About Samantha Bryan Workshop

An exciting and dynamic one day workshop with a chance to learn some of the techniques Samantha Bryan employs to create her delightful and humorous creatures. She will help you to find your own style of character and bring them to life. Sam will re-create her wonderful workshop environment at YSP for the day, filling it with all sorts of wondrous materials to play and create with.


Sam will start the day by getting your creative juices flowing with a brief introduction to her work and inspiration. Then participants will then spend the day exploring a variety of materials and techniques; discovering how to use them to develop your own creations. Starting with the head you will discover ways of suggesting character, expression and form using air drying clay, paper maché, wire working, textile construction and assemblage as a means of sculpting.

Sam will gently guide you through developing ideas and will encourage you to experiment with material combinations. Through doing so, you will unearth the beginnings of your own characters. Enjoy discovering what you can achieve with your own skills and a touch of Sam’s imagination to inspire.

It's unlikely you will leave with a completely finished piece of work, however, you will leave with a new set of skills, techniques and knowledge required to continue with your own constructions at home.

This workshop is in conjunction with the Samantha Bryan:The Adventure So Far exhibition, at YSP Centre 17 Sep–23 Oct 2022 and a book launch celebrating 20 years of making with a book signing.


What to bring:

Sam will endeavour to turn the workroom into your workshop for the day, filling it with everything that she can possibly think of. Despite that Sam always encourages treasure hunting. Bring along your own items to inspire and personalise your sculpture, like old beads/buttons, feathers, organic components, specially chosen fabrics, fur scraps, found objects, a story, poem etc.

It is also helpful to bring a small selection of images to use as inspiration.

You will also need an apron and generally wear clothes that don’t matter if they get messy.


What’s included:

  • All sculpting material and equipment.
  • Entrance to YSP.
  • Refreshments on arrival and a hot buffet lunch.

About the maker:

Stepping out of university with a small funding pot earned from degree show sales, Samantha Bryan was able to set up her first small workshop in 2002 in the back of an electrical appliance repair shop. There amongst the Vacuum cleaners is where the exiting whirlwind of making and exhibiting worldwide began.

Sam's Illustrative sculptures depict a narrative built around fairy characters. Her making process is laborious and commands a unique concoction of materials and techniques. Silver soldering, chemical colouring, hand stitching, clay modelling and whatever else an idea might demand.

Initially she drew inspiration from childhood memories and stories. Later she became interested in Victorian gadgetry and invention, specifically the humour that they can provoke when viewed with modern mentality. She strives to capture a similar humour within her sculptures. She continues to be mildly obsessed with dust collecting gadgets all these years later.

After appearing on the front cover of Crafts Magazine shortly after graduating in 2002, Bryan is now marking 20 years of making, with a celebratory collection of these detailed and delightful characters and the launch of a book about the discovery of the fairies, how they’ve evolved and their adventures so far.

Dates and Times

This session will run from 10.00 til 16.00

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