ABOUT JAN SWEENEY
The daughter of an Irish vet, Jan Sweeney grew up in the open countryside of East Anglia, on the east cost of England. Her early training was at Colchester Art School and she followed this with three years working in Verona, Italy, under sculptor Mike Noble. She first visited Africa in 1985 and the African scene and wildlife had a powerful influence on her work.
She now has her own workshop and foundry in Zimbabwe where she does her own casting. Jan divides her time between her lakeside cottage at Lake Chivero, Zimbabwe and her house in Somerset, England. Her work, therefore, portrays the animals of the English countryside and the game of the African bush. Horses are a particular love of this accomplished horsewoman who has competed successfully in both eventing and dressage.
The Animal Artist Association (USA)
The South West Arts Group (UK)
The Royal British Sculptors (Associate Member)
The Wildlife Arts Society (A Fellow of)
Art in Wildlife, Cirencester, UK
BP Collection, Harare, Zimbabwe
First National Bank Art Collection, Johannesburg, South Africa
1993 – Wild Arts Society – Best Sculpture – Best Overall
1996/97/98 – Wild Arts Society – Best Sculpture
1999 Prix du Meaudre – CDAA Sculpture
The Royal Academy – 1994/95
Sun City Palace Hotel, South Africa – 1998 to 2002
Centre de Documentation Sur l’art Animalier, Belgium – 1998 to 2002
Nature in Art, Gloucester, UK – 2001
Chelsea Flower Show, UK – 2001/2/3
Sculpture in the Park, Loveland, Colorado, USA – 1996
In addition to the Lost Wax Bronze Sculptures shown, special commissions are also undertaken. Please contact us for details.
Enquiries: Elizabeth Twose Tel. (0) 1278 691272 [email protected]
CERAMIC SCULPTURE COURSES WITH JAN SWEENEY A.R.B.S.
You want to make a sculpture. There is an artist inside you. You have the idea and you have the creative urge. But how do you get from your creative idea to the dramatic piece on your sideboard or your terrace. No, it isn’t easy but it is easier than it looks. And it is hugely exciting and satisfying. A course in Jan Sweeney’s Somerset studio will give you the key to unlock that world.
Jan is not only a world renowned wildlife artist she is an experienced and enthusiastic teacher. She has her own method of creating the bronze sculptures which have sold all over the world but has the flexibility to help you develop your own signature methods and style.
The key to Jan’s own work is the untouched wilderness of the Zambesi valley from which she takes much of her inspiration. What matters most to Jan and makes her work instantly recognizable is energy and movement. Both the courses below will give you an insight to how she does that and help you develop your own skills and style. You will learn but most of all you will have fun.
Courses take place in Jan’s Studio in a peaceful village in the beautiful Polden Hills in Somerset. A situation which provides the peace and tranquillity to help release your inner creative spirit.
Bed and breakfast accommodation is available in the locality.
Course 1 – "CERAMIC SCULPTURE"
This course is offered over a choice of 2 or 5 days. The purpose of the course is to produce your own finished clay sculpture. Participants will learn how to work with clay and in particular how to build up a structure working with hollow forms as opposed to solid clay. Jan is one of the few artists to use this method. The advantage is that it produces a light model which is easy to work with, needs no complex system of supports and wires and crucially is much easier and quicker to fire in a kiln.
The clay sculpture may then be taken home as it is, or it may be left at the studio to be fired after drying.
All tools will be provided but material will be provided at cost to allow each student to make their own choice of the size and complexity of the sculpture they want to create. Firing may attract an additional charge.
Course 2 – "PREPARATION FOR BRONZE CASTING"
This course is available over 5 days and will cover all the essential steps in preparing a hollow wax of your sculpture to go to the bronze foundry. You will be helped to understand the principles of casting and the way that artists and foundries work together. Many artists leave everything to the foundry after creating the original sculpture in wax or clay. Jan believes in as much control over her creation as possible and does all the intermediate steps herself. You too will learn how to do that. That is, to create an initial sculpture using armatures as required, to make moulds and how to use them to produce hollow wax forms to go to the foundry. You will put this learning into practice. All tools will be provided but material will be provided at cost to allow each student to make their own choice of the size and complexity of the sculpture they want to create.
What to do Next
Please contact Jan to register your interest and discuss dates which will be between the end of May and the end of October. A course will require a minimum of 4 students so group booking would be more than welcome.