Stone Carving for Beginners

‘A practical., inspiring and enjoyable introduction to stone carving which is what I hoped for and expected. I feel confident that I could do my own carving projects now.‘ Thomas Hudson

An excellent introduction to stone caving or in my case a refresher and an opportunity to improve one’s technique.’ Mike Patrick


Level: Beginners

This course will be part of our Summer School portfolio, running in July 2019, and you’ll be able to book your place very soon. To be the first to hear when booking opens, please leave your details here.


Taking as our source the weird and wacky beasts, birds and insects of the medieval Ormesby Psalter, learn the traditional skills and techniques of historic low relief stone carving. We’ll introduce you to the fundamentals:  which tools you need and how to use them, and techniques for cutting stone and applying texture, all while taking inspiration from our unique collection of historic casts from the V & A.



There is something very special about learning a traditional skill like stone carving in an environment which is so dedicated to the continuation and advancement of the craft. City & Guilds of London Art School has an unbroken tradition of teaching sculpture, stone carving and woodcarving since 1879, and today, our stone carving graduates continue to work on the world’s great cathedrals, buildings and monuments.

This one week course gives you a unique opportunity to try out these skills for yourself, in excellent facilities and guided by our inspirational teacher. Low relief stone carving provides the perfect platform for the beginner, and working with hammers and chisels you’ll come out with a small carved stone panel that you can be proud of.

We take imagery from The Ormesby Psalter, a medieval illuminated manuscript full of illustrations of fantastical human and animal forms. You’ll be guided through the process of transferring your chosen image from the manuscript onto stone, and then we teach the techniques of cutting stone, and adding colour and texture by breaking or scraping the surface. In the process, you’ll learn which tools you need and how to use and maintain them, as well as some historical background on decorative styles.

Alternatively, if you complete the Relief Modelling in Clay course which takes place during the previous week, you can use the piece you created there as the basis for your stone carving this week.

Join us and become a part of the great tradition of British stone carving!


What’s included: all teaching, and your tools and materials for the stone carving.

What isn’t included: your meals, and bring a steel tape measure if you have one, a notebook, pencil and rubber. Please wear old clothes you don’t mind spoiling, or bring a pair of decorator’s overalls, and wear steel cap boots.




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