Embroidery retreat at La Balie, near Bergerac in France, 16-23 September, 2020









I was invited to teach at La Balie for the first time in 2019. A most beautiful setting, with a really lovely pool and a huge, light-filled, air conditioned (or heated) studio, and fine catering all combine with embroidery workshops to offer an indulgent week of creativity. Nothing is too much trouble for the owner and everything is presented unobtrusively to the highest standard, from crisp home-made biscuits with morning coffee, fans in each room, and large pots of fresh ginger or mint tea after dinner every evening.

In 2020 I intend to offer  choice of 2-3 large embroideries, with requiring varying degrees of experience from beginners/’rusties’, to those who have attained a certain standard and wish to apply their skills in a more ambitious fashion. We will look at more complicated stitches, and also the ways in which very simple stitches can be used in a painterly way to creative landscapes or other scenes inspired by our surroundings. As always, I have will a selection of smaller embroideries, and participants may try some painting on linen. However, the emphasis will be on using embroidery rather like a paintbrush, to make pictures.

The pool at La Balie is heated and surrounded by a wonderful, lavender-filled garden. We allow plenty of time to relax and enjoy the pool each afternoon, before returning to the studio to work until the early evening. Aperitifs are served to the sound of the bells from the local village, before supper is served either in an elegant dining room or en plein air  under ancient, rustling cedars.

On one day, we make an excursion to Montpazier, a pretty Bastide town with interesting shops. I always try to find a brocante for us to visit, and there are other little towns nearby which we can visit.

Numbers are limited to 8, and partners are welcome. Accommodation is in three houses, each with a comfortable living area and small kitchen.

The small number of people and wonderful facilities offer the opportunity for a week of intense creative development through carefully developed ideas and projects.

For further details about La Balie, prices and a gallery of images, please visit www.labalie.com/embroidery/

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