John Davey Sculptor Weymouth

Portland Stone Relief Carving Workshops for Beginners in Weymouth 2023

Summer? Stone Carving Workshops

Well what a summer we’ve been having, hoping for an Indian Summer after the end of August. The Gazebos have been up and down during some windy and wet weather. Olivia and Kevin have had to frequently go out in the driving rain to use the old broom to empty the collected pools of water in the gazebos covers. Taking care not to take an unplanned shower. I think they have mastered this technique.

I have only had to cancel one workshop due to high winds much to my students disappointment. Luckily they were able to book on another day. Being able to carve outside in such a beautiful garden with stunning views does have its advantages but old Mother Nature does have her say.

I did have one student who worked in very wet and windy conditions. The gale was blowing from the South East with heavy rain but this did not deter her from carving a beautiful sculpture. She was a northern lass and was in the Navy, so was used to wild weather. Of course there were more sunny days than bad ones, as you can see from the following images.

Beginning of the Workshop

After positioning the workshop tables arranging the tools and placing the Portland Stones ready to be carved I await impatiently for my new beginners to stone carving. I,m always amazed by the diversity of age, careers and characters that each have. Graphic designers, teachers, writers, electricians, etc. Some more manuel than others, but they all achieve a finished carving to be proud of.

We start by a little introduction to the stone and tools. Then choosing a design and adapting it to the size of the stone. Some come with their own ideas, others use one of my templates. Then its down to the techniques of carving and how to attain different textures to really get their carving to stand out.

Naturally the students begin carving with a little trepitation, learning how to hold the chisels, the angle of attack to get a clean line on their stone. As the day progresses I can hear the rhythm of the hammers change from erratic knocks to a more controled regular speed. At times subconsciously they become a harmonious in sync rhythm. I can see how they begin to master their technique, building confidence and taking pleasure in the creation of an original artwork.


There are of course little accidents which can occur. A chipped beak or a line that begins to wander. Here I will with the student choose a solution to solve this mishap. Changing slightly the design to resolve the problem. The trick is to welcome these unforeseen occurences and use them to your advantage.

Only Two Workshops to go.

So drawing to the end of my Summer Workshops in this amazing venue, just one week-end to go. Places are still available so if you would like to enrich your creative side come and book your place. £ 90 per person per day and proudly take your sculpture to show of to your friends and family. Lets get chipping.

Just click on my workshop page for more information and booking.

I,d love to get any feedback about my work, feel free to comment.

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