Creating Sculpture from Clay a Personal Experience

Recreating the moment when outstretched fingers first stroke the velvet of a horse’s nose and a connection is made between human and horse is what Christine Pedersen wants students to experience in the quine sculpture class.

“I call it Feelage,” explained Pedersen. “It’s the emotions that inspire the sculpture that help individuals create something beautiful.”

Students will be encouraged to bring their own inspirations during the Equine Sculpture course, which is being held over five Thursdays from March 16 – May 11 at the Okotoks Art Gallery.

Pedersen will guide participants on techniques to sculpt a clay horse-head while encouraging them to express their own ideas. The class is designed for all skill levels, providing an opportunity for everyone to dig their hands into some clay and learn how to form it into a personal piece of art. “I really hope that we can encourage people who might long to do a class like this to take that critical first step, because clay is such a fun and generous material to work with”.

Pedersen stressed that there is no specific design required. It is much more important that students have a chance to express their appreciation and relationships with horses. Everyone is encouraged to bring pictures, photos or drawings of horses that have a personal meaning for them.

Pedersen’s lifelong love of horses is intertwined with her love of art, having started sculpture as a teenager in Cornwall England, where she grew up. “Two wonderful potters took me under their wing and gave me clay. I made model animals and figures, the potters fired and glazed the work and they paid me when the pieces sold,” she said.

The money she earned from selling her pottery paid for a pony that she competed on throughout her teen years. This deep connection to horses continues to be reflected in her work, which is always based on actual horses.

“There is an elegance and aloofness about them, like they know so much,” she said “And they are heroic and humble. In my dreams they can do anything.”

Many of her pieces are commissioned by horse owners who want to capture an eternal memento of their equine family member. Pedersen’s extensive talents also include metal work, porcelain sculpture, and jewellery creation. Her work has been featured in Alberta Craft Council exhibitions, and she is represented by Bluerock Gallery in Black Diamond. Most recently she worked collaboratively with local artists Jeff de Boer and Cory Barkman to create a sculpted tree, entitled Return. Made of recycled beverage containers, the tree was on display in downtown Calgary, and will be travelling throughout Alberta in 2017.

To learn more about Pedersen’s art, visit her website at

For horse lovers interested in expressing their appreciation through clay, click here for more information about the Equine Sculpture class.