surprise when I first went to Beatrice's sculpture class. Two lessons were bought for me as a present and what a surprise. The classes are a real pleasure to go to. The pupils have all gelled and there is always a lot of chat. One learns without realising it and Beatrice like the true professional makes the use of a tool look easy and yet she inspires. I would say to anyone give it a go! It's great fun and one begins to understand more clearly how brilliant the masters of the art were.
I love these classes. I love the teacher, the group and the activity. I find myself totally absorbed in what I am doing, leaving my day to day worries completely behind. Beatrice is a very good teacher and gives encouragement and guidance whenever needed, and her mantra that mistakes are an important part of the creative process helps build confidence that there is no right or wrong way of doing things. I’m very pleased with the sculptures I have produced over the four terms that I have attended, in spite of much self-doubt along the way. If anyone says to me “I couldn’t do that”, I say “I’m sure you could”.
Beatrice is a thoughtful teacher with an extensive knowledge. Her enthusiasm never wanes, striving to stretch each individual student’s capacity for improvement to the max. I have found the sessions to be extremely therapeutic and immersive. The workshop is held in a charming space at Beatrice’s home, with access to a wonderful garden for working outside or quiet reflection. The atmosphere is supportive without being overpowering, with advice in bucket loads or opportunities for gentle concentration as needed.
There are a vast array of tools, resources and stimuli readily available at all times.
Response from Sculpture Workshops Oxford:thank you so much , Cathy, for the kind words!!!
Beatrice is an inspiring teacher who gives you the confidence to be creative. The sessions are relaxed and friendly, but you learn such a lot.... smooth squidgy clay and tools that are great fun to use. There are loads of books and artefacts for inspiration too. I’ve been for several terms because I find it so absorbing and addictive, and in that time I’ve seen students produce beautiful sculptures... often surprising themselves! I would recommend everyone to give it a go!
Response from Sculpture Workshops Oxford:Thank you so much, Helen, for the lovely feedback!
I attended Beatrice's classes for several years and was most interested in, rather ambitiously, making sculptures of my grandchildren. Beatrice was always supportive and with her knowledge of anatomy and her experienced eye helped enormously. The atmosphere in the classes is very friendly and we form a little community who, with the support of Beatrice, are all trying to push ourselves to achieve the best we can create. Beatrice taught us about the different stages in the process of making art and it was touching to see us class members supporting each other on our individual creative journeys.
I would recommend Beatrice's classes to anyone, experienced or a beginner, who would like to explore what they can do with sculpture.
It is great to experiment with your hands and the abundant range of tools available in Beatrice’s studio. We made our own clay sculptures in a friendly, focused group with her expert professional guidance.
Response from Sculpture Workshops Oxford:Thank you so much, Jill!!
I have had the pleasure of joining Beatrice's sculpture classes recently and can highly recommend her professional teaching methods. Working in a small group means we can gain experience from each other and benefit from Beatrice's guidance as she takes us individually through our own sculptures. It's fun and educational and I look forward to each session!
I have attended Beatrices' sculpture course for more than six months. Though I had experience drawing and painting I had never done clay sculpture before. I have thoroughly enjoyed the course, Beatrice is a dedicated and professional teacher and joining a group you also learn from the other students. If you want to learn clay /sculpture I recommend joining one of her weekly groups!
I have attended four of Beatrice Hoffman's Clay Sculpture workshops and have enjoyed every minute of each one. I have been to weekend workshops and one-day ones, and in those few sessions I have learnt a massive amount about working with this fabulous material. This is mainly because Beatrice is an inspiring teacher, who allows her students to develop their own creative ideas whilst working alongside them to teach relevant skills and techniques. It is also a very relaxing and therapeutic pastime - the time just flies!
She is painstaking in her advice and instruction and makes the sessions fun and enjoyable. Her enthusiasm is infectious and I have become very keen myself to produce more clay sculptures and improve my skills.
I am looking forward to the next one, and would recommend her workshops to anyone, beginner or the more experienced student - you will enjoy it!
I first came to Beatrice with my husband and daughter (all total beginners) for two private sessions. We all got completely absorbed and produced pieces that we were proud of. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed handling the clay and how calming it was. The studio and garden environment is very inspiring and I found Beatrice’s teaching style really effective, with gentle guidance and support that puts you in control of the process but with lots of support when needed; her eye and advice is invaluable to help point you in the right direction. I have now got hooked and have been coming to a regular fortnightly class for the past term. I am gaining so much from these sessions, both about shape and form but also about myself and the way that I work. Sculpting helps me to slow down and pay attention to detail in a way that I am finding very therapeutic.
Response from Sculpture Workshops Oxford:Thank you , Anne! that is very encouraging!
I enjoy Beatrice Hoffman's sculpture workshops very much and look forward to start again in a few week's time - I need that "getting away from it all" time !
I recently did a wonderful weekend clay sculpting course with Beatrice and found her an inspirational and encouraging teacher. Just wished I lived nearer so I could attend regularly.
I went to Beatrice’s class as a taster session, a gift from my husband and soon found that I loved it! Beatrice is informative, talented and encouraging and it opens my mind to the artistic side of life! I love being “an artist” for a few hours a week and developing a side of myself that was buried deep within.
Beatrice’s workshops are unique. Each participant is free to choose his or her own direction and there is a treasure trove of photographs and books and models for inspiration.
She is a very attentive and intuitive teacher who seems to be able to tune in to the needs of each of the participants, whilst still imparting her knowledge to the whole group. The variety of sculptures produced by the group speaks for itself.
There is enormous satisfaction in taking a lump of clay, and over the course of a number of weeks, fashioning it into whatever you want, only limited by your imagination and the end of the class. It is the most concentrated 3 hours in my week and the time flies by!
I began with several one-off workshops through the autumn but I was actually hooked from day one. Beatrice found a full time space for me in one of her groups the next term, and now I can’t imagine a time when I won’t be sculpting. The groups are kept small (6 to 8 people) so there is plenty of time for everyone to get individual attention. Also Beatrice has the knack of including everyone periodically, inviting opinions, discussions on techniques or form etc, which encourages constructive comments and a certain cohesion in the group. She is, herself extremely knowledgeable and accomplished as an artist and delightful as a human being. I would recommend everyone to try this at least once for its fabulous potential for creativity but also for its mindfulness and therapeutic value.
After a Taster Course at Ardington Crafts, I have been to several of Beatrice’s lovely sculpture in clay classes over the past year.
Beatrice is an excellent teacher; warm and enthusiastic, she has taught me to look more carefully at shapes and lines. Thanks to Beatrice, I am now beginning to notice for myself what is important in terms of proportion and contours in a sculpture, and what needs bringing to the fore and what can be ignored.
With her many years’ teaching experience, she is wonderfully positive when things go wrong, or when your sculpture need radical re-thinking!
6 or 8 weekly blocks of classes are ideal for gradual learning of skills and allow enough time to produce a sculpture you can be really pleased with. The time goes so quickly, I just love it!
Beatrice is a wonderful teacher who is calm, patient and inspiring. She has helped guide me through the process of sculpture which has enabled me to get back to being a creative person after many, many years away from creativity.
She advises on a number of different techniques and always explains why we do a particular technique. When helping to improve your work she explains the art theory behind her advice but always allows you to evolve your work - just with the help of her expertise :-)
I have had such a great time doing two terms of sculpture and I am looking forward to more!
These are great workshops. Beatrice is a patient and encouraging teacher. She helped me to get over my self-criticism and enjoy turning a lump of mud into an object that only I could have produced. And she helped those objects become more and more expressive with each lesson. The location takes a bit of travel, but it is worth it: a sunlit conservatory in a lovely, sculpture-filled garden.
Sculpture classes are an oasis in my week. A time to learn and be creative in convivial company. Beatrice imparts her expert knowledge and understanding to enable each of us to develop our own ideas. I have had fun, learnt lots and made progress. Thank you Beatrice.
I came for a one off session and became completely addicted to the pleasures of sculpting with clay. I have now been coming for over a year and find it a really enjoyable, creative and therapeutic outlet which is totally engaging for the duration of the session.
Beatrice is an excellent teacher, who shares her vast knowledge and enthusiasm for sculpture and demonstrates many general sculpture techniques. She is patient and encouraging and gives you just the right amount of help and guidance whatever your age or ability. I highly recommend Beatrice's sculpture workshops and her sculptures around the house, studio and garden are inspiring.
I have been attending Beatrice's workshops for a number of years and never fail to gain something from them each time. She has an unfailing eye for what works in a sculpture - her criticism and instruction allow you to make the most out of your ideas. If I worked in isolation at home I would not be pushing myself to the same extent nor be so happy that I was progressing.
I have been a student under the tutelage of Beatrice Hoffman for some years. She is a rigorous and empathetic teacher, bringing out the best in students with encouragement and vision. I have learnt so much and value her criticism and wide knowledge of her subject and art history.
Beatrice is an excellent teacher, incredibly patient, knowledgeable and enthusiastic. I came to her class as a complete beginner after visiting her studio during Art Weeks.
Beatrice was so friendly and welcoming I just wanted to give sculpture and clay modelling a go. As a complete beginner I’ve found the classes to be really friendly and supportive. Beatrice is an excellent teacher: she sees things in your work which you weren’t aware of, and she helps you develop your skills so you end up with a really nice piece of work - something which you can be proud of. Doing the actual sculpture / clay modelling is very therapeutic and relaxing - I would recommend it to everyone as a great way to alleviate stress.
I have really enjoyed your Sculpture Workshops, I have learnt such a lot. I know I have mainly made heads, but the wealth of knowledge you have is tremendous. You have put me right many times. It all goes in though and I remember it all.
The time goes really fast when we are in sessions. I look forward to making many more heads all a bit better than the last one, I look forward to the next term.
Thank you for your inspirational, excellent tuitition, Beatrice! My daughters (13 and 10) love your Sunday morning workshops! The created sculptures are amazing! Highly recommended!
My son (13yrs) and I attended a couple of sculpture workshops last summer, and we both had a lovely time. Beatrice is brilliant at encouraging children of all ages, to really consider what they are doing, and getting the best out of them. I would recommend the workshops to anyone, they are such fun, and such an enjoyable experience.
My 11 year old son and I did a two day workshop with Beatrice. She is an excellent teacher, very knowledgeable, inspiring, encouraging and patient. She is also very intuitive in knowing how to provide the right support to get the best from an individual. The workshop is a lovely space to work in.
We enjoyed a birthday sculpture workshop with another family to celebrate my son’s 10th birthday. We were a cosy group of five people -2 adults and 3 kids – and it was the perfect size. A fantastic way to engage kids in purposeful activity under the encouragement and tuition of a skilled sculptor that is Beatrice Hoffman. Highly recommended to kids and adults who are interested in experiencing the joy of creating clay objects with their hands.
What a fantastic activity for children and adults alike. My daughter has loved the pottery mornings and wants to do more. Beatrice is always encouraging to pupils in their ideas while offering excellent advice on how to achieve success in sculpting.
Olly (18) and I SO enjoyed our morning with you yesterday and wanted to thank you very much!
It was a wonderfully relaxed, happy environment with just the right amount of help and supervision.
Bringing your gifts and knowledge of sculpting and teaching together meant that we benefitted greatly!
My friend and I had a really enjoyable day. The group was small, about six of us ranging in age from about 14 to seventies, making for a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. We were all completely absorbed in our projects, with Beatrice on hand providing support, timely insights and technical advice whenever needed, all in the beautiful environment of her sculpture-filled garden. The time flew and I came away feeling completely inspired. A truly satisfying experience, which I would highly recommend. Thank you Beatrice, it was wonderful!
These classes are brilliant , Beartrice is an excellent tutor , good fun, good learning and very good value for money ! I’m well and truly hooked , had never done sculpturing before until about 6 months ago !
Our family (2 adults + children aged 9 and 11) attended 2 days of summer workshops and had the best time. Beatrice is an encouraging and patient teacher and we all learned a lot and created things we didn't think we were capable of. And yes it was great fun for all ages! highly recommended
Beatrice is very good at teaching the details about sculpture. Beatrice offered advice on how to scrape and observe from different angles etc..and also introduced the different type of tools and how to use them. Beatrice can identify what students want to know and do.
We all enjoyed the sculpture lesson and had a wonderful experience!
I just received my fired model and I'm so pleased with it. Have actually even had a couple of compliments about it - thanks so much for helping me put it together.
It was great day ( a few months ago now), just a shame you're not nearer so I could do another one.
Many thanks again!