Workshops and Lectures
Willow Workshop: Bird Feeder / Garlic Basket 2/3/24
Tutor: Hazel Godfrey
Saturday 2nd Mar from 09:30 to 12:30
During this half day workshop, you will learn how to make an attractive conical basket that looks equally good holding garlic in the kitchen or hanging from a branch in the garden! Suitable for beginners. Please bring sharp secateurs.
Willow Workshop: Bread Baskets 9/3/24
Tutor: Hazel Godfrey
Saturday 9th Mar from 10:00 to 16:30
Suitable for beginners, this workshop will teach you traditional stake and strand weaving to make a small basket for serving bread or storing foods such as eggs. You will learn how to make a base, add stakes and weave the siding using techniques that include pairing, waling and English randing. The basket will be finished off with a simple trac border. Please bring sharp secateurs and a sharp garden/pocket knife with locking blade.
Writing Your Poem 9/3/24
Tutor: Paul Green
Saturday 9th Mar from 10:00 to 15:00
Whatâs your notion of poetry? For some, itâs the traditional British mainstream verse taught at school, for others itâs the experimental work thatâs evolved in the UK since the 1960s. And for an increasing number itâs spoken word performance, with elements of hip-hop or stand-up comedy. In this one-day workshop weâll explore examples of different approaches and encourage you to develop your own poetic voice, using different techniques and a variety of writing prompts and exercises. Weâll also discuss ways of presenting your poems, whether in print, on-line or at the microphone. Bring your notebook or laptop – and, above all, a love of language. Please bring Pen and notepad / device Paul Green studied at Oxford (English Literature) and the University of British Columbia (Creative Writing). He has worked as a freelance writer/broadcaster and his plays have been performed by BBC Radio 3, CBC Canada, Capital Radio, RTE Eire, Resonance FM, and by theatre groups in London and regionally. Four of his speculative fiction novels have been published, in addition to two poetry collections. He also writes short stories – one of which won the Fiction Prize at the 2019 Hastings Literary Festival. His parallel career has been in education, most recently as lecturer in media at the Royal National College for the Blind.
Willow Workshop: Catalan Platters 16/3/24
Tutor: Hazel Godfrey
Saturday 16th Mar from 09:30 to 14:30
Using the same basic principles, you can make a willow platter to hold fruit, a hot pot stand to protect your table or some lovely willow soap stands for the bathroom. A suitable workshop for beginners. Please bring sharp secateurs.
Classic Albums: The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper and the Zombies’ Odessey and Oracle 22/03/24
Tutor: Stephen Barnard
Friday 22nd Mar from 10:00 to 13:30
In 1967, Sgt Pepperâs Lonely Hearts Club Band sealed the Beatlesâ reputation as the most adventurous and eclectic rock band on the planet. But what prompted them to take their music to such ambitious heights â and just what were they trying to say in such eye-opening tracks as âSheâs Leaving Homeâ and âA Day in the Lifeâ, not to mention that iconic cover? In this latest in our series of talks on Classic Albums, Stephen Barnard and Christopher Budd take a fresh look at this milestone LP together with a lesser known gem from that flower power summer of 1967, the Zombiesâ self-produced and self-financed Odessey and Oracle. Moving into the legendary EMI studios in Abbey Road just as the Beatles departed, how did Hertfordshireâs finest band of the 1960s manage to make such a masterpiece while on the verge of breaking up, and why did it take so long for its music to be appreciated? What do both albums tell us about the state of pop music at the time and how the album form itself was changing beyond recognition? Please bring a pen, paper, and/or device (all optional). Stephen spent 21 years as a specialist writer with Readerâs Digest before going freelance in 1999. He has been writing and lecturing on broadcasting, film and popular music on a part-time basis for over 30 years. He has run courses for the WEA, De Montfort University, the City University, and a number of Hertfordshire arts groups, His five published books include âStudying Radioâ, the standard academic textbook on the subject. Christopher Budd is a writer, teacher, and musician, with a focus on music for film. His interests range from silent cinema to electronic music via Hollywood from the studio system to the experimental â70s, and British and European film and music of the 1960s and 70s. He studied film music at university (âMusic Composition for Film and Broadcast Mediaâ), followed by a PGCE in Post-Compulsory Education. He then worked at the Bishopsgate Institute in London managing the courses for the adult programme. Since 2012 he has been working freelance; he has written for several music magazines including Music Teacher (and contributes regularly to Shindig!). Christopher works as a moderator and assessor for an international awarding body specialising in vocational music examinations, and in a freelance capacity for Cambridge International Examinations. He also teaches private instrumental lessons and records as a session musician.
Jewish Life in Italy – History and Geography of a Fight to Survive 2/4/24
Tutor: Annalisa Conway
Tuesday 2nd Apr from 19:00 to 21:00
The presence of Italian Jews in Italy has continued uninterrupted for two millennia and Jewish communities have left a deep imprint in Italian history and culture. Join me as I explore the timeline and locations of Italian Jews’ struggle to survive and thrive both in large cities and lesser known locations. Annalisa Conway, blogger and author, grew up in the Veneto region in Italy and studied at the University of Padua, graduating with a degree in Modern Languages and Literatures. After a career in the Human Resources department of an Italian bank in London she later trained as a legal interpreter, eventually turning her career to work as an Italian and Spanish Teacher. Since 2015 she has given talks on topics relating to Italian art and history, such as Leonardoâs Vineyard, the Borgias and the House of Savoy. Her blog can be found at www.littleitaliansuitcase.com
Simple ‘Stained Glass’ Fabric Wall Hanging 2/4/24
Tutor: Sheena Roberts
Tuesday 2nd Apr from 10:00 to 16:00
This lovely project encourages you to work with different fabrics, e.g. cottons, silks, tweeds etc. to produce a Wall Hanging approx. 20â high by 10â wide. It uses the Celtic/Stained Glass patchwork technique on a cotton foundation with bias applique. You will need to bring your sewing machine (donât forget its power cable and instruction manual!) and sewing kit plus rotary cutter, mat, rulers etc, along with the specific fabric requirements. Donât forget your lunch! To be sure of receiving your materials list in a timely manner, once you have booked on to the course/workshop, please email the tutor on email@example.com and she will email a copy to you. Sheena Roberts has been sewing since she was tiny and creating patchwork quilts for almost as long. She didnât start off being a confident seamstress. In fact, was all but thrown out of the class at school but she had someone who did not give up on her â and that has influenced her to want to âpass that forwardâ. Her passion is in sharing skills, and she has been doing that through Green Man Quilts since 2013. Sheena holds a B.Ed., as well as the City & Guilds Certificate and Diploma in Patchwork and Quilting. She is a member of the Quiltersâ Guild of Britain and Ireland, and their Modern and Contemporary Special Interest Groups, and a member of the Modern Quilt Guild. She would love to share that passion with you and help you become the best quilter that you can be.
Screenwriting: An Introduction 2/4/24
Tutor: Adrian Poynton
Tuesday 2nd Apr from 18:30 to 21:30
An introduction to the specifics of writing scripts for television and film. From learning the basic layout of a screenplay (and why itâs expected to be written that way), structure, dialogue, action and editing. As well as a deeper look at what makes one idea work well for the screen and what perhaps makes others not. The starting blocks to help you begin (and hopefully) finish that Oscar winner youâve always thought about writing.
Song Stories: Three American Tunes 3/4/24
Tutor: Stephen Barnard
Wednesday 3rd Apr from 13:30 to 15:30
After the social and political turbulence of the 1960s, American music entered a reflective, introspective phase. Fewer songs expressed the times more touchingly, cleverly or controversially than Don McLeanâs cryptic ‘American Pie’, Paul Simonâs hymn-like ‘American Tune’ and the song with which Elvis climaxed his live act at the time â ‘An American Trilogy’, a powerful blending of folk tunes and spirituals by country star Mickey Newbury. All three echoed Americaâs musical past in brilliant and telling ways. In this latest in our âSong Storiesâ series of talks, Stephen Barnard explores the history and meaning of these three iconic and enduring songs with some choice audio and video performances. How do the songs sound more than 50 years on, now that they themselves are part of history? Please bring a pen and notebook Stephen spent 21 years as a specialist writer with Readerâs Digest before going freelance in 1999. He has been writing and lecturing on broadcasting, film and popular music on a part-time basis for over 30 years. He has run courses for the WEA, De Montfort University, the City University, and a number of Hertfordshire arts groups, His five published books include âStudying Radioâ, the standard academic textbook on the subject.
Writing Science Fiction 3/4/24
Tutor: Paul Green
Wednesday 3rd Apr from 18:30 to 21:30
Science fiction has become the dominant literary genre of a rapidly changing technological society, mutating into sub-genres like space opera, cyber-punk and the interzones of speculative fiction and fantasy. In this one-day workshop weâll examine how science fiction engages with the human implications of space exploration, astrophysics, climate change, artificial intelligence and the internet in authors like Arthur C. Clarke, J.G Ballard and William Gibson. Weâll discuss your concepts for short stories or novels and how these might be developed in terms of form and style. Weâll also look at the world of science fiction publishing. Bring your notebook or laptop and a sense of adventure. Please bring a Pen and notepad / device. Paul Green studied at Oxford (English Literature) and the University of British Columbia (Creative Writing). He has worked as a freelance writer/broadcaster and his plays have been performed by BBC Radio 3, CBC Canada, Capital Radio, RTE Eire, Resonance FM, and by theatre groups in London and regionally. Four of his speculative fiction novels have been published, in addition to two poetry collections. He also writes short stories – one of which won the Fiction Prize at the 2019 Hastings Literary Festival. His parallel career has been in education, most recently as lecturer in media at the Royal National College for the Blind.
Fused Glass Coral Bowl 4/4/24
Tutor: Jane Ducarreaux
Thursday 4th Apr from 10:00 to 13:00
Our Coral Bowls are a firm favourite with our students, and this seeming complicated piece is ideal for beginners to make. On the course you will learn a little about the basic types of fusing and the finishes that can be achieved with each, before trying your hand at cutting glass. Once you are confident in your cutting, you will get the opportunity to design, cut and prepare your bowl for firing, choosing from a wide range of sheet and accessory glass from the Bullseye Company – specialist fusing glass producers in the US. Once completed, your coral bowl will be fired ready for collection at a later date. You are required to wear closed in shoes and bring safety glasses. Janeâs passion for glass has been a lifelong one, having been surrounded by glass since birth. Both parents worked in the glass industry â her father as a master glass blower, her mother as a glass finisher. Having tried many crafts before finally finding fused or kiln-formed glass, Jane is passionate about the versatility of glass and the uplifting nature of what can be produced.
Fluffy Hearts: A Textured Tapestry Weaving Workshop 4/4/24
Tutor: Lucy Sugden
Thursday 4th Apr from 10:00 to 15:00
Learn how to create shape, texture and all-round fluffiness in this fun tapestry weaving workshop and take away a beautiful colourful tactile piece to hang on your wall. A workshop suitable for beginner weavers and anyone wishing to explore the process and further develop their skills, or anyone who enjoys creating using tactile textile crafts. All materials will be provided. Lucy is a woven tapestry artist from Letchworth Garden City, who graduated from Middlesex University with a Constructed Textiles degree specialising in tapestry weaving, and a commendation from the Simon Jersey Tapestry Award. After spending most of her career developing and delivering art education to the community, schools, and colleges, she fully returned to tapestry weaving in 2017. A member of The British Tapestry Group, The Wynd Gallery and various textiles associations, Lucy regularly exhibits locally and nationally, and delivers talks, workshops, and courses.
The Woodstock Music Festival 4/4/24
Tutor: Kathryn Brooks Hughes
Thursday 4th Apr from 19:00 to 21:00
1969âs Woodstock Festival is synonymous with the hippie counterculture of the late Sixties in America. It was a pivotal moment in music history, but has also come to represent far more than just music. Woodstock was a cultural catalyst that had repercussions beyond just three days of peace, love, and music. In this talk, we will explore together what Woodstock was, and how it has taken on such a mythical status in American popular culture. We will use an immersive approachâart, film, music, and interviewsâto tell the story of a festival that almost didnât happen, and when it did, became a defining moment for a generation of American young people. Kathryn Brooks Hughes is an historian of the American 1960s, and a doctoral candidate at the University of Edinburgh. She specialises in Vietnam War-era protest, and its intersection with the counterculture movement of the late 1960s, and the nascent feminism of the early 1970s. After completing degrees at the University of St Andrews, Kathryn worked in the third sector in Scotland and the Middle East, before beginning her doctorate. Kathrynâs thesis is titled âGirls Say Yes to Boys Who Say No: anti-Vietnam War activism on the Seven Sisters campuses, 1965-1970.â
Mirror Upcycle 5/4/24
Tutor: Ellie Mangold
Friday 5th Apr from 10:00 to 13:00
The workshop will guide you through some basic upcycle techniques to prep and paint any item! You will end with a beautiful upcycled mirror for your home. You will have a choice of colours available and metal leaf for the finishing touch! Please bring along your own mirror or frame for upcycling. This workshop is ideal for a wall mirror but other types should be fine. The mirror frame ideally needs to be made from wood. A great opportunity to get rid of that orange pine! But if you have an old leather mirror this is also something you can upcycle! This is ideal for a medium to large mirror up to around 120/130cm. If you are unsure about the mirror you want to upcycle, have any questions or would like to be provided with a mirror for a small additional fee, please message Ellie using contact details below. She will make sure you are all ready to go! Please wear old clothes you donât mind getting paint on or bring an apron. Ellie Mangold â Owner of âThe Upcycle Shedâ Facebook: @theupcycleshed.bedfordshire Tel: 0791471359 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Instagram: @the_upcycle_shed
Characterisation: A Creative Writing Workshop 6/4/24
Tutor: Rosemary Hayes
Saturday 6th Apr from 10:00 to 16:00
With Rosemary Hayes & Justine Lister. Creating characters is one of the most enjoyable aspects of writing and not always easy to get right. No hero is all good, no villain all bad, so itâs important to avoid stereotypes. If readers can relate to real characters then they will care about them and want to know what happens to them. In a friendly and supportive atmosphere and through a combination of activities, exercises and listening to examples from literature, learn how to flesh out your characters and make them live on the page Please bring :Writing materials / device Rosemary Hayes has written over fifty books, mainly for children and young adults. Many of these have won or been shortlisted for awards and several translated into different languages. She has worked in publishing, been a reader for a well-known authorsâ advisory service and runs creative writing workshops for both adults and children. www.rosemaryhayes.co.uk Justine Lister is a qualified English teacher, passionate about inspiring a love of reading in her students. She runs ReadWriteIgnite www.readwriteignite.co.uk offering Secondary English tutoring, educational services and CPD sessions for schools, reading and writing groups online and in person, adult literacy and professional writing services.
Understanding Opera: Bizet’s Carmen 6/4/24
Tutor: Derek Blyth
Saturday 6th Apr from 13:00 to 15:00
Bizetâs Carmen is, arguably, the worldâs most popular and well-known opera. There is, however, lots to explore in this work and this will be an opportunity to find out more about its genesis, about the music and about its influence. The Royal Opera in London will mount a new production in the Spring of 2024 which will be shown live in cinemas on May 1st and this illustrated lecture will provide an excellent preparation for this event. Please bring A notepad and pen. Derek was born near Edinburgh and was educated there and at the Universities of Aberdeen and Durham. As well as teaching music, he is also a performer, lecturer and keen audience member of a wide range of musical styles. He regularly lectures for SKAG, U3A, The Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society, The Manchester Wagner Society, of which he is president and many other educational and learned organisations.
Weave a Scarf in a Day 6/4/24
Tutor: Amy Wilson
Saturday 6th Apr from 10:00 to 16:00
In this creative class you can weave a patterned cotton scarf. A rigid heddle table loom will be warped up with two metres of cotton and ready for you on arrival. I will be demonstrating weaving picks and techniques at the start of the day and then you can then choose to either work from a pattern, which will be provided, or you can decide on your own design. A variety of tactile and colourful yarns will be available for you to use in your project so you can make your own beautiful scarf with help and guidance from an experienced tutor. This workshop will be suitable for both beginners and more experienced weavers alike who would like to spend a day relaxing with the art of weaving. All materials and equipment provided. Amy Wilson â Liliane textiles Amy is a Textile designer and hand weaver based in North Hertfordshire. After graduating from the London college of Fashion in 2003, she then completed a BA (hons) in contemporary textile design, where she specialised in dyeing and weaving. She is the owner of Liliane Textiles, (established 2009) a design studio developing concept woven cloth designs, selling bespoke items, and making small collections of accessories. Amy is passionate about design and finds endless inspiration in the natural world. She enjoys sharing the process of weaving with others and has been delivering a range of textile art and loom weaving workshops through Arts organisations, local colleges and from her studio during the past 15 years. Her woven artwork can be seen in many exhibitions and events across Hertfordshire and beyond.
Willow Workshop: 5ft Plant Supports 6/4/24
Tutor: Hazel Godfrey
Saturday 6th Apr from 10:00 to 16:00
This beginnersâ willow workshop will teach you two weaving techniques and a style of binding for making useful structures for your garden. You will make a 5ft wigwam style support ideal for creating height in pots or garden borders. These supports work brilliantly with plants such as climbing nasturtium, sweet peas, and clematis. N.B. For those with limited hand-strength, this workshop could be challenging. Please bring sharp secateurs. Hazel Godfrey I am a contemporary basketmaker and willow artist. My inspiration comes from nature, landscape, and the human condition. I graduated in 2004 with a degree in Applied Arts 3D Media and began working professionally in 2008. My willow is locally grown in North Herts; this provides for the mainstay of my weaving. I also love working with various other natural materials including cane, bark, leaves, found items, and more recently beeswax. I make commissioned work for a variety of settings, clients include the Forestry Commission, Wildlife Trust, Woodland Trust, J.D. Wetherspoons, and Mammoth Screen Productions. My work is exhibited in galleries, art/craft shows and community events across the Home Counties, I have also exhibited work on a Gold Award winning stand at Chelsea Flower Show. For over 15 years, I have taught willow weaving and basketry skills in Herts and Bucks, as well as from my studio near Hitchin.