I don't usually leave reviews as I'm a Luddite but I have just had one of the best weekends I've had for years. I have not spent a weekend with the sole purpose of trying to create something that was not measured in numbers, or money made for clients, but in how it made me feel. The course is the perfect introduction into bronze casting and is structured so that by the end of the weekend you just about finish a large cast that you are pretty happy with.
Mark is a great teacher and in the 2 days showed me the basics in a relaxed manner that inspired confidence with the ideas the group had come up with, and he always had a way to make something work. Whilst an introductory course, Mark also managed to pass on inspiring information about the art form in general and the historical context throughout the day and during the great lunches prepared by Caroline. Caroline passed on some words of wisdom that helped my bear casts and made everyone feel amazingly welcome and full the whole weekend.
Jo, Nick and Tony were great company and helped to make the course a brilliant weekend, even if Nick stole all the bronze with his chair.
A fantastic weekend and introduction to Bronze Casting.
Mark and Caroline very welcoming. Great instruction from a knowledgable and passionate artist (Mark) which resulted in the creation of pieces far beyond my expectations as a complete beginner.
We stayed in the cottage which was immaculately clean, warm and comfortable, and the generous and thoughtful breakfast supplies and logs for the wood burner were an added bonus.
Would thoroughly recommend this course. THANK YOU
I had very particular requirements from this course - to make a number of bronze buckles for my nascent business. I was sent some wax in good time in advance of the course, with excellent guidance on what to do with it...
Mark and Caroline are fabulous hosts, there was just the right amount of participants on the course - all from different backgrounds, and from all across the UK.
The facilities are perfectly fit for purpose, I really enjoyed the time spent at each stage of the process, Mark was always willing to give helpful, positive advise and guidance; which was especially helpful as I don't [yet] always have the language to know how to best get across a particular query or question.
I made a number of different pieces as well as some belt buckles, my wife and son were very happy with their unexpected presents.
I must also mention how AMAZING the lunches were - which was a very pleasant surprise indeed.
I hope to be going back in a few months time to go into some elements of the process in a lot more detail, and to hopefully return home with a pile of buckles to finish!
If you have any queries prior to booking yourself [or someone else] on the course, drop them a line, you will get a positive and helpful reply!
Our review in a nutshell was fantastic. The communication from start to finish was great. The cost of the course was within budget and although the location was in the back lanes of Carmarthen which is a lovely place, it added to the whole experience. Caroline and Mark were fantastic hosts, they explained everything from start to finish - even the technical side of the process. We had our hands cast in Bronze for our Wedding Anniversary keepsakes which we never got around to doing. A perfect opportunity to spend time with one another, with people who made us feel totally at home and there was nothing we would change if we had to do it all again. We took three days out - we stayed in the most Haunted Castle in Wales - Craig Y Nos for two nights - first day we arrived we had tea in a pub called the Ancient Britton - second day we arrived to start the course for 10am - had our hands casted and learnt all the ropes in making a wax mould from that and it being prepared for the molten bronze to be poured inside - we stayed a further night and had tea at a lovely restaurant near our Hotel called Pen y Cai Inn which was top dollar - stayed a further night packed the car the following day - spent a further day at the Foundry - we learnt more about the smelting process got all geared up like stormtroopers to fight any fire on earth and we both poured the bronze into our cast we made the previous day - the course wrapped up at about 2pm and we left for home. All in all one of the most memorable times we will ever have and we would highly recommend it - perfect as a gift and more importantly a moment in time you and your family can keep forever!! Thanks Caroline and thank You Mark! Look after Hoisin now! (He was a duckling we named after holding him whilst we waited for our casts to dry) Unforgetable moment with unforgettable people - Thank You 😊
This course was a fantastic introduction to working with bronze and was more than I hoped for or expected when I joined. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Mark and Caroline were exceptionally welcoming. The food was delicious and the depth of art discussion was just perfect. There were deep and meaningfuls about a whole range of art and art history. Great debate among the students on their inspirations and their pieces, and also equally friendly chatter when required. There is a wealth of books and materials to study with and the studio was an ideal place to focus when required. The course itself was geared to hands on experience with the materials during the casting process, and I was pouring molten metal within the first day!! The setting is beautiful and I hope to come back some time in better weather (I was there in January). All in all, fantastic value, a unique experience, and an inspirational way to start my year. My bronzes now have pride of place at home.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the lost wax bronze casting process with Mark and Caroline. I've attended many of their courses and I've learnt so much of this fascinating process. Mark explains the steps involved in this ancient art and is highly experienced and confident .
Caroline's lunches and snacks are delicious and I feel at home when I come to visit. I've met interesting friendly people on the courses who also have found this way of sculpting as interesting as I have.
Caroline and Mark have delivered the most outstanding course on bronze sculpturing, I could not even imagine it will be that great! Professional attitude, fully of experience and helpful in shaping ideas into art and not interrupting the thought process.
The course gave me a good understanding on the process and effort required to create beautiful art. Being in the middle of Wales is inspiring to come back and will do. I can highly recommend!
I spent an amazing day learning about and also making small bronze sculptures. I learnt many new skills and in the short time managed to finish several small objects, which turned out really well. This is bespoke tuition, with a very patient and skilled practitioner/artist. Thank you Mark and Caroline for a wonderful day, amazing hospitality and fabulous conversations! A most memorable day - I hope to be back!
I had a wonderful experience on the screen printing course with Liz. I am a textile lecturer and learnt a new way of orienting through the clear instructions given by the tutor. We spent the morning practising and understanding the skills through producing smaller pieces of work before embarking upon a final larger outcome. The tutor was very helpful, friendly and accommodating to each of our design and outcome needs. The atmosphere was very relaxed and friendly and I would recommend this course to beginners or those that have experience in other forms of printing.
To start with the rating, I wavered between Good and Excellent; I wouldn't give it 10/10 for reasons given below, but Good seems a bit grudging. Liz Ryan who took the workshop was a lovely person and very patient, and supported me to finish my work even though this meant going well beyond the published end time. She is an experienced art teacher, tutoring in a sixth form college as her day job, and knew her subject matter well. As a complete novice I felt that the principles of silk screen printing were outlined very quickly and we were immediately learning 'hands on'. The project I undertook in the afternoon, building on what I had learnt in the morning was complex, and at times I thought that I had been allowed to go advance to this too quickly. All turned out well, though with Liz's confidence and patience! I was lucky to be in a small group, but I did feel that, given the complexity of what I did, I would have benefited from more space so that I could see more clearly what I was doing. I would have liked to come away with a handout about materials and pointers; to be fair Liz provided this when I emailed her afterwards. Revised marks? 9 for set up and 10 for the experience!
This is the most incredibly fulfilling course in creating bronze sculpture using the lost wax process - i.e. modeling a form in a special wax and learning, step by step, everything involved in making a solid or hollow bronze sculpture. Mark is an exceptional teacher and you will get constant attention since the class is limited to 4 people in the two day workshop 10-4 pm. Lunch is provided by Caroline, his wonderful partner who is also an artists and of course, tea, coffee and snacks throughout the day. The setting is perfect with a furnace, blowtorches, dipping stations to coat the wax model before it is hardened. Mark explains everything and you learn by doing. He is constantly watching each participant as you will be dealing with heat and molten bronze during the process. He is encouraging and you do not need to have any prior knowledge of sculpting or the bronze casting process. He has plenty of art books in the main studio for inspiration. I do have some art experience but none ins sculpting. It is an art that has its beginnings in Neolithic times through many cultures like ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome and later. I made a Celtic solid boar figurine and an ancient Greek kore (maiden) that has my personal additions to where she looks like an Egyptian bronze priestess statue. I am so impressed to learn the process of the kind of art that I teach (Art History). The course is well worth the money and is not offered in many settings especially in the U.S. where sculptors have to rely on creating a wax model and then taking it to a forge to have the bronze poured. It is very satisfying seeing your creation from beginning to its completion. You will learn lots of terms and I took copious notes though the most important aspect of Mark's bronze casting course is the hands on experience. I highly recommend this course for sculpture students who want to expand their experience, teachers, and anyone who is curious about this process. You will feel like Michelangelo at the end or Bernini or for a Grecophile like me, Polykleitos or Lysippos
This is a truly fantastic course that I would recommend to anyone - and everyone! I had no knowledge or experience of sculpture or bronze casting and yet I have come away with a horse sculpture and a Venus figure that I am very happy with. Mark is a true 'renaissance man' and a great, amusing and talented teacher. Caroline gives a warm welcome and makes lovely lunches. If you are interested in bronze, sculpture, art (or just need a creative break like I did) don't even think about it, just book!
This is the second time I have been back to learn under Mark. I will likely go again as as much as he teaches it opens new doors and new ideas so I want/need to know more.
The facilities provide a no-distraction environment with all the tools and supervision required to turn out some stunning work that anyone would be proud of. After Marks' teaching the realisation of: "I can do this" is akin to discovering opposable thumbs. It fills the student with confidence as well as an awareness to all the challenges a artist will face in the workshop.
I give top marks for this course.
The venue was excellent and easy to get to. The facilities were excellent. The training was hands on including a wealth of information that is generally only won after hard years of experience. It really did cater to the art as well as the science of the work. I ended the day with a great deal more than I expected, 2 excellent moulds and a great deal to assimilate/ponder for the future. This has saved me a great deal of hassle and pointed me in the right direction. These people really know how to look after their students. Thank you.
I really can't explain how great this course is! outstanding for the price. Mark Halliday is a fantastic teacher, he changes his style of teaching for each person, he is an excellent confidence builder and will get you to work at your best. The workshop is in a beautiful rural setting the workshop is fully equipped with everything you need. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in making, the bronze cast process or materials and how you can work them.
Silicone rubber blanket mould making course: for sculptors and makers
Mark is a first rate artist and teacher and I feel very honoured to have been taught by him. This is very specialist knowledge and skills and is extremely interesting to watch and learn myself. If you are looking to learn these skills whilst in a beautiful part of the world with a fun and supportive teacher then you have found a bargin here. Thank you mark!
I cannot recommend this course highly enough! Mark and Caroline are amazing, kind and inspiring peaple. If you get the chance, do this course, it is so exciting and fun. The setting couldn't be more inspiring and relaxing. Mark has a real gift for teaching and I can honoustly say i recived the best art education from him. You feel totally supported and encouraged to reach beyond what you expect from yourself. I want to come back and learn more soon!
This course is brilliant! I have done it twice now, have learned loads, and hope to go again soon. Mark is an extremely talented and accomplished artist in his own right as well as being a fantastically generous teacher, an expert on classical sculpture and incredibly knowledgeable about all aspects of bronze-casting and sculpture in general. He is also able to make everyone, no matter what age, experience or background, feel at home and confidant enough to learn a significant amount in a short space of time. Cilyrynys itself has the added bonus of being in lovely surroundings. All in all, it is quite a magical experience I would urge anyone who interested in making to give it a try.5