Stonecarving for beginners and intermediates in the Cotswolds
Held outdoors or in workshop. Beautiful location, in Gloucestershire, idyllic rural setting in Cotswold Area of outstanding natural beauty.
Two day affordable stone carving courses, held generally once or twice a month, please click on the "View Website" button above for all course dates and details!
Taught in small groups, up to nine trainees
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?
Stone included, tuition and use of tools.
Tea and coffee.
Sebastian at Sebastian Rasch
Dog Lane Off Bentham Lane, Witcombe Cheltenham Gloucestershire GL3 4UG
Wow what a brilliant two days spent in the open air with sheep grazing around us, absolute bliss.
A wonderful atmosphere to learn a new skill, stonecarving. The space was perfect for social distancing, I felt very safe with our own tools and plenty of soap and water for hand washing.
The stonecarving itself was so much better than I expected, I am not an artist, have no experience with stone, and yet came home with a fantastic sculpture. Sebastian is very good at encouraging and leads you into being confident.
Go on give it a go. It really is a great two days, I am definitely going to do another course for sure.
I’m still in the calm/content state the weekend put me in! The beautiful outdoor setting was conducive to being creative, the tuition was informative and supportive yet we were all encouraged to express ourselves in a unique manner. I nearly didn’t attend the weekend as I had a plaster cast on my broken ankle but Sebastian couldn’t have done more for me to ensure I was able to participate effectively. I had a foot rest to keep my leg elevated, very easy access to the tools I needed and he kept an eye on my progress so I didn’t need to get up to seek help. We all agreed that we would return in the future for another workshop as we felt it was good value for money and were all delighted with our creations. If you are considering doing a creative workshop I would wholeheartedly recommend you book this one, you won’t regret it.
Excellent and interesting course where you have all the support you need to get hands on and do real sandstone sculptures. Very practical and you leave the course with enough skills and confidence to keep building on what you’ve learnt when you get back home.
A thoroughly enjoyable weekend developing new skills, meeting interesting people, and finding that stone carving is even more approachable, fun and rewarding than I had suspected. The peaceful surroundings were delightful to work in, and the gentle pace allowed one to relax into the process. Sebastian's tuition and guidance was well-judged and supportive. I was especially grateful for his thoughtful suggestions that helped rescue my work when it was heading off the rails a bit. Wholeheartedly recommended.
Brilliant course in a relaxed, inspirational environment in picturesque Gloucestershire. Sebastian is extremely helpful and guides you through the whole process of achieving your very own stone carving. Really enjoyed the two days. Many thanks, Matt
I can definitely recommend this course. Set in a beautiful location and Sebastian was an excellent teacher. We really had the chance to play and really get to know the materials and a feel for the tools. I came away with something I'm proud of... but also more importantly, the basic skills to get started on my own.
What a chilled and chiselled weekend!
We spent two very invigorating days; mentally and physically, being softly guided through the introduction to an untried craft skill by the delightful Sebastian.
He is not your conventional teacher, by his own admission, but he managed to develop nascent stonemason skills in seven novices - all of whom left on the Sunday afternoon feeling so happy and
pleased with new found abilities clutching their own piece of art.
Thank you Sebastian, thank you to my fellow chisellers and thank you to my long term friend,
John, who gave me the gift of the weekend.
For once the reviews are true! This course is a great introduction to stone carving and Sebastian is an excellent tutor, providing guidance when needed but otherwise stepping back to allow you to discover your creative side. Despite not having an artistic bone in my body I managed to create an animal sculpture with real personality, thanks in no small part to Sebastian's gentle but enthusiastic encouragement. I'm really pleased with the result and would happily recommend the course to anyone and everyone.
Thank you Sebastian. We both really enjoyed the course. It was an Idyllic setting and we were lucky to have excellent weather. Sebastian was inspirational and gave really good teaching and guidance. this course is very good value - we will be back.
Sebastian is great and allows you the freedom to create something amazing, giving advice here and there. Wonderful location, rural setting. Don’t expect luxury but adventure instead! Exhilarating!
I love what I made and it takes pride of place in my garden.
Stone sculpture is dusty, wear old clothes. Definitely recommend the venue!
Follow the theme of all the reviews. Yes it is an inspiring, active, calming and fulfilling weekend. We went as a family of four to mark our 30th wedding anniversary. Time together, as stayed locally, and four very different sculptures as a permenant reminder. Thank you Sebastian.
Two very enjoyable days carving stone by hand in the great outdoors, Sebastian did not over cook the instructions, allowing us to get on with it and offering instruction and advising as we went along.
If you are looking to get plenty of hands on stone carving and dust in your boots this is just the course for you.
A fabulous 2 day course, in a wonderful setting just below the Cotswolds edge. From the outset, Sebastian did an excellent job at getting us to be free to express ourselves, without any formal constraints as to how we should create our masterpieces! All 7 of us on the course seemed relaxed and we got on well, and all produced something to be proud of at the end of 2 excellent days. A great selection of hand tools (same hand made by Sebastian himself), and just enough tuition, for us to explore the use of these tools without being too prescriptive. Thoroughly excellent and recommended.
This was a wonderful introduction to stone carving. The atmosphere was very relaxed and Sebastian really made it easy to just 'have a go'. There was also space to be creative to achieve one's aim, and I came away with something I was happy with. It was also cool to have the sheep looking on! Loved every minute! Thank you to Sebastian and to the 3 encouraging class mates :)
I had not done any stone carving before and found the guidance
given by Seb. to be most helpful. It was good to talk through
my project and exchange ideas, not only with Seb. but also with the
other students. As there were only 4 of us the attention
we received great.
It was an great spot and as the weather was good we were able to
work out in the open under the trees.
What better way to spend 2 days in the sun shine and come away with a completed
This was my first attempt at stone carving and I was very pleased with the way the course worked. Short introduction to fellow course members and tools by Sebastian then right into having a go. Sebastian is very helpful with advice on how to progress with our various ideas of what we wanted to make. I have been inspired to have a go at home Facilities are simple and working in the outdoors on a lovely sunny weekend was ideal. Indoor facilities are available if the weather's not so good.
Great - thank you Sebastian
We really enjoyed the stone sculpting course. A great opportunity to do something we hadn't done before. We found that Sebastian struck a nice balance of showing us the basics before getting started, support with coming up with a workeable original design, and advice and techniques for carving and then finishing our sculptures. We are really pleased with the end results. Combined with the lovely surroundings made for a great weekend. Thanks.
It was a very satisfying weekend on many levels. The setting and weather was perfect. The freedom to explore stone carving was a new experience for eight of the nine of us attending. Sebastian got the balance just right with his help, encouragement and suggestions. The range of sculptures produced were very varied and we all seemed very pleased with our efforts. The group were all very friendly and were all happy to spend time keeping an eye on each others work and discussing as the pieces evolved.
Thank you Sebastian, I had a great time and would be happy to recommend this course to everyone.
John Adlam, Stroud, Gloucestershire.
My second weekend course with Sebastian. Once again great, patient tuition, in a most peaceful and beautiful setting. The 9 students all went away with pieces they were pleased with, so varied in concept and execution.
Many thanks Sebastian for helping get the bird into the van...
Hoping to be back for a further workshop!!
A really enjoyable two days in a Gloucestershire field and we all went home with a sculpture we had designed and made ourselves - including abstracts, birds and a gorgeous sleeping dragon. I loved the process of chipping away at the softish Bath stone and then carving and sanding. Sebastian was always on hand with advice about which tools to use when and to remind you to stand back and have a good look at your work.
Very good introduction to stone sculpture, my 12 year old son absolutely loved it and definitely wants to do again! Sebastian gave him excellent guidance, but just as importantly allowed freedom to experiment in his own way. We are now acquiring tools! We both really enjoyed it and felt we had achieved something, and from my point of view as a complete beginner working 3D! I would definitely recommend to anyone wanting to try sculpting for the first time.
The course was set in beautiful peaceful surroundings and although we were lucky with the weather, it would have been a very calming meditative experience regardless.
Sebastian has a very calm relaxed approach to leading the sessions and after an interesting introduction and background to the course with a quick practise on scrap stone, we were left to be as free and creative as we liked with any of the tools set out available to us.
The area had lots of beautiful carvings and sculptures to draw on as inspiration made by Sebastian, but setting your aim low to start with is best. Its tiring work, but very meditative and I found myself losing track of time as I was so engrossed in removing little pieces of limestone here and there on the block provided.
I thoroughly enjoyed the course and would recommend it to anyone and everyone to have a break from work, feel good, calm your mind and have something to show at the end of it.
I thoroughly enjoyed the two day course and was surprised by what I and fellow novices actually achieved in a fairly short space of time with Sebastian's calm guidance and encouragement to 'embrace your inner stonemason'. It was all very relaxed and I would encourage anyone to give it a go. I met some charming people and we had plenty of laughs. Thank you Sebastian.
Like others have said ... I found the course really enjoyable and Sebastian's input was just right for me. He was informative yet relaxed and not overbearing but nudged me in the right direction when needed.
I will now be doing some carving in my retirement!
Excellent course - I was given this as a brithday present and throughly enjoyed the 2 days. I'm amazed that I was able to produce something that looked vaguely like a hedgehog, carved out of a block of bathstone, in just 2 days. It has inspired me to try carving a house name once I find a suitable piece of stone. The setting is lovely and the whole experience relaxing yet fun. I'd certainly recommend anyone to give it a try.
I was an absolute beginner. Wonderful venue and setting, perfect weather. A real treat to be introduced to stone carving. Really surprised and pleased with what I was able to create over the weekend. Well worth a try.
I really enjoyed the weekend, despite some unkind weather. A totally new and refreshing experience, working with stone for the first time (in a former prison yard, appropriately). Under Sebastian's friendly and unhurried guidance we were supported, encouraged and advised, never lectured; he wanted us to experiment with the tools and techniques with total freedom as to the outcome. I was surprised how easy it was to work the Bath stone, even with wood-working chisels, for example, so progress was quicker than I had expected. We all got on really well together, offering each other advice and constructive criticism while at work and chinwagging during the breaks. Highly recommended.
I had been thinking of a suitable gift for a close friend's special birthday. We both enjoy making and I noticed Sebastian's advert on a canal walk one day. I enrolled the pair of us and we were not disappointed. The setting was idyllic. Close to the Cotswold hills nestling in a small orchard amid reclaimed sheds and studios the entire site was a montage of stone. Some dressed, some rough hewn and some carved. With plenty of space inside and outside the seven of us were introduced to each other and Sebastian's unconventional approach to stone carving. What was amazing was the collection of tools, some home fashioned and some from a previous life. With regular breaks to socialise we soon felt like one big happy family. The outcomes of the weekend were diverse and surprising. Without exception we all achieved something beyond our wildest dreams. Thank you Sebastian for being encouraging, supportive, knowledgeable and skilful.
A delightful weekend. It commenced with a chat to say why we were all there, so we then felt we were pals who all knew each other. Relaxing at tea breaks and lunch was then with a company of friends.
Our stonecarving was aided by Sebastian's experience and excellent knowledge and all the tools we could possibly need were to hand. His tuition was excellent. We all produced our own special work - a sheer pleasure to see at the end of a most enjoyable and absorbing weekend. I would recommend it to everyone.
Two days of a great stone carving course in a warm and friendly stidio. I loved the place on the edge of the Cotswolds. Sebastian's expert but easy going tuition helped me get the satsifaction of bringing a picture out of a piece of stone. Highly recommended, a wonderful and rewarding way to spend two days of your life. Suitable for the complete beginner or those who already had some experience of stone carving.
I thoroughly enjoyed Sebastians stone carving course. It was a full two day adventure of creating a sculpture from a block of stone. Sebastian is a warm, thoughtful and easy going chap who made everyone feel very welcome and I would have no hesitation in recommending friends or family to give the course a go.
Thank you for sharing your passion and knowledge. I truly enjoyed your company and teaching.
It really was a profoundly experiencial weekend. My first ever piece of stonework is
Male and Female as a whole and i am so pleased with it.
We had a fantastic weekend, with the right amount of information and practical help. Sebastian was great, being encouraging and supportive as well as giving precise directions when requested. He has an approachable, relaxed manner, which allowed us to explore and find our way in what was, for us a totally new and unfamiliar adventure. We each managed to almost complete the piece of work and we feel confident that we will finish it either at home or come back for another great weekend. A thoroughly enjoyable experience.
Sebastian welcomed us to his lovely site and introduced me to my fellow pupils who soon became friends as we shared coffee and lunch.
I was advised and helped when needed and left to work alone when able. We interacted as a group and discussed our work as we progressed.
I choose a simple piece and came away with a nearly finished piece. However I have been inspired to tackle a more complicated work and Sebastian sold me a block on stone to bring home ( at a very reasonable price).
I am in my mid 70s and feel that this course can be undertaken by all ages.
What a brilliant weekend we had. Sebastian is the most gentle and most supportive teacher I have worked with in a long time. From arriving knowing nothing about stone carving I left with a sculpture I’m very proud of. Sebastian started by hearing what all our hopes of the weekend were, then introduced us to his approach and the tools. We began with a practice piece of stone which really helped me get over my nervousness of working with the stone and getting it wrong! At our own pace we then chose a piece of stone from lots of different shapes and sizes on offer. And the weekend then flew, we were so absorbed in the stone and in our work and Sebastian was always there with un-intrusive support. We all created such different pieces and they were all wonderful. The whole atmosphere and location couldn’t be better. I highly recommend you book this course with Sebastian as soon as you can.
Really great weekend if you want to try something outside of your comfort zone. There was a really nice team, and Sebastian managed to advise us all throughout. Come with something in mind you would like to make and that way you will get the most out of the weekend.
Really satisfying having a whole weekend to work at a larger piece of stone and seeing the sculpture develop from it. Atmosphere was really friendly with everyone on the course being supportive and interested in what each person was doing (and how we had got there). Sebastian was good at making the sculptors take their time to make decisions about their work looking at the overall piece from all angles, I think we all made small mistakes but it was part of the learning process to look at how they could be fixed/incorporated into the final piece. I had done some carving before with soapstone and other soft stones so once I was set up I was happy to simply lose myself in the process with Sebastian giving the occasional pointer.
My only suggestion is that if a piece isn't going to be finished (not a problem for me) it is not always a bad idea to show the person how to finish one part of it in fine detail so they know what to do if they have to take it away.
Rustic, rural and relaxing. I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and Sebastion's relaxed, friendly approach enabled each group member to achieve a most satisfying outcome. What better recommendation that three of the small group are regular visitors. I intend to re-visit myself.
Thank-you Sebastion for facilitating such a memorable experience...
I really enjoyed my weekend course in stone carving, which my wife bought for my birthday present. Set in the stunning Cotswolds, the views of the surrounding hills and woods from Sebastian's field were amazing. Sebastian gave helpful and friendly advice as necessary, and made himself available when I needed to know what to do or which tools to use. I found the sculpting physically demanding, not being used to standing all day, or using my arms and hands for chipping, chiselling and filing. However, I had a wonderful time, and came away with a sculpture that I'm pleased and amazed with, and which made my friends say 'wow!' I hope to be back after my next birthday!
What a fantastic way to spend the weekend. This was a lovely course and Sebastian ran the course in a way that was very relaxed with plenty of positivity and guidance where needed. Set in peaceful (if you ignored the occasional noise from the geese next door) location with great views. I was very impressed with everyones work by the end of Sunday and never expected to achieve so much myself. No need to have any idea of how to carve stone (or any other material) all you need is a 'have a go' attitude.
No idea how Sebastian managed to support us all so well. V knowledgable and with great people skills. Although no one in the group had carved stone before, our experience of thinking/working in 3 D was very varied. None at all in my case but that was OK. My 87 year old father's response? 'That was a fantastic weekend' - and it was. It's never too late to try something new!
Sebastian runs a great course. His technique is to let you pick up the tools and get stuck in, but he is always there if you have questions or need advice.
You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve in 2 days, even as a completely beginner.
Sebastian is a fantastic tutor. He balanced tuition with experimentation perfectly. His interventions were always thoughtful and delivered with sensitivity . I thoroughly enjoyed the course and achieved far more than I thought possible within the 2 days. I would highly recommend the course, it was perfect .
This was one of our BEST Cousins’ Weekends ever!
Thank you so much for all your help. It was lovely to meet you. We will definitely recommend your course to our friends. The course was the right blend of serious stonework, pleasant company and beautiful surroundings. We will all be taking home something we will be pleased with.
Very enjoyable. I learned a great deal particularly about Bath stone. Sebastian has a wealth of experience and can cope with a wide variety of people coming to the subject from different angles. He’s very encouraging and helpful and does not impose his ideas on you.
The venue is glorious. It’s out in the most beautiful countryside sited in a wonderful collection of ramshackled huts.
I shall return!
Great fun. Tiring but not as hard as I had imagined. Excellent support and help from Sebastian just when I needed it! I would recommend two days like this to get the idea of stone carving and be encouraged to have a go and be prepared to feel pretty whacked by the end of the day. Might come again!
We had the most wonderful weekend on Sebastian’s stone sculpting course, discovering our creative side through excellent guiding and tuition. Neither of us had done stone sculpting before yet we both left feeling very satisfied and proud of our creations. Would gladly spend another weekend with Sebastian to develop our basic skills further
Myself and my sister Nol did this course at the weekend. It was wonderful.
We both came away with a piece of work that we are really happy with. This was after thinking that we would be unable to make anything worth looking at.
Sebastian is a great teacher, giving you plenty of guidance and technique but allowing you the freedom to express yourself.
The lovely rural setting and relaxed atmosphere all added to a special experience. We will certainly be returning.
Great course reasonably priced. Sebastian very passionate about his craft. I could have done with a little more one to one time being a novice but nevertheless came away with a sculpture that I was extremely pleased with.
Great course, beautiful setting. Sebastian strikes a good mix between guiding you and encouraging you to challenge yourself and create something that you might not otherwise tackle. This was evident in how absolutely different the pieces were that we all created. It was a peaceful, relaxed weekend and we were lucky to have gorgeous weather too! Thanks, we will definitely be back xx
I had such a wonderful weekend learning how to carve stone. We were blessed with amazing sunshine and it was so delightful carving in the shade of the orchard.
Sebastian is such a relaxed, encouraging and inspirational teacher. He didn't interfere but was there with advice and his wisdom when needed. I learnt so much over the two days and actually left with a sculpture that looked like I had imagined it might.
I wish I lived next door as I would be there every day chipping away at more stones.
I highly recommend Sebastian's course and I will return to play with stones again soon amongst the magic.
Great 2-days of stone carving!!
Not just because of the great weather (June/July 2018 heatwave) in such a tranquil setting, but being allowed to be creative whilst guided and supported by the expertise and enthusiasm of Sebastian.
Would love to return at some point in the future, but first I need to make my own tools and find some stone!!
If you want some headspace and try somehting new that you could quite easily pick up as a hobby (subject to space and time of course), this is definitely a good course to get going, and no doubt return visits would only allow you to further improve.
I loved the course, such a beautiful setting with spectacular views. Sebastian is a very good tutor helps and supports enough without encroaching on the journey. I was part of a very small group, nothing quite like sitting in the shade on a hot day drinking coffee with gingernuts, my favourite. Listening to other peoples stories and seeing what fantastical beasts emerge from the bathstone. Such a good weekend I cannot rate it highly enough, I came away with something I created with my own hands, she (Dreaming) already has pride of place in my garden. Thank you Sebastian, I look forward to making my next creation with your guidance. Oh and I love the sink....Maria
Very friendly and pleasant course, especially for a beginner like myself. Sebastian was very helpful with explaining how to use the tools and work with the stone.
I think the course represents excellent value and is a great way to spend a weekend with interesting people in a lovely location.
We really enjoyed this course: idyllic location, lovely group of people, and excellent tuition. We came home with pieces we're very proud of, and as complete beginners frankly amazed at what we'd achieved in just two days. Sebastian was a great tutor - gently guiding and suggesting, but never taking over, making us feel the work was truly our own. A really fun, relaxed and inspirational weekend.
Sebastian has found a little bit of paradise in the Gloucestershire orchard where he runs his stonecarving courses. His laid-back, relaxed style is more about letting everyone get involved straight away than stifling them with supervision and over-instruction. It's only when you look back that you realise how much help and quiet guidance he gives you.
And it really works; as someone with all the artistic ability of a chairleg, I didn't hold out great hopes of producing anything but a larger pile of stone dust than I started with. But I ended up actually taking away a piece of stonework that's already got compliments from non-guidedog owning friends.
Our fellow carvers were thoroughly conducive too; everyone was keen to praise and encourage everyone else's efforts. Coffeetime and lunchtime chats (sitting in the sun with a plentiful supply of gingernuts) ranged across every subject from going self-employed to why the resident geese were so quiet.
Even if you've never hefted an adze (Sebastian's on a mission to convert the sculpting world to the adze) or picked up a chisel, you'll be more than fine. A great weekend - just wish we'd been able to stay longer.
Had a lovely weekend in a great setting - the geese definitely have some personality (don't worry, they're behind a fence, but will happily tell you they know you're there!). I really enjoyed learning the process and having the freedom to try out all the different tools to find the ones that suited me the most. Sebastian provides tutelage when you need it and you're able to work at your own pace. Highly recommended.
What a gem this course is! The venue was amazing (and so was the weather) and the tuition and support from Sebastian were perfect. Although rather tentative at first, I gained in confidence over the weekend and produced a piece of work that I am very proud of. I hope to book again in the future.
i just had a fantastic weekend on Sebastian's stone carving course, the location is fantastic, the course is informal and relaxed and completely hands on. Sebastian has a real passion for stone carving which is very inspiring. I would love to return and spend the weekend there again. A very enjoyable course.
The fact that I keep returning to Sebastian's sculpture courses speaks for itself I think. I enjoy the space, the company, the amount of input from Sebastian, which is never too much nor too little. He is always there if needed. He explains how all the stone he has on offer carves and details of its makeup, but most of all I love working in the open air (if it isn't raining or snowing!) creating, thinking, working out how to achieve the effect I am aiming for. Long may he continue to provide such pleasurable and constructive courses.
I had no idea what to expect from this course, which had been given to me as a surprise birthday gift. Creativity is not something people normally associate me with, and so I had concerns about how I'd manage to project an idea onto an object carved from stone.
But my fears were immediately put aside by Sebastian's wonderful course. The beautiful location of his workshop is idyllic and incredibly peaceful - a perfect environment to create an intense bond with a piece of rock over the two-day course. We were fortunate enough to have superb weather, although Sebastian's home-made wood-burning stove and copious supply of hot drinks suggested any inclement weather wouldn't put a dampener on the need to work indoors. Sebastian's tutoring style is charmingly calm and relaxed; he flexes the way he gives advice for each course attendee, as needed, clearly demonstrating his passion and experience for stone carving.
I would highly recommend this course to anyone, even to those only remotely interested in stone carving. It was a great, relaxing break and something I'd have no heTyssitation in doing again myself, especially now that I'm armed with a basic knowledge of tools and techniques.
A great two days in a beautiful back to nature setting. Simple facilities with sensitive skilled tuition combine to create a lovely sense of purposeful calm endeavour. Big blocks of stone became beautiful individual treasures by the end of our course. Highly recommended.
This is a very pleasant way to spend a weekend in beautiful surroundings and create a stone carving with the guidance of Sebastian who a great character and hugely knowledgeable.
I cannot recommend this enough.
What a great way to spend a weekend! Sebastian was a great tutor, balancing giving each person the autonomy to experiment with giving the required support / suggestions as and when required! The group had people of varied levels of prior experience of stone carving (some on their second or third workshop with Sebastian - which is quite a testimonial in itself!). I can see why people come back. Thoroughly enjoyed it and more than happy with my ‘creation’. Many thanks.
We had a fantastic two days. Sebastian is very knowledgeable but allows and encourages you to just play with the stone in a very unprescibed way which we really enjoyed and were delighted with the results. He is always there to advise when required but nicely relaxed and always encouraging.
I have already recommended the course to many friends and hope to be back.
This was an excellent introduction to stone-carving, providing an opportunity to get to use a wide range of hand-tools. The days were highly enjoyable and I met a really good bunch of people from widely different backgrounds. The course has resulted in my taking up carving in quite a serious way.
I had a fantastic weekend learning how to sculpt with limestone. After a warm welcome, a cup of coffee and introductions, we were shown what all the tools did and let loose on practice blocks. Once ready, Sebastian helped select the right stone for each project and was always there with help and advice. The time flew by and I couldn't wait to get back for day two. We were all very pleased with our finished results and the fact we can continue on them at home using easily obtainable tools. Its definitely a hobby I'm going to continue and I'm very grateful to Sebastian for offering such a great course.
Really good introduction to stone carving. Helpful intervention and advice. Appreciated being allowed to express myself and my choices were supported. Truly relaxing weekend spent with some lovely people.
The setting was beautiful and i really liked the atmosphere and environment sebastien had created. He held the group very well and was attentive offering suggestions, tidying and ensuring we were comfortable working on our plinths. He created an inclusive laid back environment and it was relaxing to sit by the fire in a circle and have our breaks. The only thing i would have liked would have been more guidance on techniques. His teaching was very fluid and we just got on with our work but it may have been helpful for the first bit to have a more structured tutorial on technique. .
It was a good course and we learned through the experiential . good value for money. Sebastien was kind and thoughtful and created a harmonious relaxed atmosphere. Which was a lovely way to spend a wet weekend in January .
Really enjoyed the weekend and surprised myself with my sculpture as I'm not very "arty". Tuition was informal, adopting a get stuck in and call if you need help, which suited me. Would recommend it, and I intend to have a go at another lump of stone at home.
I was on the 2 day course. Sebastian was friendly and made everyone feel at ease. We began with a brief introduction about stone carving and the tools we would be using, and then were given a piece of stone to practise upon, which was really helpful.
Once we felt ready, we were given our piece of stone and started our creations.
Sebastian was really helpful. He gave good, clear advice and was always ready to give guidance when it was needed but allowed you to 'do your own thing'.
It's helpful to have a picture or sketch of what you want to make, but there is a book you can use for inspiration if you haven't come with a plan.
I absolutely loved my time stone carving and will definitely be back again. Everyone one on the course had a lovely creation at the end of the weekend. Can't recommend highly enough!
I purchased this as a Yule present for my partner. The two day course was in a lovely setting and the studio was a good size with lots of room to work in. Sebastian was friendly and has a relaxed and informal approach to teaching but always on hand should you need him. It's amazing what you can achieve working with this soft bath stone even if, like me, you're not artistic! We were in a group of eight people who all seemed to enjoy their weekend and produced a little work of art!
Just a great weekend
My partner and I, with four friends, attended the introductory stone carving course given by Sebastian last weekend.
I was keen to try stone carving as this is a material that I have no experience of working with at all. It was intriguing working with Bath Stone (quiet a soft stone) and pleasing results were obtained rather more promptly than I had thought was possible. It was a strangely compelling task and the time flew by.
Sebastian is a very supportive and enthusiastic teacher and allowed each of us loose to develop our own projects, some of which were well planned and others purely random (such as my own).
Despite some cold and wet weather the workshops were sufficiently warm. Conditions are a little basic owing to the relatively remote rural location of the workshops. Moderately aggressive geese guarding the route to the lavatory did cause some consternation among some of the attendees.
I would not hesitate to recommend this course to anyone interested in trying stone carving for the first time. It is certainly an activity that I would try again.
A thoroughly enjoyable weekend and a great way to try out stone sculpture.
Sebastian first asks you about your skills and aspirations for the weekend. There is then an explanation of the different types of stone and tools to be used. You have a trial piece of stone to experiment with the various tools before starting in earnest on your real sculpture. Sebastian offers advice and encouragement as you progress (and helps out if you are struggling or break off the wrong bit). The course is run in a lovely rural setting just below the Cotswold hills, it is quite inspiring to sculpt out in the open air (albeit a bit bracing in a cold January wind).
A group of 6 of us attended Sebastian's 2 day stone carving course. After a short intro' we were let loose with our blocks of stone; first a practice block to get to know the tools on and then onto the final piece. Having never carved stone or wood my hopes of creating anything artistic were quite low...but I was surprised by how soft and easy Bath stone is to cut...and pleased by the end result. It was an informative introductory course in a friendly environment - and above all it was fun!
Top Tip 1 - plan what it is you'd like to create. A sketch might help. And remember its just a weekend course - not enough time to create a replica of Michelangelo's David.
Top Tip 2 - This would be a great present for an art student to broaden their 3D work (for example for the portfolio of a student wanting to go onto a foundation art or degree course).
This was an immensely rewarding weekend, where I was free to explore the wonderful material of bath stone. There were a wide variety of interesting people who created some marvellous finished sculptures. I had requested a larger stone (3' x 2' x 1') to work with & was more than aware I would need to finish it off at home. I have since purchased tools and plan many more sculptures. Many thanks to Sebastian for the introduction to this material & for the numerous photos.
Well what a great weekend. Think I've found a new hobby. Great people on the course with an excellent instructor. Sebastian gives enough guidance to enable your hidden artist to emerge and release your full potential. I can totally recommend this weekend.
I thoroughly enjoyed Sebastian’s stone carving course. The workshop is located in a very natural and relaxing environment. Sebastian himself is a very skilled and intuitive teacher. I absolutely recommend this course.
A brilliant two days in bucolic Gloucestershire learning to carve stone. Great atmosphere and relaxing setting and one is quickly absorbed into the rhythm and feel of carving. The stone is soft and malleable which makes it easily responsive to creating something and the satisfaction of achievement at the end of two days. Being in a small group was great and Sebastian was a very encouraging teacher. Have definitely caught the stone-carving bug!
Sebastian was great fun and very helpful and attentive !
The whole experience was brilliant and we made a wonderful water feature together me and my husband !
Would definetley recommend a wonderful weekend
A great weekend! The course gave me the opportunity to do something totally different, to be creative and have time out in a lovely setting. Sebastian was always on hand for help and support when needed and he was encouraging and supportive of all our very different project ideas. I was amazed by what I had managed to produce as a complete novice by the end. I'd recommend this to anyone even someone who thinks they would never be able to do it.
I loved the place, the animals, the fields stretching out beyond, the simple technology and working in the fresh air. Sebastian was so good at creating a mellow peaceful atmosphere, taking us back to when time was spent making things to last.
This was such a good stone carving course run by the very interesting and lovely Sebastian who has a very calm approach to teaching - gently guiding and encouraging everyone.
Our daughter had bought one of Sebastian's stone carving courses for my husband's birthday and he spent a wonderful 2 days in sunny April (2017) on the course in Saul and afterwards he just could not stop telling everyone how much he had enjoyed it...so our daughter bought one of Sebastian's courses for my birthday too. I normally sculpt in clay or wax and so used Sebastian's course to understand the possibilities and some of the techniques in stone carving. Sebastian had some very interesting tools, some found on his travels in Africa..which were amazing. Everyone on the course managed to complete a sculpture in just two days!!
The two day course in Bentham (Cheltenham) was hard work, very messy, great fun, with very nice people - in a truly beautiful setting next to a field of sheep looking onto Birdlip escarpment on one side and a fenced off area with wonderful geese !! and chickens on the other. I also loved the compost loo!! We should all have one.
As it is the UK and September (2017) we had amazing sunshine, a little bit of rain, then cold but bright weather and then very hot sun. We sculpted out side, which was wonderful and just put on more layers or took them off as needed and did not need to go inside at all.
I think everyone should do some sort of art course at least once at some point in their life as art is so liberating and such fun and Sebastian's stone carving course gets five stars from me.
I had a fantastic weekend. The whole set-up is perfect for two days. Sebastian has got the balance just right; enabling a relaxed but highly productive atmosphere! I learnt so much but never felt overwhelmed. We were all very different students, with different approaches and confidence levels. Sebastian adapted to each of our needs very quickly and we all flourished. I will be doing this course again for sure. The setting is also beautiful.
I had done no stone carving before, but found I was able to produce a piece that I was really quite pleased with. On some art courses I have found tutors to be little too full of their own ability, and this has produced negative stress and a poor learning experience. Sebastian has a very light touch. He is always ready and willing to offer advice, but also happy to let you progress at your own pace and this certainly worked well for me.
The tools, materials and setting are all excellent and I enjoyed the whole experience very much.
Sebastian generates a very relaxed atmosphere, and managed to inspire all the people on the course to generate some really great sculptures. He was very knowledgeable and helpful, with practical and creative help provided with great charm. The venue was great, with views over the fields to the Birdlip escarpment.
I had a fantastic weekend. The whole set-up is perfect for two days. Sebastian has got the balance just right; enabling a relaxed but highly productive atmosphere! I learnt so much but never felt overwhelmed. We were all very different students, with different approaches and confidence levels. Sebastian adapted to each of our needs very quickly and we all flourished. I will be doing this course again for sure. The setting is also beautiful.
Great two day course, four of us went to Sebastian's weekend course in Saul near Frampton. I had never tried sculpture before but with tips from Sebastian soon got the hang of working with stone it's totally different working in 3D (I usually draw/paint).
I am now hooked on stone sculpturing, I can really recommend doing a course just for the fun of it, it was not expensive, you get good tuition and we all enjoyed the weekend.
What a tremendous weekend, blessed by wonderful weather and my own piece of art.
The location, off the Sharpness canal towpath, is perfect. Everything you need is provided, one of the best parts is the 'practice stone' which is to hack away at to see how it responds to the tools. No power tools, all work is done by hand.
Sebastian is a chilled chap, and instills confidence.
I think I'll be back.
A wonderful experience of 2 days in a beautiful setting with a lovely, friendly small group of people. I learned a lot about stone sculpture and about myself in the process.
Sebastian was great and his sculptures are inspiring....
I just did a weekend stone sculpture course and I'd never done anything like it before. I found it a very good introduction, and in a wonderful setting, if very basic facilities. Sebastian gave good advice to each individual as their projects progressed. A great weekend. I'll definitely do more stone-carving in the future.
A perfectly absorbing two days in a beautiful space.
The course leader, Sebastian, allowed us time to 'play' before we began our projects which helped to overcome any anxiety we had and give us time to become familiar with the stone & tools. All abilities were catered for and Sebastian guided each person skillfully. He was relaxed, positive and sensitive to the needs of individuals in the group. The group was small (seven) and so we enjoyed finding out about each other over tea/lunch as well as enjoying the stillness that focused work engenders.
I unreservedly recommend the course to young and old, to those with an artistic background and to those who feel they have little creativity. Everyone in our group created an amazing sculpture to take home-all very different from each other. Lots of relaxed, proud faces at the end of the day.
I've just had 2 of the happiest days I can remember, stone carving (first time ever) by the banks of the river Severn. Who knew?! I was thoroughly absorbed in the whole process and delighted with my finished piece. Sebastion is on hand to guide and instruct and offer gentle encouragement. He also knows exactly the right time to put the kettle on. I really recommend this course and the location is an added treat.
The course is held in a truly unique and wonderfully peaceful location which obviates distraction and is conducive to creating. The small class size meant I had a good deal of one-to-one instruction as I progressed with my work piece and Sebastian was always available to offer good direction and guidance.
After short introductions we got briefed on stone-carving tools, their uses and had a go at using them on a test piece of stone. Once confident, you could progress onto your own design and Sebastian was always on hand to guide you through the process, demonstrate techniques and provide encouragement. The two-day course allows plenty of time to get a good sized piece completed and it's a good idea to have a design in mind (or 3D model) before you arrive. There was no pressure and you progressed at your own pace. Tea breaks were at your own discretion and tea/coffee were provided. You bring your own lunch but the course sat down together which allowed time to discuss progress, techniques and get to know your fellow students.
I really enjoyed the course, meeting our excellent instructor Sebastian and visiting his unique workshop. Whilst I didn't create a masterpiece I got a great deal of satisfaction from the course, met new friends and now have a real enthusiasm for stone carving which I hope to build upon in the future either on my own but most likely, returning for more sessions under Sebastian's instruction.
If you've got an interest in stone carving I would strongly recommend you contact Sebastian and get on one of his courses. Great location, excellent instructor, great course!
A brilliant immersive introduction to stone sculpting. Sebastian is helpful, knows such a lot and gave just the right amount of guidance.
The setting is idyllic and we had gorgeous weather. It was a super weekend which I would thoroughly recommend.
Returned for another 2 days exploring my 'hidden talent.' Told in my school art class I had no artistic ability. Taken many years & finding this course to discover it is not true. Sebastian is encouraging to all to find what's waiting to be revealed in their stone. On all the courses I've attended with him, no one has left without creating something they're rightly very pleased with. Always great group of people too.
A glorious time in the Gloucestershire countryside with two full days of carving. Although there was a very pleasant introductory group 'get to know you' session, Sebastian didn't waste any time in letting us get hold of the tools and start engaging with the process. A test piece of stone was given to each, the tools were briefly explained and off we went. A really good way of learning, freedom to experiment and plenty of encouragement. It was as we went along Sebastian would share various comment and instruction. When we felt ready we shared our basic ideas with Sebastian, he found us an appropriate stone, and our work began. Two full days chipping away in the sun and shade. Completely addictive, a change and a challenge. Highly recommended.
I really enjoyed this 2-day course. Sebastian is a great instructor and the setting is lovely. I had no experience of stone sculpting or anything really artistic prior to the weekend, and I was amazed at what I and the other participants were able to create. After an initial overview we were given the tools and encouraged to try things out - first on some practice pieces and then we started work on our own sculptures, with Sebastian always available to answer questions or suggest next steps if we needed help. Overall a lovely relaxed weekend and I hope to be able to try some more sculpting at home now I know some of the basics.
It was a great course in lovely surroundings. Sebastian was a very good and encouraging teacher. I learned so much about using tools and stone and was really pleased with what I was able to produce in just two days.
I arrived at Sebastian's rustic workshop convinced that I had no artistic ability whatsoever and left two days later with my own little "masterpiece" and a wonderful sense of accomplishment.
Sebastian is wonderfully relaxed and as a result the course is too - there is no pressure, no rushing, everyone progressing at their own pace under the watchful eye of Sebastian who is ever ready to offer assistance and advice.
I left on the Sunday evening not only with my own personal sculpture but with some very happy memories too, not only of the work and techniques but of Sebastian and the others on my course - we arrived as strangers and left as friends.
I would heartily recommend this to anyone looking for a new challenge to fill up a spare weekend.
A really great day in lovely surroundings. Amazed that I came away with something finished and half decent too! Sebastian is a lovely, gentle teacher who lets you get on and quietly gives suggestions on what to do. Just the creative buzz is been looking for.
A truly excellent weekend. I was given this course as a 70th birthday present, as my wife was aware I had been interested in stone carving in the past. I would not have believed I could produce so much in just 2 days - and seriously good value for money
I spent a wonderful two days in a beautiful spot carving out a tree of life from Cotswold stone. I was amazed at what I could produce in such a short space of time and it was just the creative experience I'd been craving. Sebastian is a kind and gentle teacher, encouraging us to have a go and offering suggestions on what to do next. Can't recommend it highly enough!
Ps my friends loved what I'd carved and now they want a sculpture for their gardens too... so I'm taking it up as a hobby now !
An excellent weekend, Sebastian really has enthusiasm for the craft and eagerly helps you with the design of your sculpture. Couldn't be happier with the final result and the course in full.
Highly recommended to anyone with an interest in sculpting.
Sebastian is a great teacher, allowing the students to develop their own project ideas and steering them towards a successful result with advice and encouragement. The course is in beautiful surroundings and was a total joy!
What a great way to spend a weekend! The location is lovely and the course is relaxing, fun and challenging all in one. Sebastian draws from his background in various creative/artistic endeavours (especially in wood; making cabinets and violins) in his approach to stone sculpting, which is very interesting and inspiring. His teaching method is less heavy on theory and more about experimenting and learning as you go along. He knows when to let you graft and get on with it, and when to step in and offer advice on tools and methods. The atmosphere is very relaxed and friendly, and after the first day you really look forward to the next one. At the end of the course, we all left with pieces we were chuffed with, smiles and good memories. The small size of the group (we were seven) is perfect, allowing enough room for the required one-to-one tutoring as well as some good banter. Would definitely recommend to anyone looking to try out some new creative skills.
I really enjoyed this stone sculpting weekend. The setting is idyllic right between the canal and the river Severn with beautiful views on both sides. Seb holds it in his cosy eco workshop and summer houses that he self-built which adds to the charm and uniqueness of it, although we worked outside most of the time. And in the end, we each came away with an individually designed sculpture, thanks to Sebs tutoring skills and the great choice of shapes and sizes of stone he has in the workshop.
I bought this as a christmas present for my mum as she had always wanted to try stone sculpting.
Sebastian was a great tutor, he was extremely knowledgeable and is a very gifted artist. We were given a thorough introduction on the different tools and then allowed to practice before starting our own project. Sebastian was very patient and provided help/feedback where needed yet still allowed you to be in control of your creation.
A friendly and relaxed work environment
Thoroughly recommend this stone carving weekend. It was great fun and amazing what we all managed to produce. Out of a workshop of 6 only 1 of us had done any stone carving previously and that was on an earlier course of Sebastian's.
I very much enjoyed the course. Sebastian was very helpful without being overbearing and we
were straight into sculpting without the waffle. I was surprised at what I achieved in the two days.
Best have an idea to work towards and even better a clay model of what you want to produce.
We've just had a fantastic weekend creating our stone sculptures. It's unbelievable how, with the help of the wonderful Sebastian, you can actually achieve your goals. We were given just the right amount of guidance to really do everything we hoped for, and more. We would thoroughly recommend this course for anyone and the setting really can't be beaten.
I had an excellent 2 days on Sebastian's Stonecarving 2 day course. He was very informative, and at the same time encouraged that we commenced right into the stonecarving. Some courses I have found give far too much theory and sitting around. Sebastian's course was spot on.
Sebastian was very supportive, helping when we might need it and at the same time encouraging us to just carve away and make something. Sebastian suggested we think of something we wanted to make beforehand and to bring a picture along, which is a great idea.
The classes are small groups, with great surroundings and ambiance provided to do the stone sculptures. I would highly recommend anyone to go.