Studio Diary, The Tumble Commission, part 1.

The Scale Model for a lovely commission for a beautiful Care Home in Carmarthenshire got a very warm and positive response and after months of workshops, planning and very careful thought the build has started.

As usual I’ve over -designed for the budget… but that’s my prerogative- I always stick to my quoted fee and how many hours I put in is up to me.I get a buzz out of challenge and this piece has steep leans , a very complex form and very strong themes that must be stuck to.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  It has been developed from content gathered from other Artists on the Team working in a range of creative styles and  with some extraordinary Primary School pupils.

The children’s ideas were so sophisticated, profound and complex. For example; After spending a series of workshops with the Home’s Residents making tiles for the Plinth, they built the idea that life is a journey full of change and phases so they wanted to see a pathway that traveled around the sculpture. They wanted a warm , welcoming form that harnessed the rain ( that falls very regularly here in Wales!) to create pools and flowing rivers that represented the Love that is all around us and flows through our lives. Wonderful!

Many of the Residents have Dementia and all are very disabled. But they joined in, charmed by these adorable kids, and it was their warmth and sincerity the children picked up on. They talked about many of the harsh realities of their long lives; war, poverty, mining, loss.And the joys; the beautiful landscape of the country they love, pets, family, work.
















When your Commissioners pour so much of themselves into the consultation phase you owe them something stunning. That includes Arts Care Gofal Celf  who are running this 2 year ,multi -Artist project  with Gwalia and they are both a joy to work for.

So this piece is full of metaphors and symbols. And, I hope, the grace and integrity of the many people who brought it together.



Near the Studio is the beautiful valley I go to regularly (the River Series came from there) and it is the perfect place to support this Sculpture. And it certainly rained enough this winter.













The Sculpture will be 1metre 40cm high plus the Plinth and 1m 80cm wide.

I always make scale model people too so I have  the eye-lines right. They help to illustrate the scale.                                                                                                                                 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


Measuring carefully from the Model the piece is coil-built using a variety of coil methods . The details are roughed in as the lower sections will necessarily get hard to support the weight of the following layers. Timing is everything. I do use fans and supports but if you mess too much with the drying phases you may well get cracks. If you work too fast it will collapse and I hate it when that happens.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA There are internal support-walls and buttresses. The piece will be cut in large sections for the firing and these are pre-planned very carefully. The structure has be strong while wet , when dry,when being dismantled and moved to the kiln , through the fire, when being installed and then when it stands for decades, centuries even, in a public place. The site in this instance is a very lovely , sheltered Court-yard Garden with handsome landscaping. There wont be a problem with people climbing on it etc so I could allow some delicacy  but non-the-less it is a sturdy design although I am aiming for a light, flowing feeling.

Powys Arts Month 2014, Open Studio and Garden Exhibition.

Osprey arts mo flyer


All over Powys in Mid Wales, UK,  Artists and Craftsmen are opening their Studios and putting on special events to share work. It is a great time to find someone whose style appeals to you and go ask them about projects of your own. We all love talking shop and encouraging others with their creativity. It is an excellent  event for Bargains as Artists spring-clean their Studios and admit it is time to part with secret favourites.

Osprey Studios is open every weekend in May or phone and book any  time that would be more convenient. Evenings are a tranquil, charming time in the Garden.

Everything in this section is under £30.

Everything in this section is under £30.


Osprey Studios. Easy parking and access.

Osprey Studios. Easy parking and access.










Some of the Sculpture is fresh from the Kiln and new work will be on the go in the Studio.

Some of the Sculpture is fresh from the Kiln and new work will be on the go in the Studio.

Beautiful Penpont ,half way between here and Brecon has an Arts Month site too and is a glorious place to visit. The ‘Visit The Studio’ page here on this site has other attractions, directions  and details for having a lovely day here in the south-western corner of the Brecon Beacons National Park.

You can show up on the day for my 2 workshops but booking in advance will secure your place.

You can get a feel for my best white clay, Scarva Architectural,on the Join-in Sculpture  which will be on the go all month and I’ll put out my Momentum wheel for anyone to try for free too.

A Join In Sculpture at Brecon Jazz with The Big Skill.

A Join In Sculpture at Brecon Jazz with The Big Skill.

The lovely kids visiting Osprey Studios with The Chernobyl Life Line trying out the Momentum Wheel

The lovely kids visiting Osprey Studios with The Chernobyl Life Line trying out the Momentum Wheel

On the 17th the wonderful Photographer, Stephen Foote (see links) that did my best pictures is coming here for anyone else needing top quality images at an affordable price. Everyone is welcome to visit on that day- it will be busy and very interesting to see Stephen Foote working in the Studio.

osprey photo sesion2,PAM 2014

I have had a massive clear-out; I’ve got a large Commission to build in the Studio. It will be on the go during Powys Arts Month and your feed-back during the build would be a great help. It is not going to be an easy one! I’ll have a lot of brand-new, never shown, work here. You can handle the range of  specialist clays I use to see if they might suit you. And there’s also some fab seconds  for sale including my Gwenllians.

Taken as a pair they will be just £500 or £300 each. Some of my other smaller seconds will be £1-£30. They are all frost proof.


Gwenllian was an actual historical Welsh Warrior Princess. Both Sculptures of her are life-sized and fully frost-proof.

Gwenllian was an actual historical Welsh Warrior Princess. Both Sculptures of her are life-sized and fully frost-proof.

Everyone including Schools and Families will be  very welcome  to Osprey Studios during Powys Arts Month. You can relax in the Garden with a complimentary drink and the kids can play with clay for as long as you like.



Tuition, Workshops, Play Events and Parties.



The measuring frees you up to be expressive with your modelling .

The measuring frees you up to be expressive with your modelling. Concrete skills set your creativity free.

Osprey Studios has a major commitment to sharing skills and encouraging creativity. I have a great deal of experience in guiding people of all ages and abilities towards their own style. My sculptural techniques have been tested to destruction and make sound foundations for your own exploration of clay and form. You can find my set of ‘How To’ posts here. I update and add to them regularly and get a big kick out of the fact that they are now used all over the world.

From time to time I’ll run a Master class here on a particular thing; Posts about Workshops. If there is something you want to work on let me know and I’ll collect together a group of like-minded people and we’ll set a date that works for everyone. The price is usually around £90 p/day each for a 7 hour day, with a max group size of 8, including home-made lunch and refreshments. Only materials or tools kept are extra.

A Masterclass at your venue can have more students than that depending on your resources.


Groups or individuals are welcome to come to Osprey Studios (SA9 1YT).  Being in the Studio environment with work-in-progress and the sculpture garden outside is part of the event. I usually provide homemade refreshments and lunches (included in the fee) and we have relaxing breaks on the sofa or in the garden to swap ideas and chat. There is accommodation available here or lots of other gorgeous places to stay and eat in this lovely area.

Or I can bring everything we need to you in my van. Sculpture in clay makes surprisingly little mess and is easy to clean up.

The Workshop will be custom made to suit your needs and objectives.

For example;

  • A 1 day workshop guiding you towards your own ‘voice’ in 3D artwork. A very enjoyable, fascinating day with lots of laughs and new experiences in clay work whatever your starting point.
  • Making figures: a 1 day workshop incorporating a great deal of very useful information relavent to all sorts of artwork.
  • I particularly encourage Teacher’s to do a fun, very straightforward 2 hour Workshop on using clay modelling in school. We’ll cover firing/self-hardening clays, recycling clay, decorating and controlling costs, everything to help you keep clay in the class room because it matters!
  • A Portfolio Review will clarify the way you see your work in preparation for college applications or a change of direction.
  • ‘How To’ classes with technical solutions for challenging projects, including working on a large scale, hand-building pottery, drawing from life, portraits/figures, all suitable for all levels of experience including total beginners. 
  • Join-In Sculptures are great fun and full of learning opportunities. They are the ultimate embodiment of unstructured, experiential, messy play! I have done these with adults and children at Events and Parties in all kinds of settings and they bring out the best in everyone. The fabulous, ever changing sculpture is photographed along the way and then we re-cycle the clay. It is a wonderful, flexible, cost effective way to engage and inspire even very large groups ( 80 year 2’s over 1 day is my best yet) and great for working through themes, building concepts and stories and engendering co-operation. No matter how small the contribution it is part of something greater.



    Occasionally I’ll go for other materials and processes like drawing or murals. This fantastic 3 metre x 2.5 metre painting was done with many wonderful young people at the Penrhos Youth Centre in short sessions over 6 weeks.

This magical book to go in the Library was part of a sculpture project with year 5 at Pennard Primary School on the Gower.

Fees start at £30 per hour + 44p per mile travel + materials. On average individuals will use around £2.00 worth of clay. On many projects, like the Join In Sculptures, all the material is recycled so there is no charge for it.

Feel welcome to contact me to chat through your idea: phone 01639 731271 / 07913743457 or email at