Mosaic Makers in Nature
There’s been a few changes at Shootfield Studios this year, and as Autumn approaches, it feels like a good moment to reflect on recent projects and renovating the old barn. My first task in 2022 was to create an area that would enable me to run mosaic workshops all year round, and with the help and encouragement from my neighbour, Paul (who just so happens to be a builder), we began the work in January.
This decision, also coincided with me linking up Kent Downs AONB to create an ‘experience’ for their nature tourism initiative, promoting small businesses, along the North Downs way, who work in harmony with nature. I’m really pleased to be part of this community, who like me, offer creative experiences, attracting visitors to Kent. I can recommend Out-to-the-woods and Rebel Farmer, two of my favourite experience makers, who are part of the scheme.
My ‘Mosaic Makers in Nature’ workshop has a different structure to my other workshops (‘make a vintage mosaic in a day’ and ‘masterclass’) as it includes a short walk observing the abundance of nature around my studio, some contextual history about The Chevening Estate (where I live), as well as creating a mosaic Mandala to hang in the garden. Alternatively, you can choose to make a mosaic leaf to hang in your home. I also provide all refreshments, and the choice between a homemade vegetarian lunch or a traditional English cream tea! Click here to book or contact me directly here.
My first customers for the ‘Mosaic Makers in Nature’ experience, were a mother and daughter duo, Sophie and Rose, who thoroughly enjoyed the nature walk, watching a pair of Red Kites circling above the studio and identifying the entrance to a Badger set. After some refreshments, they enthusiastically embraced the mixture of materials that I supplied from my collection of discarded materials, including beads, buttons, vintage ceramics and mirror, to create their very own Mosaic Mandala.
They both chose bright, bold, complementary colours, mixing up the textures and patterns to create a design on the circular base of aluminium that I prepared in advance. Galvanised steel wire was used to thread beads from the bottom, whilst a generous loop at the top, allowed enough room to hang over the branch of a tree or a hook to dangle from.
Towards the end of the workshop, I gave a grouting demonstration, so that Sophie and Rose could grout their Mandalas at home, as the silicone glue they used, would need 24 hours to completely dry. I was pleased to hear that 13-year-old Rose, had grouted both pieces beautifully and polished them so that they were shining in the sun for the photos they sent me. I received some lovely positive feedback from the workshop, which can be read here.