Clay Sculpture Classes at The Sculpture Lounge

An advert popped up on my Facebook feed last week for Clay Sculpture classes at the Sculpture Lounge which is 20 minutes away from me in the next village. I couldn’t say no and jumped at the opportunity!

I’m so glad that I did. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I pulled up at a wonderful old mill and wandered around outside – a lovely little stream runs alongside it and I gleefully watched a Jenny Wren going about her business before she flew straight past me.

She was there as a reminder for me to be bold, to leave uncertainty at the door, and work to make my dreams a reality.

I knew it was going to be a good day!

The outside space has a large metal structure which the jackdaws had nested in, their hungry cries echoed off the corrugated structure. Life was everywhere!

Inside, the building had been sctructured into separate workshops for various incredibly talented artists,

I couldn’t take everything in, my eyes must have been out on stalks.

They were getting the space upstairs ready for an exhibition as part of the annual Holmfirth Art Week. Little did I know then that I would receive an email from the organisers the day after telling me they’d found me a space for the festival too!!! WOW!!! I LOVE how the universe puts all this together.

It’s something I’m really excited about, but nervous too because I don’t know what I’m doing! But that’s the whole process – if you don’t do it then you can’t learn.

Which brings me back to the class I was there for – Clay Sculpting

Our tutors for the next weekly 2 hour classes for 6 weeks are Rebecca Appleby, a Sculpture Lounge studio holder and internationally renowned ceramic artist, and Brendan Hesmondhalgh – Founder of The Sculpture Lounge and British contemporary figurative sculptor, best known for his unique handmade ceramic and bronze sculptures of animals. Using slabs of clay or sculptural wax.

Suddenly, what I paid for the course seemed like peanuts for the access to such talented tutors. The clay we used who’s name I can’t for the life of me remember and is a reminder why I need to write things down! was beautiful to work with. It really is a world away from the stuff you get at school.

We ran through the basics of rolling the clay and how to join pieces. I don’t think I stopped smiling all day. I was so engrossed and happy I didn’t even take any photos, so I’ll just have to take some next week.

As I predicted though, I completely changed my mind about what I thought I would want to create. I had assumed through looking at other peoples’ work for inspiration that I would want to create smooth, sculptural forms, but I actually enjoyed leaving my prints and the cracks that formed to show the process.

I’m thoroughly enjoying exploring different creative methods and although my adult wet blanket keeps piping up about, “but what will you sell to make money,” I’m so far managing to just about keep it at bay!


Jenny Wren appears to remind us to be bold.