I am delighted to announce that we are returning to St Victor la Grand’Maison for another week of embroidery and mixed media workshops (July 11-18, 2018). This summer, I will be joined by two of my favourite inspirational and incredibly talented makers, Viv Sliwka of Hens Teeth and Lynn Barron of Sea Angels Vintage. All three of us use embroidery and mixed media in our work, in very different but complementary ways, and we have some very exciting ideas for projects across the week.
St Victor la Grand’Maison is a magical place, with its fairy tale turrets and towers, sweeping lawns, swimming pools and comfortable resting places. For our purposes though, the best feature is the enormous work room, enabling each participant to have their own 6′ work table for the week. Materials are placed on different tables in the centre of the room, with further tables for small breakout groups working on ad hoc projects. If the weather is fine, we can also enjoy the sunshine at tables outside the work room. It is large enough for two teachers to work at once, enabling us to teach in small groups so we can give people plenty of individual attention. Access to the workroom is allowed at all times, with tea and coffee making facilities provided. Participants often like to work early in the morning or return to the work room after supper and have some free time to work on their pieces.
“..it was a magical week, in beautiful, story-like surroundings, full of inspiring people, ideas, projects and materials. Where else would we have the opportunity to spend as long as we wanted in the workroom experimenting with new techniques and sharing the experience and lots of fun with like-minded women?’
An array of materials are set out at the free disposal of participants. These include a generous collection of vintage and antique linens and textiles, buttons, lace and haberdashery, including threads for machine and hand embroidery. Also antique documents and ephemera for collage and work with paper, as well as hand made papers, paints, fabric paint and calligraphy materials – all the materials required for our projects and more are included in the price of the week.
Naturally, the days are centred on the tuition, but we are mindful that it is a holiday and so we are all flexible if, say, people want to enjoy a swim or visit the local town for an afternoon. We guarantee a minimum of five days of tuition, with two teachers teaching simultaneously, so that we can work in small groups and accommodate preferences as the week progresses. We plan one outing during the week, with lunch, and we also try to fit in a visit or two to local brocantes or vides greniers.
Food at St Victor la Grand’Maison is French and absolutely delicious. Served at a comfortable and always beautifully decorated long table in a barn, a continental breakfast is followed by morning coffee with ‘a little something for the left hand’, and a light lunch by afternoon tea and cake. Supper is a three course affair, and might start with an apple and fennel salad, move on to duck parmentier and end with a chocolate mousse so good it drew a silence followed by spontaneous applause at the inaugural week. There is also a kitchen and sitting room adjacent to the barn, where we can gather for cups of tea and a crumpet, or a G&T, if we are feeling the need for home comforts.
Accommodation is in a variety of rooms, ranging from the three en suites in the main manor house, to a room in a shared house with shared bathrooms. The accommodation reflects the creative style of the owner, with antiques and clever use of salvaged materials. Only two rooms would be suitable for people unable to climb stairs: most of the accommodation is in restored outbuildings with loft height windows and quirky staircases.
My aim in starting this week of workshops was to share what I think is a very special place and offer a group of like minded, creative and very busy people a chance to spend their days creatively, away from the stresses of their everyday lives which often leave them little time to work on projects. I hoped they would make friends and unwind as they did so. The nicest thing, for me, about the inaugural week is that everyone has kept in touch and a reunion has been planned. A couple are even thinking about coming back.
‘It has left me with treasured memories, lots of ideas and with a wonderful group of new friends!’
“A decadently creative week in a fairytale setting. Delightful rooms, exquisite food and excellent company combined with a spacious workroom and generous supplies of vintage papers and fabric. Inspirational teaching and imaginative and enchanting projects – pure bliss!!
Click below to download the 2018 brochure, or send me an email for more information.