courses offering unique learning opportunities for all, delivered by highly renowned 

Moor Hall Farmhouse 
Bettws-y-crwyn, Newcastle on Clun
Shropshire, SY7 8PH 
01547 510664


I cannot believe a whole month has passed since I last wrote to you all. It has been a strange one........trying to survive with this stupid hip of mine and keep things afloat at the same time. What a blessing that I have my studio and numerous projects to keep me occupied. I might just go nuts otherwise. I think creativity has been essential for all of us during these continually strange times, but at least things do seem to be moving slowly forward in the right direction, and boy doesn't this weather help. Before long there will be a water shortage as there is so little rain!!!!!!

There has been no further sightings of our crow, Brân. 
We keep hoping he will reappear, but no joy as yet. I am sorry but I can't resist from posting this image of him when he was a babe.


This month's poem is about 'Black Mountain Chapel' at Bettws-y-crwyn. My art students have been working on-line with me for several months now and using the Chapel as inspiration for some new work. An exhibition is planned for August, details of which you will find below. Other students were invited to join the class and we picked up students from further afield, 3 from France, the lovely Priscilla from the USA and Bobbie and Lesley from different parts of the UK also joined us. These students had to rely on images being sent to them whereas other students could, if able, visit the chapel itself for inspiration.

Black Mountain Chapel
by Peter Wright

On the wild windswept hills
Of heather, hedges and tussocky fields,
A pathway to God is found
Under the curlews' cry.
Above the course of the Clun,
Through simple gate and gravestones,
They come with care worn hands
Gnarled by years of plough and earth. 
Home spun and wool, spruced Sunday best,
Shined boots, carved sticks to walk the hills,
Voices soaring over reed and bellow,
Preaching and praying for heaven's bounty. 
Now a high buzzard's hunting calls 
And wind haunting among the graves,
Echoes of the long-gone, god-fearing,
Whose labour and whose dreams 
Dwell in these stones. 
Black Mountain Chapel
Monday 2nd August - Sunday 8th August 2021 
11.00 to 5.00 daily

An exhibition of artwork inspired by the chapel and the surroundings. Students from MOOR ART 1 and MOOR ART 2, tutored by Bobby will be presenting their sketchbook studies and completed pieces of work.

There will be outdoor musical entertainment on most of the exhibition days from Castle Voices and Clunsing, both led by Sue Harris,  Rapsquillion, Castle Carols led by John Kirkpatrick and singing his very recent set of Georgian Songs, and Bonnie Dobson, so we hope for some sunny weather as we are currently having.

Details of who will be performing on what day and at what time will follow later, but do get the dates in your diary for now.

Here is a very brief taste of the work that students have been doing.

Priscilla Smith

Bobbie Frances

Andrew Douce

Priscilla Smith


As you will know, these four courses will now all be running as on-line courses. The term 'on-line course' can be confusing and can mean different things. What these tutors will be delivering is as near an experience as is possible, to face to face teaching in the studio. It will not be just a handout, but the tutor will be with you through the full duration of the course. Numbers will be limited to a maximum of 12 students on each of these courses. These courses may get cancellations from time to time, so do check or get your name on a reserve list.

Bobby Britnell
Watch this Space
22/23 May 2021
Introductory presentation on 21st May

1 place now available 

 Book HERE

Mary Sleigh
Mind the Gap
24/25 May 2021
Introductory presentation on 
23rd May

2 places now available


Ruth Issett
Exploring Colour with  Paper, Fabric and Stitch
10/11 June 2021
Introductory session on 
9th June

FULL, reserve list only

Sarah Burgess
Chasing Shadows
24/25 June 2021
Introductory presentation on 
23rd June

1 place now available

6/7 September 2021
'Going Round in Circles'
£140 for the day

Kantha is a Bangladeshi word for cloth, and a particular way of stitching embroidered quilts made from the good parts of old worn-out saris.  A wealth of decorative circular designs created with variations of running stitch feature on these quilts. Traditionally the threads used were withdrawn from coloured saris borders. Sometimes coloured stripes woven into a sari were sandwiched between the layers of cloth.  

With traditional and contemporary examples as our source of inspiration we will begin by layering together cotton fabrics to create a cloth which is soft and lovely to handle (approximately A4 in size) Then using three basic ways of building patterns with running stitch, in a voyage of discovery and invention we will begin stitching around and around in circles!   Finally, to hold everything together we will surround these circles with the rippling textures unique to kantha.

The workshop is open to everyone who enjoys hand stitching. It could offer you an introduction to kantha making or another chance to extend your kantha making skills. 

Click here to book on this course.

15 September 2021
'Flowers made Easy'
£70 for the day

Ruth has kindly reconsidered what she can offer this Autumn so her previously advertised course will now no longer run, but this wonderful day of painting flowers in water colours cannot go amiss.

Ruth Kirkby trained as a botanical artist, but has spent the last few years trying to make flower painting easier - trying to imply detail without painting every single sepal, stigma and stamen.  In this one day workshop she will share some of the best ideas she has learnt along the way. Using watercolour, she will demonstrate techniques, then give tips on composition, so that by the end of the day participants will go away with some great flower paintings!

Here is a LINK to her website where you can research her work further and here is a LINK to connect directly to her course booking form.

1/2/3 October 2021
'A Group of Similar Things'
£220 for 3 days (includes materials)

I am thrilled that Polly has agreed to come to Moor Hall. She had hoped to come last year, but that wasn't to be. This will be a slightly different approach to the normal run of courses but one with strong links to the world of textiles. Polly is a recently new member to the Textile Study Group and further evidence of her background and work can be found on her WEBSITE

This workshop will look at 'Coiling', a unique basketry technique that's stitched not woven. It can be used for making anything from beautifully simple basketry forms through to free-form experimental structures - there are very few rules, just some basic techniques.

Many materials can be used and very little equipment is needed for exploring materials, textures, colour, pattern, form, surface; coiling can be worked on a scale of tiny to huge.

You'll be introduced to the basics:  ways of starting, stitches which produce different textures, creating form, and approaches to finishing.   You'll make a few samples to get a feel for material(s) you like working with, moving on to making a collection of exploratory samples or small baskets which relate to each other to form a group, or cluster, of objects.
Coiling is a slow technique, so possibly you might not complete your work, but you will go away with enough materials and knowledge and ideas of how to finish it.

You can book HERE

FINALLY it just remains for me to wish you a creative month and stay well and safe wherever you are.