Scroll down for the full list of courses

"We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out"

Ray Bradbury, Author and Screenwriter

 
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Every one of the tutors at Curious House is an extraordinarily creative teacher. We begin by taking a moment to become present and focus on the time we will spend together to the exclusion of all else. Mobile phones are left at the door - this is your day.

Teaching begins at 10am but feel free to arrive any time from 9.30am to catch your breath and start your day in a relaxed and receptive frame of mind.
A delicious light lunch will be served at 12.30pm and tea will flow throughout the day. Our creative courses are scheduled to finish at 3.30pm.

The fee for each course is £95 to include lunch and refreshments.
The cost of materials varies, depending on the course.

If you would like to book an exclusive retreat for a hen do or a special day with friends, please ask. there are a number of courses we can organise with weekend options including, with enough notice, ACCOMMODATION.

To find out more about the courses or to book your place, please either complete the contact form or call Philippa on 07747 106929 or
01435 884806 or email philippa@curioushouse.net

Scroll down to see details of courses.

 
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Weaving Plant Supports from Willow
Dominic Parrette - Thursday 9 May

Learn how to create sustainable plant supports to maintain a structured garden for years to come

Based on a woven salmon trap, we will make conical supports that are both rugged and pleasing on the eye. Students will take home a plant support approximately 6ft in height.

Dominic is a Sussex-based basketmaker, willow grower and teacher specialising in traditional frame baskets, organically woven willow forms and beautiful strong plant supports.He makes woven products for small gardens and allotments as well as taking on commissions for clients such as The National Trust and Kew at Wakehurst and is committed to sustainable woodland management. 

£95 plus £15 for materials. Numbers limited to 8.
No previous experience required

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Creative Writing

Mandy Wheeler - Friday 10 May

There will be games and exercises encouraging you to take a positive, spontaneous approach to writing. We’ll work outside, taking inspiration from the beautiful garden at Curious House. We’ll create characters and start stories running. And we’ll do it all with a sense of playfulness and ease. 

If you lack confidence in your work, this session will make you braver. If you feel you don’t have any subject matter, you’ll leave with your pockets bulging with ideas. Come along and enjoy yourself. 

Mandy is a writer with a background in radio. After 20 years running a production company, she now works with universities and businesses, helping them to develop creative practice and coax neglected talents out of hiding. 

£95 with an option to buy a curated box of writing prompts to keep you going for £22. Attendance at the beginners course or some practise in creative writing desirable. Numbers limited to 10

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Create your own Charleston Inspired Lampshade

Jane McCall - Thursday 30 May

Learn how to emulate this distinctive decorative style to design your own unique lampshade.

Much of Jane’s work as a potter and artist has been inspired by that of Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell. Their home, Charleston Farmhouse, is her creative retreat and the Charleston shop could not get enough of Jane’s pottery when she was an active potter. Jane leaves a trail of avid collectors in her wake. 

Our morning will be spent exploring the iconic ’Bloomsbury’ patterns and adapting them to design your own lampshade. Armed with plenty of inspiration Jane will guide you through the technique of loose painting and free flow design, painting on to linen or paper. Your creation will be left to dry over lunch and the afternoon session will be spent making a 30cms diameter drum lampshade to grace your home. By the end of the course you will have the skills to make more lampshades independently at home.

£95 plus £18 for materials. Numbers limited to 8
No previous experience required

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Say Hello to Summer with Creative Journaling
Yvonne Fernando – ThurS 13 June

An Introduction to the benefits of Creative Journaling with summer in mind.

Creative Journaling is perfect if you are looking for a way to explore feelings, understand yourself better or make positive change. In this specially-themed workshop, Yvonne will guide you through the practice of Creative Journaling in a relaxed way, so that you can make the most of your summer. You’ll work taking inspiration from colour, poetry, doodling, collage, etc, to express yourself, as well as through Creative Visualisation, using your imagination to create what you want in life.  It's easy to do and doesn't require any artistic skills.

The first days of summer can often fly by without us noticing it. This insightful workshop is designed to give you the chance to review the first part of the year and plan for the summer. It’s the ideal time to stop, refresh and take stock, while there’s still time to make positive changes that will shape your summer and the rest of your yearNLP Master Practitioner & Life Coach, Yvonne is passionate about supporting people through change to become more of who they really are. Yvonne works one to one from her private practice in Charing, where she supports clients with positive change, and runs inspiring workshops to help people, learn, grow, experience new things, build confidence and improve health and wellbeing.

£95 plus £10 for materials. Numbers limited to 8.
No previous experience required.


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Painting in the Garden

Jane McCall - Thursday 20 June

Learn how to observe the beauty that surrounds us in the garden and create a mixed media representation to inspire you year round.

Concentrating on a specific plant or flower in the Curious House garden, we will consider the shape of its petals and leaves, the colours and shadows. This will be a very free and expressive interpretation of the flower’s qualities. Translating what you see on to canvas board and using paper, paint and ink, Jane promises that it will be “fabulous fun”! You will go home with an inspiring individual work ready framed to go on your wall.

Jane has a degree in Visual Studies and History of Art. Much of her work is influenced by her love of Charleston Farmhouse and the Bloomsbury Group. Jane’s iconic ceramics were sold at the Charleston shop and she leaves a trail of avid collectors in her wake. Putting ceramics aside, Jane now immerses herself in painting landscapes and still life. 

£95 plus £18 for materials. Numbers limited to 8
No previous experience required

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Summer Flowers
Nicky Gaffney - Friday 21 June

While away a day letting your creativity flow with the prettiest of summer medium.

Nicky will help you create a floral design using skills that you can then transfer to all your arrangements at home. In the morning session, using flowers sourced from her own and other local cutting gardens, you will have a vast choice of colours, shapes and textures to put together your own unique urn arrangement to take home. In the afternoon, you will be shown how to make a hand-tied bouquet and taught how to transfer this perfectly to your favourite vase.

Sometimes a lawyer but with a passion for flowers, Nicky retrained as a florist five years ago and now offers bespoke flowers for weddings, events and the home. 

£95 plus £35 for materials to include a beautiful urn for you to keep. Numbers limited to 8.

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Get Creative with Collage 
Clare Winchester - Thursday 4 July

Come and spend a day releasing your inner child. 

Have a wonderfully creative time cutting and snipping to create original collaged cards, labels and finally to finish a picture to take home already framed. There will be a gorgeous selection of materials to choose from to inspire you but if you have any of your own old magazines, dress patterns, maps or patterned paper you would particularly like to work with, do bring them along.  

Clare has adegree in Art and has worked as a consultant with Jocasta Innes paint effect interiors in London. Her artistic output to date ranges from oil paintings on a waxed board to collage and printmaking, which have been exhibited widely and are in private collections including the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in the form of a limited edition book. 

£95 plus £15 for materials. Numbers are limited to 8. 
No previous experience required.

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Beginners Willow Weaving
Emma Purcell - Friday 20 September

Morning Course 10.00am to 1.00pm

Learn how to make a thing of beauty with a practical use from this most ancient of materials.

Spend the morning coaxing English willow into hoops and then weaving a beautiful and practical Catalonian Tension Tray to take home. Perfect for serving bread, fruit, cheese and nibbles it will also look attractive hung on the wall when not in use. This is an accessible course for absolute beginners with willow. 

Emma makes baskets, sculptural forms and cordage, mostly from willow but also from rush and salvaged materials from the fields and hedgerows close to Curious House. She also grows a variety of willow species here in Sussex, which she uses in her work. 

 £45 plus £5 for materials. The course includes refreshments but not lunch. Numbers are limited to 8.

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Modern Calligraphy - Improvers/stage 2
Lucy Berridge - Friday 27 September

Expand your repertoire for a graceful and creative hand.

Here is an opportunity to practice in a peaceful and focused environment with lots of guidance and one-to-one teaching. This session will improve your overall technique and help to develop your personal calligraphy style, at your own pace.We will be developing your own alphabet and signature style by exploring spacing, joining and proportions.

Suitable for those who have previously done a beginners course, or who are self taught and confident in letter formation, pen pressures and forming words.

Lucy has always loved handwriting and all things stationery, so discovering the new version of calligraphy means it is no longer exclusive and achievable by a select few. It can be learnt, practised and enjoyed by anyone. When not writing, Lucy is a Lifestyle Stylist and Art Director.

£95 plus £15 for materials. Numbers are limited to 10.

The materials for this course will include:oblique pen holder, new nib, ink - black and white,further practice sheets, cards and envelopes for final designs.

 

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Lino Cut Cards and Papers
Clare Dales - Thursday 14 November

Explore the medium of lino cutting to create your own stunning Christmas cards and wrapping paper.

The day will begin by learning how to master cutting, and how to make a variety of marks and lines in the lino. After experimenting how to introduce pattern into your work, how to print and layer colour, we'll design and create our own papers and cards for that special personal touch to Christmas. You take home your own stamp so the creativity can continue.

Clare is a well-known artist and author and runs a small design and print company on the South Coast. She makes carefully crafted lino prints, inspired by architecture, microscopic natural forms, patterns and landscape. Sharing her knowledge and skill, Clare loves to inspire others to try their hand at this age old and immensely rewarding art-form. All materials are provided and there will be an opportunity to purchase a box of essential equipment to take away with you.  

£95 plus £15 for materials. Numbers limited to 8
No previous experience required

If you have any particular motif or design you might like to try, please bring this printed on paper only as we can not replicate digital designs - eg something on your phone.

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Christmas Wreath to see you through to
12th Night
Nicky Gaffney - Friday 6 December

Take a breather in the run up to Christmas and join us for a festive morning making your own, unique, luxury wreath.

There is little more satisfying than having a beautiful adornment in your home that you have made yourself from scratch! Stonegate florist, Nicky Gaffney will show you how to make a traditional moss base and then how to attach fresh, often locally foraged foliage. Let your creativity run riot with the final flourish of adding an array of decorative “toppings”, choosing from the traditional pinecones, fruit and spice to feathers, stars, thistles and berries, all finished off with a beautiful ribbon. There will be plenty of hands-on assistance and no experience is necessary.

Sometimes a lawyer but with a passion for flowers, Nicky retrained as a florist five years ago and now offers bespoke flowers for weddings, events and the home. 

£75 plus £15 for materials. Numbers limited to 8

Timings for this course are 9.30am to 2.30pm including a light lunch.