TEXTILE and ART courses offering unique learning opportunities for all
In beautiful South Shropshire an area of outstanding natural beauty

This has been a funny past month. I feel somewhat in limbo and not really sure how to proceed. Do you have times like that? I think it is coming through that winter period and all that wet and rain can be quite draining. Then something happens as in Turkey and Syria and you realise that things are not so bad after all in your own life and you just have to get on with things and that is exactly what I intend to do.

So to that effect I have now joined Bandamania, a great band of musicians led by the brilliant Sue Harris on Hammer Dulcimer and I think I may really come to enjoy playing with them. For those of your curious I play the piano accordion. I also sing in one of Sue's choirs which is really uplifting and such fun singing with an amazing group of people. Any creative activity whether, drawing, singing, making music, textiles etc is essential I feel for one's well-being. Why not give it a try......I really recommend it!!!!

The Bettws Triangle 2023
Speaking of singing I am currently making serious headway with this years Music and Arts Festival 2023 (The Bettws Triangle) which is taking place on 16/17/18 June. As we have not been successful with grant applications we are having to do some fundraising and have our first fund-raising event on Friday 10th March, a Ceilidh with non other than Bandamania, led by Sue Harris. It will take place in Bettws-y-Crwyn Parish Hall doors open at 7.30. Tickets must be purchased before hand. There will be a bar and organic/vegetarian sausages and burgers on sale........and one of Sue's choir will also be singing.

In addition to all the wonderful music and singing at the June festival there will also be art exhibitions at two of the venues, so will be well worth a visit. Contact ME for more information and to get your name onto a specific mailing list for the Festival and associated events.

Meanwhile if you are looking for something creative to do, look no further as all courses below still have a few places on them.


Each of these courses still have a few places available.
From collection of Amanda Clayton

Ottoman Stitchness
with Amanda Clayton
This workshop is based around a collection of Ottoman textiles purchased in the mid-eighties from the island of Crete. Their unique combination of stitches, and relationship of ground to stitched mark will inspire your own personal journey of thread and cloth. Cross stitch, gold thread work, pulled work, outlining and ‘filling in’ all have their role to play. A rare workshop taught in colour by Amanda. Link
Physical mark making and visual texture
with Alex McIntyre
Responding to the Shropshire landscape, this courseBOOK HERE will encourage you to use physical and experimental drawing processes to find freedom, joy and playfulness in the creation of new work. You will use metal kidneys, sticks, squeegees, brushes, acrylic gesso, paint, various acrylic mediums, charcoal, pencils, sandpaper and wire wool on paper. You will be encouraged to work quickly, intuitively and responsively and consider layers, visual texture, engraved, carved, glossy, smudged and eroded marks.
Image by Alex McIntyre

Dancing Girls. A detail from a kantha purchased in London in the 1980s. Dorothy Tucker's collection.

Stitched Pictures ~ A contemporary take on kantha
with Dorothy Tucker
Dorothy will show you some traditional and contemporary examples and will lead you into stitching a kantha BOOK HERE on your own designs. Fruit and flowers, leaves and seeds, working tools and everyday objects, birds or animals or fish all provide interesting shapes and a personal story.

Wild Fibres
with Alice Fox
An introduction to gathering and processing a range of plant-based fibres that grow wild, including nettle, bramble and willow herb. We will gather relevant plants from the land near to the studio and learn the different ways to extract and process fibre that could then be used for cordage making, soft basketry and weaving. You will produce a selection of fibre and cordage samples and learn about times to gather, process and store your wild fibres.
Image by Alice Fox

Image by Amanda Clayton

Chinese Whispers
with Amanda Clayton
This workshop will be informed by Amanda’s collection of vintage collars. Edge, scale, proportion, drape, right side/wrong side, transparency and placement of embellishment are all qualities that these inspirational collars possess. We will move between cloth and paperwork, making connections and relationships whilst exploring trapunto, Italian and English quilting as well as couching, cutwork, inlay and surface stitches.
with Matthew Harris
A project that looks at the calligraphic mark as a creative starting point. Through drawing and sampling we will explore both the narrative and abstract potential of hand written text, and develop exciting new visual ideas about form, pattern, scale, shape and structure within textiles. Matthew delivered this course some years ago now and it is one that I can recommend. It will get you thinking in new ways but also with opportunities of applying ideas to your current working practise.
Image by Bobby Britnell from this course with Mathew Harris

Summer School
July 2023
Two of the three Textile Study Group Summer School courses are now booked with a waiting list on each BUT there are still a couple of spaces on Fold | Festoon | Fan, with Lois Blackburn.
Lois will lead you through the making of traditional and contemporary fans a technique that is on the ‘Red List of Endangered Crafts’, and at serious risk of no longer being practised in the UK.

Together we will explore, play and be inspired by fan making techniques from history and from around the world. We will use sustainable materials to create the fan forms: found objects, scrap papers, leftover fabrics and threads, charity shop finds, discarded artworks. We’ll decorate, fold, cut, stitch, shred, apply, paint the surfaces. Students can choose to work with their own imagery and themes, or simply respond and find joy in their chosen materials. This workshop is about having fun, letting go of expectations, exploring materials, and creative play. So do come along and share in Lois's passion for making these beautiful, functional, art objects.
Summer School 2023 ~ Salvage: Transform
A residential summer school tutored by Textile Study Group members and open to everyone.
Lois Blackburn ~ a few places available
Shelley Rhodes ~ FULL
Julia Triston ~ FULL
VENUE ~ Hillscourt Hotel. Rose Hill, Rednal, Birmingham B45 8RS
DATES ~ Monday 17 – Thursday 20 July 2023
BOOKING ~ Click HERE for more details and booking information.

This course officially ended on the 24th November 2022 but students were invited back on 13th February to show the results of their stitched pieces and to have a final critique from Dorothy. It was lovey to see these results and we were grateful for students for returning to share these images with the group.
Pat Trott
Sue Sobczak
Judy Seimers
Claudia Gross
Judith Laundon
Jill Crowther
Lorraine Challis
Gill Banks
Scilla Capon
Alison Winn
Caroline Taylor
We hope to get Dorothy back at the end of the year to do another on-line course, so do keep checking my Website for when information on this and further on-line courses becomes available.

That's all for now.
Have a good week and stay creative.

01547 510664