Carving And Colour

Creative Learning |
4th July 2018

Wed 4th & Thu 5th Jul | 10.30am – 5.30pm each day | £99 | with Hannah Ehlert

Create unique and useful hand carved items from beautiful pieces of wood. Learn to carve and colour them using traditional Swedish wood carving techniques.

What do I need to bring with me? Are there any additional costs?

All tools and materials will be provided. An additional charge of approx. £16 will be made for materials used during the course payable directly to the tutor.

Please wear closed shoes (no sandals). Tight or short sleeves are preferable. Please also bring a pen + paper, and your glasses, if you need them.

More detail on what the course covers…

Learn the easy, time-honoured and low-tech way of carving creative gifts out of unique pieces of wood – anywhere!

Carving decorative and useful utensils from wood is an ancient skill – many cultures have also used colour to enhance the joyful beauty of these handmade objects.  Revel in shapes and colours, producing some items on the first day whilst learning all safe carving techniques you need, to be able to continue on your own, and colour some on day 2, finding out about a variety of colouring techniques.

The Swedish carving tradition uses mainly axe and knife, which sets it apart from other (sculptural or sign) carving where many different, expensive chisels are needed.  This simplicity and the use of natural curves in branches results in original pieces that have a quality that work from band sawn squares cannot emulate.

No previous experience is required. However, students should be able to have full use of both arms and hands. People with strained shoulders or wrists may struggle with the movements of axing and knife work.

The course will be taught in a mixture of tutor-led demonstration + handout, have-a-go in the group, Question-and-Answer times and then more and more individual projects with the tutor going around to lend individual support and feedback.

On the first day the emphasis lies on learning safe carving cuts with axe and knife and getting to know the medium greenwood and grain directions, whilst producing items like buttons, coat hook, spatula and/or small spoon.

A focus will be placed on sensible functional design of work pieces and understanding the offerings and limitations of the material “green wood”.  By partly using curved pieces and only axe and knife, designs will naturally be focussing more on overall shape and expressiveness, using the suggestions of the cleft greenwood.

There will be a section on which woods and tools to choose, follow-on treatment of your pieces, as well as basic tool care and correct storing and drying of objects.

On day two, students will continue with their own projects and we will delve into colours, using embellishing pieces made on day one.  Different traditional and modern methods of applying paints and pigments will be explained.

All this enables you to go home and continue carving, knowing about the few simple tools and processes, safely, with understanding and enjoyment.

Expect to go home with at least 4 pieces of work of varying sizes and levels of difficulty.

Your tutor will discuss the course content with the class and may make some adjustments to the syllabus based on the needs of the group. She will try to accommodate individual requirements where it is practical to do so.

Please visit the facilities and access page on our website for information if you have any concerns or contact the Adult Learning Team on 01539 722833 Ext 273/275 if you wish to discuss any specific needs or email


4th July 2018

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