Tag Archives: workshop

The Craft of Writing


I’ve been itching to write a post about the writing workshop I went to at Walford Mill in Wimborne, Dorset, led by Simon Olding and Sara Roberts. It was called ‘The Craft of Writing; Writing about Craft. 3 hours Fee: £35.

Writing has never come easily to me – at school, I would write something I was pleased with, only to get poor marks and hear other brilliant pieces read out in class. Those childhood memories can hang around to haunt us can’t they!



So I was a teeny bit nervous climbing up and up the wooden stairs to the Learning Loft





However, the atmosphere that Simon and Sarah created was friendly and non-threatening.


We were asked to think of two words to describe good writing about craft and after a discussion, one word to describe bad writing.

Some excellent examples of good writing were shown to us and after a coffee break, we were given an exercise to do.

We had 25 minutes to find and object or group of objects in the Gallery, for which to write a 50 word label.

The label was to be directed at a particular group of people of our own choice. We would then read out our descriptions and receive feedback from our tutors and fellow students.

I was so glad the time was tight and I had to make a quick decision on what to write about, otherwise that process alone could have taken me ages.


As always, I was drawn to textiles and a collection of Ceramic Patchwork by Zoe Hillyard


avase And directed my comments to a group of creative people, maybe students or school children:

“Ceramic Patchwork to add zest to creative recycling.   Doesn’t it just make you want to go home and smash a pot.   Zoe offers a new relationship with the unloved and forgotten object.   Where does this take you? Would you use different covering materials? Would you keep the original shape? Would you add collage and texture?

Zoe Hillyard – what will she do next?” (62 words)


The hardest part was to keep my words to 50, which some people managed to do exactly.


I was fascinated by this collection and am wondering about having a go myself, but mine would be much rougher and textural as nowadays I don’t have the patience for the amazing finish Zoe gives to her pieces.

Some of the other objects that my fellow students chose to write about were:



these exquisitely painted pebblesafungi

a fabric representation of fungi in decay


and some wildly whirling glass bowls by:


I was amazed at what we all managed to write in such a short time and I left feeling more confident than when I walked in.

So thank you Simon and Sara, I thoroughly enjoyed myself!

And Walford Mill is always worth a visit.

Arty Crafty days continued – Collage

The wonderfully relaxing art of collage …. there is nothing I find more relaxing than spending a couple of hours leafing through magazine pictures gathering pictures for a paper collage


I seem to take ages doing it as I go into a sort of trance, so I wondered how much could be achieved in our workshop as we only had just over an hour after our mandala painting – I was amazed …….

Jill was delighted to find this ‘creative thinking’ piece for her collage


Pat chose a wedding theme


I can’t remember if this was themed by subject, but I love the colours Joan put together, and the touch of paint added to bring the whole together0000ca

Pat’s had an Indian feel, and used flyers of events that had happened, or were about to, in the Village Hall0000cb

and here is Sue’s festive feast!


What a BRILLIANT time we had!

It was great to be with such an enthusiastic group – up for trying all the diverse crafty ideas I threw in front of them – AND they plan to continue to meet to have time to pursue some of the techniques over a longer period of time – HAVE FUN you wonderful women! I’m sure you will!

And a BIG thank you goes out to Pat for getting us all together – thanks Pat.