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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The Good Life
Jane Howard - 6 September 2018

Thoughts on self-sufficiency for beginners - there's nothing more creative

Spend a day in the company of Jane Howard from Coopers Farm  – whom many of you will know from her regular column “Fables from the Farm” in the Wealden Times – and you might soon be taking your first steps towards self-sufficiency.

Whether you have got a large garden, an allotment or a few acres there’s plenty of opportunity to produce more of your own delicious food. Coming along to this workshop will be a real opportunity to discover just how easy it is and what all your options are.  

It will be full of information and tips on keeping chickens, goats (don’t!) sheep, pigs, cows and bees. Only if you choose the right chickens, for example, will you be rewarded with an egg every day, while a colony of bees 40lbs of honey a year.

Jane will provide you with heaps of practical advice covering all the advantages and costs of smallholding. She can tell you what’s best to grow, what’s not worth the effort.  You can try some of the delicious homegrown treats to be enjoyed by you and your friends and family.  The morning will be spent at the Curious House and after lunch we will take a tour around Coopers Farm.

You will go back to your patch with a pot of Coopers Farm honey for tea and inspired to get going yourself.

£95 for this day for beginners. It could be an ideal present for any potential homesteaders. Numbers limited to 10.

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Create your own Charleston inspired lampshade
Jane McCall - 13 September AND 6 OCTOBER 2018

Learn how to emulate the distinctive decorative style of the Bloomsbury set. 

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

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Explore your creativity through writing
Mandy Wheeler - 21 September 2018

This is a practical, fun day for both beginners and regular writers.

 Mandy’s aim in this short session is to get you excited about creative writing and to give you the tools to start a habit that will feed your imagination for years to come.

Working in the beautiful surroundings of Curious House, we’ll use games and exercises to kickstart stories and breathe life into characters.  They’ll be no phones, no laptops, just the soothing sound of ink on paper.

The emphasis will be on developing spontaneity and confidence in creative writing. You will be shown where to find inspiration, and how to keep your ideas coming.  The day is all about writing as a way to wellbeing, establishing a private space for yourself where you can create.  There’ll be no pressure to share work unless you want to; this is about getting in touch with your imagination and being surprised  - and delighted – by what it offers up.  

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. Numbers limited to 10
No previous experience required.

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Traditional willow weaving
Emma Purcell - 27 September 2018 - COURSE FULL

Learn the ancient art of making practical vessels from nature’s store.

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. 

During our day’s course, Emma will show you how to create your own fruit or bread basket using traditional English and French basketry methods. You will take home a woven treasure to use and enjoy everyday. 

Although her first degree was in Fine Art, her motivation to learn basketry was to explore this ancient art that is sustainable and low impact. She loves the alchemy of turning a pile of sticks into something useful and beautiful. Emma won funding from the Heritage Craft Association, which enabled her to serve apprenticeships with some of the best known basket makers in Europe, including Adrian Charlton and Joe Hogan. She believes it is vital that we continue to pass on ancient crafts that are at risk of dying out.  

£95 plus £10 for materials. Numbers limited to 6
No previous experience required.

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SO YOU THINK YOU CAN’T PAINT
JANE MCCALL - 5 OCTOBER 2018

From putting those first marks on paper to taking home a finished artwork in a day.

'So You Think You Can’t Paint’ focuses on learning to look, taking time to see objects in a new light and by means of a paint brush projecting what you see on to the canvas. Inhibitions and negativity will be replaced with inspiration and positivity.

Using acrylic paint with collage, we will work on various exercises such as “negative” painting, painting light and dark, looking at tones and the effects colours have on one another. 

At the end of the day you will go home refreshed and invigorated with a finished painting proudly tucked under your arm.

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 £20 for materials to include framing. Numbers limited to 8
No previous experience required.

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CHARLESTON INSPIRED MIXED MEDIA
CAROLINE ZOOB - 12 OCTOBER 2018

Create a unique floral image using antique fabrics, paint and stitching.

Taking inspiration from some of the painted panels at Charleston Farmhouse, we will use vintage textiles, paint and thread to create images of flowers in colourful jugs and pots. You do not need to be able to draw, as Caroline will have templates, tracings and screen prints referencing details to be found in various Bloomsbury paintings and panels.  

Caroline enjoys devising creative days and regards teaching as a process of generously sharing observations and skills and, in doing so, helping people to discover and follow their creative instincts. Taking up embroidery later in life, Caroline is known for her painterly embroideries and collages made from antique papers and fabrics. She has designed several ranges of ceramics, as well as children’s bed linen, wrapping paper and cards. For over a decade Caroline and her husband restored and maintained th garden at Monk’s House, which is also the subject of her third book, Virginia Woolf’s Garden. 

£95 plus £10 for materials. Numbers limited to 8. 

Caroline will always accommodate beginners, but ideally you will own and be able to use a sewing machine (appliqué). You can use hand stitching only, but obviously it makes things a bit slower. 

 

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SCREEN PRINTING
ANNA O’NEILL - 19 NOVEMBER 2018

Design and print your own linen table runner or 4 napkins for Christmas or year round.

Anna will share her passion for design, guiding you through the process of designing and cutting paper stencils to screen print your own unique two colour linen table runner or napkins. (Runners are 48cms x 140cms and napkins are 48cms square). A perfect time choose a Christmas theme or a design you can use every day. Come with your own design ideas or be inspired by Anna on the day.

An experienced teacher, Anna has run workshops for a number of organisations including The National Trust and Charleston Farmhouse. She has a Degree in Fine Art Printmaking and a Masters in Sequential Design Illustration both from Brighton University. Anna’s business, Box Room Press, was conceived and born at home in 2013 where she designs and creates contemporary, colourful screen printed greetings cards, prints, tea towels, cushions, pencil cases, aprons and fortune tellers.

£95 plus £15 for materials. Numbers limited to 8

No previous experience required.

 

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CHRISTMAS WREATH TO SEE YOU THROUGH TO 12TH NIGHT NICKY GAFFNEY - 14 DECEMBER 2018

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 re-trained 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.