About the Course
We open our studios - usually on the first Friday and Saturday of the month - for those wishing to learn to stone carve with us. With a feeling of being apprenticed in working artists studios, you can choose to come along for one day to get a feel of working with stone and complete a small carving project to take home with you, or you may wish to come to us on an ongoing basis (at intervals to suit your own needs) to undertake a longer term project of your choice.
Learning with us will suit people with a range of abilities and previous experience from beginner upwards. We teach relief stone carving, stone carving in the round, and letter carving in stone and you may choose to complete a carving project based on one of many starting points we provide, or we can help you to realise your own idea or design. So, on any apprentice Friday you may see a diverse range of carving projects in progress amongst your fellow learners as well as our own commissions in progress in our studios
We begin work at 10am and finish at 4pm each Friday, and as we keep our group sizes small (between one and five people) please get in touch with us to ensure a place is available (even the day before you wish to come if you suddenly have some space in your schedule to fill with carving!). Our tuition fee is £75 for a day of carving with us, plus the cost of a suitable piece of stone for your chosen carving project which we can supply (a piece of monumental stone suitable for a days carving project costs approximately £15).
Tea, coffee and biscuits are available throughout the day, and feel welcome to bring along your packed lunch or there are a variety of choices in Driffield for a spot of lunch.
Learning to stone carve with us for 1 day
During a day of carving with us you to get to grips immediately with tools and stone by using a simple design as the starting point. You don’t need any previous experience to learn to carve with us – if you do have previous experience, it will be greatly reinforced by taking part. As a participant you will be provided with a small piece of good quality carving stone and all the tools and equipment you will need to create your first piece of carving. You will select a motif from a variety of prepared designs, and then get straight down to the business of carving it into stone. Students are invariably pleasantly surprised and inspired by what they achieve in a single day, and will go home with a treasured piece of their own making, as well as leaving with the beginnings of a new skill.
Your Tutors - Alan & Tracey Micklethwaite
Alan has been a practising stone carver for over twenty years, and has established his reputation as one of the country’s finest restoration carvers. Until turning freelance, he was Head carver at Lincoln Cathedral, and has taught many apprentices and students to carve over the years. Carving letters and inscription has been a significant part of his work over the years, and his inscription work appears on many monuments and plaques throughout the country.
Alan’s teaching experience is well established; as well as the many years he has spent teaching stone carving to apprentices, he has spent time as a university lecturer, teaching both stone carving and architectural conservation and has taught countless workshops and classes to both beginners and more experienced craftspeople.
In 2013, his book ‘Restoration Stone Carving’ was published, which has come to be regarded as a definitive work on the subject.
Tracey is a practising artist whose work is focused on the human body in the form of drawings, sculpture and installations. In contrast and as a compliment to her artistic practice, Tracey continues to explore the cut letter in stone with a particular interest in the poetic use of lettering and the combination of lettering with sculptural form. Since completing her MA at the Royal College of Art, Tracey has also followed a career as an art lecturer, and is a fully qualified teacher with a PGCE in Further Education. She has taught a wide range of art and design workshops to both children and adults in community settings, and in her years spent as an Art College lecturer she has taught across many artistic disciplines.
The Northern Sculpture Studios
Our studios are in the historic Market Town of Driffield, set in the heart of the beautiful Yorkshire Wolds. There is a good selection of local accommodation in the area if needed, and we provide a comprehensive list to all participants.
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?
High quality tuition.
A piece of good, carving quality limestone.
The use of all tools and equipment needed to produce a finished carving.
Tea, coffee and biscuits available throughout the day.
Had a days lettercutting with Alan and Tracey and what a fantastic day in a brilliant setting.
Both absolutely lovely people with a vast knowledge of the craft, showing me how best to cut out the letters and marking them onto the stone.
I have done a few courses at a few different places but this place is above anywhere I've been before and would definitely recommend for anyone wanting to learn anything about carving stone.
Will definitely be back for more tuition.
Dan Fletcher - - #23888
Response from Northern Sculpture:Hi Dan,
Spent a day in this lovely workshop with free parking nearby. Alan and Tracey were very friendly and great company throughout the day. I was shown how to plan and prepare my piece (dogs grave marker) and was really impressed by the end result. Their style is relaxed and encouraging. I will be back in the new year for another course. Brilliant day, would highly recommend
Glenn Gudgeopn - - #18384
Response from Northern Sculpture:Hello Glenn,
If you have the slightest interest in stone carving, get yourself down to Driffield! I spent two days learning and carving with Alan and Tracey and cannot recommend it enough.
I had a great time and learned so much about general stone carving and the restoration carving that I was particularly interested in. Alan was so generous with his time and I can't believe how much I was able to achieve. He is a great teacher and both he and Tracey were so welcoming.
Tracey even went above and beyond to work with me and my hectic schedule to sort out a couple of dates that would work.
My general interest in stone carving has been absolutely set alight and I can't wait to get stuck in on a project at home. At least until I can get back down to Driffield!! :)
Ashley Tallyn - - #17749
Response from Northern Sculpture:Hi Ashley,
My wife booked me on this course as a surprise as I’d expressed a vague interest in carving.
What a day!!! Tracey and Alan are really friendly and his relaxed teaching method is perfect. I carved a Yorkshire rose by following his very clear instructions. Friends and family can’t believe what I’ve done. If you fancy a go at stone carving, and there are lots of designs a beginner can try, then I would really recommend you get in touch with Tracey and Alan.
Thank you so much for a great day.
Rob Bell - - #17648
Response from Northern Sculpture:Hi Rob,
Spent last Friday undertaking my first attempt at stone carving, it was a revelation bought to life by Alan and Tracey. They could not have been more helpful throughout the day.
It was a relaxed pace to the day with allowing me to concentrate and get the most out of it.
I am certainly considered how I might further myself in this art.
Thank you Alan and Tracey.
Tim Litherland - - #17363
Response from Northern Sculpture:Hello Tim,
Had an excellent day with Alan and Tracey creating a carved Celtic knot in stone. As I was travelling quite a distance to the course ( and this was a 60th birthday present!), I needed to be sure that I was going to receive the best tuition possible.
If you need to see the quality of Alan's work, read his book (Restoration Stone work by Alan Micklethwaite) it is AMAZING!!!
However, just because a Crafts-person can create such wonderful work, doesn't always mean that they can teach the craft too........ thankfully, in this case, the tuition from Alan and Tracey was excellent. The choice of a Celtic Knot was a fantastic introduction to the craft, as it enabled me to practise a number of skills progressively and I was delighted with my first attempts at a new craft.
If you are thinking about having a go at stonework, I urge you to try this workshop.
It must be good......I'm already thinking about dates for going back......to try sculpture........or perhaps lettering..........!!!!
Steph Smith - - #15179
Response from Northern Sculpture:Hello Stephanie,
Had a fantastic day on the Knot work carving course. Learnt so much and I'm really pleased with the finished piece.
Alan and Tracey are very friendly, the facilities are great, and it's a lovely relaxed environment in which to learn a new skill.
I've never picked up a hammer and chisel before and I managed to make something I'm really happy with. I'll certainly be back in the future.
Tina Kinnar - - #8289
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