I’m in planning mode at the moment. I’m looking at what workshops I want to run this summer. Gelli plate printing? Printing for textiles with machine and/or hand embroidery? Eco printing on paper? I’m in discussions with guest tutors and I’m testing out other ideas before I roll them out.
One workshop, that is really exciting, got confirmation yesterday. ‘Inspirational Northumbria – a printmaking retreat’. Despite not running any summer schools for two to three years, enquiries continue to come in from people in far flung places willing to travel to the Northumberland to learn. This summer I’ve decided to test an idea I’ve had brewing for sometime. A golden opportunity presented itself I could not ignore.
What’s the secret of a great creative course or workshop?
Having been on printmaking courses of two or more days, I know part of the secret to the enjoyment of the whole learning process is meeting likeminded people; the whole shared experience; getting to know each other; sharing ideas, sharing a drink and a meal, discussing what we learnt during the day. It goes without saying that the tuition itself also needs to be excellent. I want to foster and develop both during summer schools at my studio.
Where could I find somewhere that is an ‘escape from it all’?
That got me thinking. The place should provide cosy, comfortable accommodation with delicious locally sourced cuisine; a secluded, tranquil sanctuary to relax after an energising day in the studio. The place needs to be the very essence of Northumbria, the North Pennine moors landscape and its age-old hospitality. It needs to be a place that has spectacular dark skies that leave you standing in awe on a clear night. It also needs to be practical, a place that is still within easy reach of the studio and ‘civilisation’. There could be only one such place … The Lord Crewe Arms Hotel in Blanchland … just twenty minutes drive from the studio. Trip Advisor reviews here.
Blanchland was established as a monastic settlement in 1165. The Lord Crewe Arms was built as the Abbot’s lodge, guest house and kitchens, purpose-built to feed and care for the inhabitants with kind hospitality. Over the centuries it has hosted all the noteworthy Northumberland families of old as well as North Pennines lead miners and village merrymakers and now in its most recent incarnation – a wonderful ‘away from it all’ hotel with age old hospitality. Further details to follow
The details of the printmaking course, and the fully inclusive package prices are being finalised as I write. They will be up on the website by the end of February. Places are strictly limited. Bookings will be taken from the 1st of March so if you are interested sign up to my newsletter here and call +44 (0) 7989955108 or email me to be put on the waiting list. This will ensure you’ll be at the front of the queue. Think about bringing a friend or your mother/daughter/father/son! If they aren’t interested in printmaking they might enjoy the peace and quiet, a bit of hill walking, sailing, fishing, cycling or just curl up with a good book.