There is so much breath-taking beauty in the animal kingdom. It has taken millions of years of evolution to shape the forms, physiology and behaviour of wild animals in order for them to become perfectly adapted for their habitats. It is little wonder why mankind feels compelled to capture the beauty of the natural world in art, and yet, recreating animals in clay can all too often feel clumsy and lacking in grace, poise and life.
On this five-day course James Ort will teach you how to create ceramic animals using a contemporary technique that is loose, expressive, breaks all the rules and brings your pieces to life! The technique is fast, easy to learn and gives you creations some energy.
The technique of Wild Animals revolves around building your clay forms around a newspaper armature and you can make pretty much whatever animals you like, except for birds, becasuse they need more materials, time and tools than other animals. We will start understanding the method by making wall mounted animal portrait heads, and over the course of the week build up to more complex four-legged standing animals and wall mounted dynamic poses which require more complex armatures. Once completed, your masterpieces will be dried out and then bisque fired in our kilns. You will be shown how to bring colour and life to your pieces with the use of underglazes.
You will be given a series of demonstrations throughout the course that show you the key stages and principles of the technique. The rest of the time will be spent making your own pieces with James’ guidance and support every step of the way. Attention will be paid to capturing the animal’s form – looking at proportions, anatomy and attitude. James has a light hearted and attentive approach and prides himself on getting the best out of his students.
Students will study in the beautiful environment of La Meridiana. A full meal will be served on all course days and at booking, you may select your preferred room type, choosing between standard lodging, single room and/or upgraded accommodation. Please note that depending on the availability, certain types at times may not be offered.
This workshop is suitable for all levels.The last kiln opening will be in the morning of Saturday, plan your travels so to not leave La Meridiana before 9.30 am.
James Ort is a wildlife artist. Creating in ceramic is his main love, but he often makes art using wire, mixed media, painting, and drawing. He often combines different materials where appropriate. He discovered sculpture when he became manager of the Phoenix Studio – an art school in Oxfordshire. A lifelong fascination in wildlife and former career in conservation, James uses his understanding of anatomy and form to push ceramics to its limits. He regularly teaches sculpture and is passionate about using his art to benefit others – be it wildlife or mankind. James was very much inspired and influenced by his nature loving Grandfather, Brian Price Thomas whom illustrated a number of the Ladybird Children Books.