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Past event

Botanical Birds – A Clay Avian Experience Workshop

In celebration of the Design Month and Lady Olive Baillie, you are invited
to attend a unique clay sculpture workshop, where you’ll adopt all sense
to create a unique and striking clay bird.

To start the workshop you’ll explore the beautiful grounds at Leeds Castle,
as you make sketches and notes of different nature settings and inspiration,
to determine design aspects of your own clay bird. From fragrant plants,
spotting and listening for birds – both airborne, terrestrial and those inhabiting
the moat. For further inspiration and connection to the Castle and its history;
you are also invited to explore the ceramic birds seen in Lady Baillie’s
bedroom and botanical patterns in her collection. You are also encourages
to collect natural materials to use in your masterpieces.

Once you’re inspired, you will use clay-modelling techniques to create a clay
bird with (white/porcelain like) air-drying clay, which you’ll design and
delicately decorate with patterns of petals, leaves and other gathered organic
materials, utilising twigs and stones found on the floor, if you like, as
clay tools and to create texture on the surface of your clay bird.

Once created, these will be placed in the grounds to create a beautiful, ornamental
collaboration for visitors to enjoy. These could be left to weather back
into the environment or collected later by the makers. The workshop would
give participants the opportunity to enjoy the great outsides in nature together;
to walk a historic and beautiful path, to connect with the Castle’s collection
and its history and stories, to create a unique artwork using natural materials
– enjoying the tactile essence of clay – and to work collaboratively.

What you will experience:

– Learn all about the world of clay making, as you use the natural world to
inspire your own clay design

– Use clay-modelling techniques to create your own clay bird, and delicately
decorate with natural materials

– The workshop starts at 10am and finishes at 2pm

– Refreshments are complimentary (lunch is not included)

Price: £85 per person

Participants must be an admission ticket holder. Tickets can be purchased at
the Visitor Centre upon arrival, or in advance via our website If you book your admission tickets
48 hours ahead of your visit, you will automatically receive an early bird