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Learn new skills and experiment with creative processes


Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop brings together professional artists, first-time participants, adult learners and young people on our learning programmes.

People come here to develop new and existing skills, access equipment and space, and to work with and learn from artists. Our learning programme is designed to nurture and encourage creative potential and enables people to connect with artists. Through a mix of free and paying activities including courses, workshops, masterclasses and training people are given the tools to learn and develop skills and share knowledge between the different communities using the workshop.

Schools Programme

Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop’s Schools Programme has been running since 2012 and is designed to introduce Primary 5 pupils to many diverse ways of thinking about the world around them and making art. Working in partnership with the two local primary schools Trinity and Victoria 100 + pupils come to the sculpture workshop for an hour a week for an entire school year.

For eight years this unique schools programme has succeeded in introducing pupils to a remarkable range of artistic histories, concepts and materials. The studio is at the core of the programme, where most of the workshops take place. It is a space that changes each week, a space the young people can play, experiment, collaborate, problem solve, ask questions, use their imaginations and actively engage in discussion and making.

Across the year, the workshops are devised to encourage the pupils’ confidence and creativity. One of the key aims is to let the pupils shape their own experiences of the programme by empowering them to experiment widely, and to express and develop their own ideas, working both independently and collaboratively. Working with the Curator for Learning, the invited artists design workshops that explore an aspect of their practice, sharing the techniques and processes they use in their studios and work with the young people. The resulting workshops are complex but accessible, unique and experimental and enable the participants (both pupils and teachers) to experience the kind of creative processes that are difficult to deliver in a conventional classroom.

In the workshops the young people have complete autonomy. There are no set outcomes and no formal assessment. They work collaboratively, individually and are encouraged to evaluate their work and that of their peers in a supportive and constructive way which over time develops their critical skills, their articulacy and their explicit and tacit knowledge.

The work from the Schools Programme, including performances, is often presented through sharing sessions and an end of year exhibition, open to the public.

Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop Schools Programme has been kindly supported by Creative Scotland, The Schiehallion Group, The Robertson Trust, Trusthouse Charitable Foundation, The Golsoncott Foundation, Edinburgh College of Art, Thistledown Trust, Trinity & Victoria Primary Schools and The Binks Trust.

Read all about our schools programme on our blog here

Public Courses Programme

Our year round Public Courses Programme is open to everyone and offers a route to understanding artistic processes and ideas for artists and life-long learners. They are a great way to explore sculptural methods, learn different processes and make artworks. Our wide-ranging  public courses programme gives you the chance to:

  • Work with highly skilled and experienced artists
  • Develop your practical skills
  • Experiment with different materials and processes
  • Learn about contemporary and historical developments in visual art
  • Access ESW’s purpose built production facilities, equipment and expertise

We keep group numbers small so our tutors can give each participant focus and support. We run weekly daytime and evening classes, two day weekend and one day taster sessions.

You also get additional access to the workshops for you to practice your skills or finish work outside of the course hours.

All materials and tools are included in the course price unless otherwise stated.

This is part of our wider learning programme through which we also work with teachers, children, young people and a range of partner organisations.

Bespoke Training

We also offer Bespoke Training, the technicians here at ESW also provide are open to course enquiries from individuals and groups. We offer in-depth training in the wood, metal and mixed media workshops for groups of up to 1-3 people. If you would like more information about this or if you have an enquiry email

Partnership Projects

Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop works can work in partnership in several different ways. We like to build long term partnerships with organisations who bring a specialist expertise which can come together with what we can provide here. In the last few years we have been working with Multi Cultural Family Base and Artlink; we also have ongoing relationships with Edinburgh College and Edinburgh College of Art.