18th to 22nd July 2022
Wire Work Jewellery
Once this skill has been mastered the opportunities are endless! It is an underused technique in the wire working world and you will be amazed at its potential, use this technique to create bangles, cuffs, collars, earrings, rings, tiaras, set cabochons, the list is endless!
You will be taught how to achieve a successful and neat macramé braid using wire and incorporating your favourite gemstones or crystals. We will progress from here on to creating more complex macramé techniques to achieve wider braids, cuffs or connectors. Once these techniques have been mastered and you have created your first pieces you will be shown how to add to them and be offered lots of inspiration on how to apply the technique to other designs. There will be ample time to develop the ideas you will no doubt have after realising the potential of this technique!
This ancient technique used to create tubular braids has been used throughout history in various civilisations but is most associated with the Vikings. It is a beautiful and strong braid that can be used simply to create necklaces and bracelets, but also has applications for setting stones, creating links or building larger more intricate designs.
On this day you will be taught how to use a Viking knit tool and how to alter the size or intricacy of your braid. You will learn the basic method of creating the braid and how to overcome common problems you may encounter when using wire for this technique. You will also be shown how to use a draw plate, how to condition your braid and create your own end caps for your finished braids.
After the technique has been mastered you can progress to creating ombre designs, double knit, cabochon caging, adding gemstones or seed beads and be inspired to consider the various applications you can use the technique for in your own jewellery making in the future.
Braiding with wire
Using wire to create braids is one of my favourite techniques, it offers not only beautiful results for cuffs, collars, circlets etc; but also, a strong foundation for other designs. You will be amazed at the results you can achieve in such a short time and the versatility of these techniques.
We will start the day by learning how to create a 4-strand braid, then move on to a 5 strand braid, you will learn how to use a vice, achieve even tension to create uniform and neat braids and how to finish the wires for a professional finish.
From here we will experiment with different materials such as aluminium and leather cord. We will then progress to incorporating twisted wires, gizmo coils, coloured wires and adding gemstones or beads to your braids. This is an exciting last day that will have you hooked on creating fabulous statement pieces suitable for all ages, genders and styles.
There will be a small selection of gems, wire and findings available in the class to top up if necessary, however a list of essential materials are listed below, please bring these with you or order kits from me in advance as I cannot guarantee quantity available in the shop for all participants.
Quantities are approximate and will depend heavily on how you decide to progress your designs.
All specialist tools can be provided however please bring the following essential items with you:
• Basic jewellery tools including- wire cutters, flat nose, round nose and snipe/dolphin nose pliers.
• Sketch book, pencil, eraser and sharpener
• Ruler/tape measure
You may also want to bring other basic tools to save sharing or if you prefer to use your own, these include:
o Macrame board
o Bead mat
o Gizmo tool
o Viking knit tool
o Bail making pliers
o Wire twister tool
o Forming pliers
o Wags wicone/ cone makers
Patchwork and Quilting
Suitable for enthusiastic beginners with a basic sewing knowledge, as well as those with more experience, we will cover the patchwork technique of “Foundation Piecing” – known in America as Paper Piecing, but not to be confused with English Paper Piecing. The technique uses a Foundation to stitch to which may be paper or Vilene, on which the design has been drawn and the fabrics are stitched to it. The technique allows complex pieced patchwork which would be difficult to accurately achieve with standard ¼” machine piecing.
In the 3 days we will explore the fundamentals of Foundation Piecing and how it works. We will produce several patchwork blocks, from relatively straight forward designs to complex, to experience the versatility this technique allows.
At the end of the retreat you should have a collection of individual quilt blocks created through Foundation Piecing with ideas about how to finish them into items or incorporate them into larger pieces of work.
Kits and Foundation Fabrics/Papers will be provided for the first few projects and a requirements list will be provided for a final project, so students can choose to bring their own choice of fabrics. Students will be required to bring their own sewing machines, cutting and sewing equipment.
Day 1 Bezelling. Explore different bezelling techniques using different stitches, different sized seed beads and different methods with shaped beads.
Day 2 Beaded Ropes. Explore different ways to create beaded ropes to match different projects to include a Kumihimo rope. Look at the stitches that perform best and again using seed beads and shaped beads investigate ways to create a rope to match your own designs.
Day 3 Extending a design to create earrings and bracelets to match. Do all bracelet patterns lend themselves to being a necklace? Do all necklace designs lend themselves to being a bracelet? Do earrings have to be small copies of the original?
It is a treat to bead with a group with other beaders. It leads to a very creative space and wonderful opportunities to learn from each other, see other people’s colour choices and support each other in the design process. This is how you make the best progress and acquire the best insights and tips.
Wendy will guide and teach you various techniques on this course. The skills required to measure, cut, file, solder, shape and polish are honed throughout the week in subsequent sessions during which you will make a fold-formed piece, an internal fretwork pendant and finally a more complex piece using traditional gem-setting techniques by the end of the week. At every stage of the way you will receive the individual attention and support you require to make your finished pieces to take away.
Materials (copper and silver) used in projects can be purchased from Wendy during the course - approximately £80.
1. Introduction to silver, hallmarking and suppliers
2. Introduction to equipment and tools
3. Health and Safety
Am: Making a D-wire Ring
1. Measuring, cutting and filing
2. Stamping and texturing
3. Soldering, shaping, sanding, polishing
Pm: Fold forming
1. Design and practise on copper sheet
2. Transpose design to sterling silver
3. Make bail and solder and/or earwires in silver
Making a Cut-out piece
1. Cutting – the basics
2. Designing a piece and stages of construction: pendant, keyring with options for fretwork (internal cutting)
3. Bails and soldering
4. Sanding and polishing
Pm: Gem set piece (ring, pendant or earrings)
1. Design and explanation of three stages of soldering
2. (Making the ring shank)
3. Making the bezel to fit the gem
4. Soldering the bezel on to the base plate
5. Soldering the bezel cup to ring (or attaching a bail to pendant, or earring studs/ear wires)
Adults Clothing and Bag-Making
To join this workshop, you don’t need much sewing experience as we can start from scratch. However, if you are a more skilled sewer we have plenty of projects for you. For the main adults’ clothing project, we will start by making a raincoat. You will gain confidence in how to sew laminated fabric and be ready for a rainy day. Once you have completed the project, you could choose any of the patterns from sewing-sanctuary or you can even bring own your project.
For the bag making, you could choose different styles of backpacks or tote bags. There are variety of styles choose from. Over the years, Lucy tote bag and My Sweet backpack have been extremely popular projects among my students. Depending on the project, you will learn different skills and techniques during this course and have a fun time also.
3D Needle Felting
No matter what level you are when you arrive, you will leave the retreat equipped with all the knowledge, tips and techniques you need to continue your own needle felting adventure at home.
There will be 3D projects of varying levels of difficulty to help you to progress on your needle felting journey including basic needle felting techniques, working with different types of wool and using a wire armature in your creations.
You will learn to needle felt in a very relaxed, creative and friendly atmosphere where you can work at your own pace with the tutor guiding you when needed.
On day 1 Caroline will introduce you to the basics of working with Polymer clay, detail the use of different tools and give safety instructions.
You will then be guided onto the building of canes (like sticks of rock) – these are basis for making your pieces of jewellery and bowls and will be used for all the projects over the following days. You will learn how to make both simple & complex design canes understanding how patterns and images are formed within each cane.
Throughout day 2 you will be using the wonderful canes you have made and Caroline will provide detailed instruction on how to use them to make beads that we will then be transformed into your very own, unique necklace, bracelet and earring set.
Continuing with your canes from day 1 you will create beautiful trinket bowls to proudly show off your jewellery. You can make these for yourself or as a thoughtful and sentimental gift for a loved one or friend.
Caroline will continue to utilise your time by showing you wonderful and creative ways to use any left over clay.
You will finish the course with a stunning suite of jewellery and a couple of trinket bowls.
This course is aimed at beginners and enthusiasts alike
Mixed Media Art
Fiona will be taking you on a journey of mindfulness, relaxation and the feeling of being free as she teaches you a fabulous array of techniques to create your very own mixed media piece of art. This truly is a course to "get away from it all" and to enjoy the full meaning of a Retreat.