Finds Drawing

In Focus

Project Gallery 

Roger briefs the class   Setting out for pottery drawing  
Having a good light source is important   Stop taking pictures, I am trying to work  
Members of AASDN enjoying the workshop   ASSDN Pottery drawing in progress  


Finds Drawing Workshop

Roger Simpson our illustrator runs the workshop

Members of the Archaeological and Architectural Society of Durham and Northumberland (AASDN) recently enjoyed a workshop on finds drawing run at our offices in Barnard Castle. The class was held by our talented in-house finds illustrator Roger Simpson, and formed part of a series of workshops run by NAA as part of our community outreach programme.

Roger explained to members of the class about the various techniques used for different forms of illustration and provided hands-on tuition on the two most common forms - flint and pottery. Members learnt how to set up a drawing to ensure consistency of scale and what the correct lighting conditions for drawing should be. He went on to show how a rim chart is used to determine the size of a pot from only a fragment of surviving rim and how to represent percussion blows when drawing flints. The session then ended with members of the group working on their own drawing under Roger's guidance.

These skills take a long time to learn, and are rapidly disappearing as more and more archaeological drawing is done digitally, but it is hoped that a grounding in these basic techniques will enable the Arch and Arch members to process finds from their own excavation sites like Hornby Castle. Roger has offered to mentor some of the student who will come along to our offices over the coming months to work on their own projects.

If you would be interested in finding out more about finds drawing, or would like to be contacted about any of our future archaeological workshops then please drop us an email at or call 01833 690800.

If you are interested in joining the Archaeological and Architectural Society of Durham and Northumberland contact Belinda Burke at or have a look at their website:

"Thank you very much, on behalf of all four of us, for organising such an enjoyable and worthwhile session on Monday. And please will you thank Roger for giving up his afternoon and being so patient with us. I certainly found it very worthwhile, and feel inspired to continue with finds drawing, having for the first time picked up some idea of how you go about it." Comment from AASDN secretary Belinda, Burke