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Wellbeing: Carve a Sculptural Stone Bird Bath for Your Garden

Art Classes

6 weeks from 16 April 2024
16, 23, 30 April
7, 14, 21 May

Book Place

Suitable for adults and young people 16 years or over.

In this course you will carve a sculptural stone bird bath bowl from durable Portland Stone, working over six Tuesday evenings. You’ll use hand tools to carve a small bowl from a tablet of stone 27 x 35 x 6cm. You can create your own design incorporating curving sculptural forms, textures, patterns, plant or animal motifs but templates will be provided by the tutor for anyone in need of an idea.

By the end of the course you will have produced a frost resistant bird bath bowl without a pedestal or plinth, suitable for positioning on the ground or on a wall or sturdy table. Your bowl will be heavy but able to be moved by one person.

Bird baths are a great way to help our feathered friends find much needed water throughout the year, as well as a practical means of introducing some personalised art into your garden. By incorporating a carved animal or plant form into the interior of the bowl – for example, a frog, lily pad or flower, you can create a perching space and exit route for smaller birds and pollinating insects like bumble bees and butterflies.

This is a practical, hands-on class with a friendly and supportive atmosphere, suitable for beginners with an interest in art or anyone who enjoys working with their hands, as well as people with some experience of stone carving. You do not need any particular skills, simply the ability to hold tools in both hands- a chisel in one, and a dummy (stonemason’s hammer) in the other.

The stone provided for this project is mined in Portland, Dorset, by a UK company with the highest environmental and ethical credentials.


  • An overview of different bird bath designs
  • Drawing your design or adapting a template
  • Setting out the design on the stone
  • Using a pitching tool to remove waste from the outline
  • Hollowing out the bowl with a point chisel
  • Carving the sculptural motif with a claw and flat chisels
  • Using a riffler and abrasive papers to smooth the inside of the bowl
  • Rounding the outside of the bowl with a point tool

Tools, safety equipment and one piece of Portland limestone 27 x 35 x 6cm will be provided and are included in the cost.
Please bring an apron and wear old clothes and stout shoes or boots which cover your toes and protect your feet.

Amanda Randall

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Book Place
WEEKLY: Tuesdays 7-9.30pm

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