One thing leads to another.....
Or so we've found..... You do something outside your comfort zone, feel that tremor of anxiety before you begin, not quite knowing why you ever agreed to do it and before you know it, a whole new vista of possibilities opens up before you - new people, new opportunities new views on life. Which might explain why we have decided to take a small step away from textile based workshops and move into new areas of creativity to host at our warm and welcoming venue in beautiful S W France.
Always interested in "how things work", a few years ago I joined one of Robert Race's workshops and was bowled over by the gentle and generous way he shared his immense amount of knowledge and skill with those wishing to learn the magical mechanisms of automata. No matter how impractical or complicated the participants' ideas appeared, we were never told, "it can't be done"; instead, at the end of the five days, Robert, with the help of his calm logic and a huge knowledge of the necessary tools, materials and equipment found a way to make sure every one of us came away with our personalised automata functioning to a greater or lesser extent. Designing and making automata is an incredibly addictive hobby - whether your skills lie with art, engineering, science, or crafts - and no matter if you're a novice or already have experience in some relevant way, Robert's workshop is a brilliant introduction. Places on his second workshop here next May, Motion Impossible II are already filling up, but we have a few left for anyone interested in this sorcerous art.
The actress and narrator, Barbara Flynn - who most recently appeared in The Durrells in Corfu TV series which was nominated by the British Academy Television Award for Best Drama Series - is also, it so happens, a very talented jeweller whose work will be available to buy at the North and South Gallery, Highgate, London N6 between 23rd and 26th of this month (November). As she says, "My parents were always creative so I was surrounded by their fascination and watched as they made pottery, jewellery, rescued old furniture and also attended auctions in their search for interesting items to add to their collections. My father introduced me to silver work, but my fascination in gemstones came, I think initially, from my love of colour and how it makes me feel". We love her precise and stylish designs that upgrade any outfit with a touch of glamour and colour!
You might also enjoy the delicately beautiful work of Kate Kato, a young UK based sculptress who works in recycled paper, wire, thread and textiles to produce intimate, life-like fauna and flora. Her work will be on display at an exhibition at the Thompson's Gallery, Aldeburgh, UK from 2nd December 2017 - 7th January 2018
Moving from the sublime to the ridiculous, if you're trying to think of something completely different to give your significant other for Christmas, we suggest you book them in for our first Improvisational Comedy Weekend with InstantWit between the 17th and 21st May; Chris Grimes, who will be spearheading this event with three of his co-conspirators, promises that no previous experience of acting, performing or comedy improvisation is remotely necessary - just a willingness to take part, and a general desire to access more fun and spontaneity in everyday life. Could be just the ticket for someone you feel could benefit from a few days of relaxed, highly creative, fun and laughter. This three day workshop, already beginning to fill up, will include the opportunity on Saturday evening to sit back, alongside members of the public, and enjoy a full performance of Instantwit.
It's never too early to start making homemade decorations and present (is it?). When most of us have too much in the way of bought stuff already, they are actually the only ones we have on or under the tree these days,. One of our favourite "crafters" is the lovely Ann Wood whom we've mentioned before in our blog and from time to time she offers on her website several delectable, freebie project patterns. Based in Brooklyn, New York, near Prospect Park she works with mostly found and salvaged materials, many of them vintage or antique garments and is interested in transformation: cardboard boxes become turreted castles, follies and windmills, and wretched and ruined old petticoats and gowns become roiling, boiling seas for papier maché ships and boats. There's not a lot not to like About Ann and one of these days we WILL get her over to lead a workshop at Les Soeurs Anglaises.
Click on any of the links below to learn more about about the exciting events we are hosting next year, or email us directly if you have any questions.