woman sitting in a classroom with a clay model of an animal's head in progress

Learn how to Sculpt Near Melrose Cottage!

We are lucky enough to have the specially designed studio of the Sculpture School – the country’s leading centre for realistic human and animal sculpture – located just 15 minutes drive away from us at Melrose Cottage. We recently hosted two guests who were undertaking a course there, who sang the praises of the school. The Sculpture School teach novices and professionals alike the skills needed to create lifelike sculptures.

Animal Sculpture

Our cottage guests signed up for the “Animal Portrait” course and created their own impressive to-scale sculpture of an animal. This course is suitable for beginners and professionals alike.

Andrew Sinclair, one of the founders of the Sculpture School has developed a ground breaking methodology to create a generic animal face. You will also learn this on the Animal Portrait course. You will learn to understand the essence of this and model a generic animal face in clay. After that you will add the specific characteristics of your unique animal. The result will be an incredible piece of art that captures the individuality of your chosen animal.

On this course you will learn exciting sculpture skills such as how to make an armature, clay application and the importance of measurement, as well as design and anatomy

Learn from the best: Andrew Sinclair

woman concentrating on small clay sculpture of a human head

We have a world-class figurative sculptor right here in Devon, Andrew Sinclair, one of the co-founders of The Sculpture School. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn from Andrew during your stay at Melrose Cottage.

Andrew has worked to commission for over 30 years and his his recent public commissions include The Duke of Wellington’s Regiment Memorial Sculpture unveiled in Halifax in 2019, and the David Bowie Sculpture in Aylesbury Buckinghamshire in 2018.

We are no art buffs, but we understand that Andrew’s sculptures are thought to be unique in their attention to detail and realism. Understandably dubbed ‘narrative realism’, this highly skilled method involves bringing the core character of a subject and brings to the fore.

Andrew teaches his unique ‘narrative realism’ to students at the Sculpture School, in courses which are open to all.


I am a beginner, where do I start?

Where do you start, if you are a beginner? We have it on good authority that the recommended learning journey is to sign up for the one day “Taste of Sculpture Day” course. Following on from that, if you have found that you love it (as our previous guests did), then the “Figurative 4-day” is recommended as the next step in your sculpture journey.

We are sure that you’ll want to enjoy our hospitality at Melrose Cottage again. However you can then sign up to a practice at home course – the “online figurative“. If you’re still thirsty for knowledge, then why not try the “Specialist Techniques 4 day” after that.

clay sculpture of a head on a stick

What are the facilities like?

brightly coloured freshly cut vegetables, onions, peppers and tomatoes

The Sculpture School is based in an inspiring purpose-built studio in the heart of the beautiful Devon countryside. Better yet, it is only 15 minutes drive from us at Melrose Cottage. The Sculpture School was founded in 2010 by Andrew Sinclair and Diane Coates. They particularly wanted to share the professional skills of realist figurative sculpture with the next generation of sculptors.

You will be excited to learn that The Sculpture School shares the same location as Andrew Sinclair’s professional sculpture workshop.  This offers students a rare insight into the world of commissioned sculpture.

You will be provided with the bespoke materials and resources you need for each workshop for the duration of your study. We have had a sneak preview of the lunches provided, and they look delicious!!