Portrait Sculpture with Hazel Reeves

Hazel Reeves

Get ready to become hooked. Sculpting a portrait in clay is a very rewarding experience. This course will explore how to observe heads – how to see their differences and similarities, and in turn learn how to translate this understanding into a sculpture which captures a likeness of the sitter. On the first day we will sculpt rapidly an under-life-size head of the sitter, without measuring. During the next four days we will more systematically build a life-sized clay portrait of our sitter on an armature/bust-peg, then finally prepare it for firing. This concentrated modelling will be interspersed with fun exercises – with clay and without – to help train up the eye and hands.

Most materials are included in the cost of the course including clay for a life-size portrait. A wooden armature (sometimes called a ‘bust peg’) will be provided. This is yours to keep.

This course will be taught in a way that’s suitable for all levels, from beginner to advanced.

White Room, Phoenix Art Space

Please bring an apron/bib and an A4 sketchpad and drawing implement (pencil, pen etc). If you have any of the following, bring them. But don’t worry if not as there will be some to share:

  • Calipers for measuring
  • Ruler or retractable metal measure
  • Wooden and/or metal modeling tools (including hollowing-out tools)
  • Wire (or “cheese”) cutter
  • Water spray bottle
  • Barbecue sticks
  • Cocktail sticks
  • Masking tape
  • Bin liners (x2)
  • Hand-held mirror
  • Old newspaper

If you are hollowing-out on the last day it would be helpful to bring an old pillow, a clean jam jar, fork and knife.

Firing is not included, however, advice on how to prepare the piece for firing and where to get the piece fired (at a kiln/pottery) will be shared during the course. You can choose to hollow-out on the final day.

Hazel Reeves has a passion for telling stories of struggles for social justice and redressing the lack of representation of women in public statuary. Her iconic statue of Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, unveiled in Manchester in 2018, received the Marsh Excellence in Public Sculpture Award in 2021. Her latest statue of the campaigner and suffragist Elizabeth Wolstenholme Elmy was unveiled this March in Congleton by Baroness Hale of Richmond. Other statues include the Cracker Packers statue, celebrating the lives of women biscuit factory workers in Carlisle. She first came to public attention with her monumental statue of Sir Nigel Gresley, the steam railway engineer, unveiled at King’s Cross station in 2016. Hazel is an elected Member of the Royal Society of Sculptors, a member of the Society of Women Artists (SWA), a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and the advising sculptor for the Hove Plinth initiative. Hazel also loves to teach portrait sculpture.

Read More

Course Details


Contact Us


10–14 Waterloo Place
Brighton, BN2 9NB
East Sussex, UK

+44 (0)1273 603700

Stay updated

Sign up to our newsletter to be the first to hear about events and exhibitions.


Phoenix Arts Association Ltd, Registered Charity no.1051551 Registered Company no. 03136932

Phoenix is supported by
Members of

Copyright © 2020 Phoenix Arts Association Ltd | Privacy Policy

Website design by Osomi