Visual Arts

Animation

Ceramics

Fashion Design

Fine Wood Working

Graphic Memoir

Life Drawing

Metal Jewelry

Narratives in Photography

Painting

Sculpture

Stained Glass

Textiles, Etchings, and Reductions

Weaving & Fiber Arts

Animation

Girl working with camera on a tripod
Girl facing computer screen

Learn to tell powerful visual stories as you develop foundational skills and explore a variety of techniques. 

Through individual and group projects, you’ll have the chance to bring your ideas to the screen. Together we’ll work through a series of exercises and then create a final work of your choice. In this workshop you will:

  • Try your hand at stop-motion animation, claymation, rotoscoping, and time-lapse photography, while learning the 12 Principles of Animation.
  • Develop foundational animation skills and apply those techniques through the production processes, using digital tools and physical mediums.
  • Gain proficiency with digital tools like Photoshop, AfterEffects, and Premiere Pro.

“I want to expand my knowledge about animation and find what types of animation suit me the best. I want to continue to do art in the Putney atmosphere.”

– Audrey, student summer 2020

Ceramics

Ceramic mug with gray glaze
Blue ceramic sculpture

Explore a variety of clay and glazing techniques, creating your own unique collection of works. 

Our ceramic workshop includes one-on-one instruction, hands-on creation, class discussions, and collaborative explorations of art books and technical articles. While beginners are exposed to a range of clay techniques, advanced students work to expand their portfolios. In this workshop you will: 

  • Throw exquisite and functional bowls on the potter’s wheel, sculpt slabs into expressive forms, explore glazing techniques, and witness your work come to life through gas and electric kiln firings.
  • Experiment with surface treatments, including the application of glazes, low relief, and three-dimensional decoration to distinguish your work. 
  • Gain a greater understanding of what ceramics is and what inspires you to create.
  • Create a collection of work along specific aesthetic themes of your choosing.

Fashion Design

Take your fashion designs from sketch to dress—or shirt, or pants, or whatever you want to wear.

In this workshop you not only learn the fundamentals of sewing and construction, but you also begin to explore your own artistic sensibilities through discussions of themes and trends in fashion and applications such as costume design and haute couture. You will:

  • Create mood boards and sketch your own fashion collection
  • Adapt a pattern to your own design and sew by hand and on a sewing machine. 
  • Constructs garments which are presented in a group runway show and gallery exhibit at the end of the session. 

Experience with a sewing machine is recommended but not required. 

Fine Wood Working

Student working with blocks of wood on a table

Learn the fundamental skills to create unique, functional, and artistic objects out of wood. 

In Fine Woodworking, you will learn a variety of new skills and have the opportunity to refine them through hands-on projects. In this workshop you will: 

  • Learn the value of preparation, mocking-up designs, using hand tools, and safe power tool operation. 
  • Get comfortable with hand-cut joinery such as dovetails, the mortise and tenon. 
  • Build a bench, an ornate box, or a small bookcase in preparation for a project of your choosing. 

Ready to plan your perfect summer at Putney?

Graphic Memoir

Explore personal storytelling through the careful balance of text and image.

Visual storytelling has always been an important part of human history. From prehistoric cave paintings to complex narratives in cinema and avatars in video games, we have an inherent need to communicate our stories visually and sequentially. In this workshop you will:

  • Hone and polish your illustration skills as you find a unique narrative voice through class projects. 
  • Play with page composition, develop story structure, and experiment with various materials and techniques. 
  • Craft narratives around your own unique experiences and dive into a process that is both self-expressive and self-reflective.

Life Drawing

Student drawing on an easel
Student drawing on large easel

Expand your drawing skills among the shady trees and green mountains of Putney’s beautiful campus. 

In this workshop you will have ample time to work and build your understanding of perspective, proportion, volume, and composition. Advanced students joining the workshop will be able to work at their own pace, taking part in introductory work to refresh their skills, or diving straight into developing their body of work. In this workshop you will:

  • Develop an understanding of traditional and non-traditional approaches to drawing using charcoal, graphite, pastel, ink, and other materials.
  • Draw from careful observation of a still life, from the human figure, and the landscape. 
  • Participate in group critiques, individual critiques, and evaluation of your work

Metal Jewelry

Hammer, cut, solder, twist, and shape silver and brass to create unique pieces of wearable jewelry. 

Jewelry making is a discipline in which students pay heightened attention to technical and aesthetic detail. You’ll receive individualized instruction and work on individual projects in line with your experience level. In this workshop you will:

  • Set precious stones in delicate bezels 
  • Bend thin wire to create a single chain or an intricately woven piece.  
  • Develop skills to create rings, pendants, chains, pins, bracelets, and small-scale sculptural pieces.

Narratives in Photography

Sharpen your camera skills in this digital photography class and explore the multi-step process of using a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera. 

Whether you’re new to photography or looking to further develop your artistic view, Putney provides the perfect environment to explore. Advanced students will be able to work at their own pace, taking part in introductory work to refresh their skills or diving straight into developing a new body of work. In this workshop you will: 

  • Build the fundamental skills necessary to compose engaging images.
  • Learn how to optimize aperture and shutter speed and how these variables affect your images. 
  • Experiment with digital image processing software in Adobe CC.

Ready to plan your perfect summer at Putney?

Painting

Expand your knowledge of fundamental technical and theoretical approaches through painting on paper, canvas, or wood panel with acrylic paint.

After an initial overview of value, color, and composition, we will learn the basics of color mixing and paint handling. Advanced students joining the workshop will be able to work at their own pace, taking part in introductory work to refresh their skills, or diving straight into developing their body of work. In this workshop you will:

  • Consider a wide variety of forms through exploration of themes and ideas from different art periods up through contemporary works. 
  • Primarily paint from life.
  • Complete projects including an in-studio still life, painting the figure from a model, and landscape painting in a variety of locations on The Putney School campus.

Sculpture

Chisel, cut, hammer, sand, bend, and pound materials into three-dimensional pieces of art. 

Students in the Sculpture workshop will draw on their sense of design and balance to explore and complete a variety of assignments before undertaking independent projects using materials of their choice. Our studios offer opportunities to work with mediums rarely found in traditional high school settings. Electric and gas welding is taught for those wishing to work in metal. In this workshop you will:

  • Learn to work with different types of materials including wood, clay, stone, plaster, wire, and steel.
  • Create sculptures and assemblages from found objects. 
  • Develop your unique vision as a sculptor as you experiment with texture, scale, and space, as well as amorphous and figurative forms.

Stained Glass

Learn to create using color and light, designing your own unique glass pieces. 

Come explore the myriad of possibilities for using glass to express yourself and to create something beautiful. In this workshop you will: 

  • Cut, frame, and arrange pieces of glass using both traditional stained glass as well as fused glass techniques.
  • Play with color, texture, transparency, and opacity as you combine these elements to create windows, boxes, frames, or three-dimensional sculptural pieces.  
  • Learn slumping — arranging pieces of fusible glass on a mold for use in a high-fire kiln to create colorful bowls or platters.

Textiles, Etchings, and Reductions

Build the skills to create an individual project of your choice, such as an artist’s book, an edition of finished prints, or patterned textile.

This workshop introduces students to block printing, drypoint, etching techniques, and textile design. You will create original plates and linoleum blocks to produce a unique series of prints on paper and fabric. Students will consider the culture and evolution of hand-designed textiles and printmaking as they explore the landscapes, artifacts, textures, and palettes that inform who they are. In this workshop you will learn techniques including:

  • Pattern design and printing on fabric to create unique textiles.
  • Relief printing — where a reproducible image is created by carving wood or linoleum block.
  • Intaglio printing — where the image is incised into copper, ink is applied, and then printed on the press.

Weaving & Fiber Arts

Learn to express yourself creatively through fiber, color, and pattern. 

Putney is the perfect place to explore weaving and fiber arts. Our fiber arts studio is equipped with a remarkable collection of four- and eight-harness floor looms, spinning wheels, sewing machines, and a knitting machine, as well as a large collection of natural fiber yarns and fabrics. The school farm provides fleece for spinning and plants for natural dyeing. In this workshop you can:

  • Explore a variety of forms including weaving, quilting, sewing, needlework, knitting, crocheting, spinning, and dyeing.
  • Choose to focus on one area or explore a variety of techniques.
  • Get inspired by our extensive library of contemporary and historical textile books and periodicals

Ready to plan your perfect summer at Putney?

Explore Other Workshops

Farm

Creative Writing

Theater, Music, and Dance