Greetings and welcome to my website

Phoenix_Studio_James_Ort_clay_animalsf02My name is James and I'm a ceramic and wire artist, as well as a tutor.  I make animal sculptures and teach others how to do it too. It's what I do and I can't imagine doing anything else.

As well as being an artist I also run The Phoenix Studio in Towersey, near Thame - there's always something inspiring going on here, and it's a wonderful place to create.

I hope you enjoy my art and that my words inspire you to get creative too - there really is nothing like it!

The Wild Beasts at Claydon

I am taking part in my first two man show at the end of May. The Wild Beasts at Claydon is a special exhibition featuring the artwork of painter Tom Shepherd and my sculpture. Two young(ish!) artists who love to creatively capture the vibrancy and character of the animal kingdom.

Tom Shepherd is a professional artist and tutors. Working in oils, acrylics and watercolours, he will be exhibiting his new watercolour studies in the show!

For this show I have been exploring how wire and ceramics can be used together in varying proportions; the two materials do not always play nicely together, but if you treat them right and understand their properties, the results can be stunning!

The exhibition is happening at the love Courtyard Art Studio run by Kimberley and Peter Keegan which is located on the Claydon Estate (The Courtyard, Claydon Estate, Middle Claydon, Buckinghamshire, MK18 2EX, UK).

It runs from Saturday 25 May, across the bank holiday weekend and through to Wednesday 5 June, 11am - 5pm daily (closed Thursday 30 and Friday 31 May).

Free entry, free on site parking and The Phoenix Kitchen just across the courtyard.

Come and learn with me

I teach my technique from the Phoenix Studio. Find out more and sign up for a weekend course now!
Find out more

How to contact me

Address: The Phoenix Studio, Chinnor Road, Towersey, Thame, Oxfordshire, OX9 3QZ
Phone: 0776 598 0508

Photos from Instagram

More Phoenix Studio goings on


I was pretty happy with this sub-10 minute African Wild Dog head demo I made on one of the August Clay Animal weekends. As a rule of thumb demoing never results in the best of sculptures. Having an audience to talk to whilst creating art the same time its often a bit too much for my little brain to handle! . . #clay #ceramics #clayanimals #ceramicanimals #claysculpture @phoenixstudiotowersey @james.ort @alisonpinkcreatures #oxfordshire #buckinghamshire #phoenixstudiotowersey #phoenixstudio #stu

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It feels like agggges since I’ve posted anything on social media though maybe not quite as long as this photo implies (what future chest injury am I going to have??)… So much fun stuff happened this summer I could have posted about it at the time but didn’t – mainly because I was enjoying myself I guess. My love/hate relationship with social media and the build up of a backlog of potential posts made posting anything become a big deal in my mind. So I just didn’t. I’m not sure this was the ri

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The last two months have been insanely busy. What with the Wild Beasts show and then putting on a mini life drawing festival with the @drawingcircus crew three weeks later I really do not feet like my feet have touched the floor. It’s been emotional exhilarating and exhausting all in one. I often find myself stressing in the build up to these sort of events – panic sets in and a fear of failure can often mean that I lose perspective. Having got to the other side it’s become clear that the journe

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For every bottle of bubbly I get my hands on I can never resist turning the wire cage that holds the cork in place into a some kind of mammal. This is the latest in the evolution of my ‘I’m socially awkward and must put my hands to use – why’s there no beer label to peel off?’ series. With this piece I managed to incorporate a paper drinking straw and wire scraps into it which adds an extra dimension to the artform. I think you’ll all agree that this is a seminal pierce. Unique bold and quite ma

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My local petrol station was used for a location shot of one of the latest episodes of #blackmirror. As the episode focused on how much of our lives are sucked up into the vacuous space of social media I thought I’d share…. . . #blackmirrorseason5 #gowatchit

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My latest blog posts

New techniques, new sculptures

As some of you may have heard I’m taking a step back from clay this year to focus on other materials – namely wire and metal. I still love ceramics […]

The Drawing Circus in Towersey

Phew – where do I start?! The Drawing Circus 2018 was a massive success and we loved every minute. Some memories of the weekend: the quiet sounds of pencils scratching, […]

The life drawing event of the summer… are you coming?

This summer we’re teaming up with the finest troupe of performers, models and musicians Brighton has to offer and putting on a fantastic weekend of life drawing at the studio. […]

Lights, Camera, art in Action!

In my previous blog post I talked about the journey to Art in Action (AiA) – the hurdles I overcame with the help of loved ones and how the stage […]

The long, windy and (til now undocumented) road to Waterperry!

Whilst the last few months before AiA didn’t play out quite like Gaby Turner’s wonderful poem predicted, in many ways it was not too far off the mark. Procrastination, late […]

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