February Newsletter

What we’ve been up to

We were very lucky to get away to Sri Lanka for most of January whilst Old Bank Studios took a break from the business of putting on creative events. I’d like to dress it up as a working trip, but truth is, it was also a lovely holiday – all be it a pretty active one. We did make time for some drawing and painting though (extracts from Nigel’s sketch book above), as well as a visit to a Batik ‘factory’; actually more of a cottage industry with some very skilled artists and artisans producing beautiful fabrics and garments from a rather primitive set up. All fascinating and inspiring stuff. I will be happy to chew the ears off anyone prepared to listen, to our tales from abroad and would highly recommend Sri Lanka as a travel destination.

Nigel’s foray into demonstrating

Yes he’s agreed to do a demo/workshop for an art club in Chelmsford and has been working on something inspired by our trip, to deliver to this lucky group. Some of you at the art club receive this newsletter, so its a bit of a heads up for you, but he won’t let me include any images – you will just have to wait.

That’s enough about him……

I was straight back to it with a massive sewing room ‘re-org’; I accumulate so much fabric, oddments and other associated stuff. The sewing machines and overlockers have a nice new shelf, freeing up space in the studio and everything has its own place – for how long remains to be seen!

Back to business

So things are back up and running; Nigel’s Drop in and Draw resumed on Wednesday evening, Thursday saw the return of my Sewing Ladies and we’ve had our Quilters back for their first session of 2018.
The art programme gets off with a real bang this weekend as we are joined by Soraya French for two exciting days of Acrylics and Mixed Media on her Contemporary Landscapes course.
Stop Press – We potentially have a place available at short notice. Somebody who has booked has had a change of circumstances and may need to cancel. If you’re interested give me a call 01255 242930.

From now on we have workshops and courses taking place every weekend until the Arts Festival in late June as well as some weekday ones as well. Most of the events in February and March are pretty much full, however there are one or two places available on the following:

Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th February
Tuffett Making with Bev Caleno                      2 places available

Saturday 3rd March
Susan Boddy’s Beginners Watercolours        2 places available

Sunday 4th March
Bev Caleno’s Stitched Flower Landscape      1 place remaining

Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th March
Helen Maxfield’s Lino Cut Printing                  1 place remaining

Saturday 17th March
Susan Boddy’s Beginners Watercolours          places available

Sunday 18th March
Amanda Walker’s Cord Bag and Bowl             places available

Sunday 25th March
Deb Hart’s Easter Basket (willow weaving)     2 places available

Check the website for more details or you can give us a call.

Fishy Business

My Thursday morning group have started their fish project for the Harwich Festival of Arts, but they have all got a bit carried away and the results are going to be just too special to hang outside. The idea was to make simple fish to decorate the trees around the town. With this in mind I am offering a whole day in our studios along with Monique who is overseeing the project.
Please come along, bring any scraps of fabric and a sewing machine if you have one, but if not just yourselves and enthusiasm – let’s completely “Yard Bomb” Harwich. How exciting, obviously NO CHARGE for this day, but don’t expect me to make all the tea.

Fishy Business


Tuesday 13th March
10.00 am to 3.30 pm

refreshments will be available

Something new in March

Amanda Walker will be well known to many of you from her dressmaking courses with us, amongst other things. Next month she will be sharing a new technique, using cord, coiled and stitched into various shapes to form bags, bowls and many other things. This one day workshop will equip you with the basic skills, which you then be able to apply to your own projects, using the huge range of different cord sizes and colours available. You will complete a bag and a bowl on the day.

Amanda Walker

Cord Bag and Bowl

Sunday 18th March


more details

New Artists in April

I’m really looking forward to welcoming Angie Hughes for three days in April (one day has a couple of places left – one for me!). Not quite as glam as her trip to Jaipur with Colouricious – can’t wait to hear all about it.

We also have a new artist teaching a new medium – new to the Old Bank that is. Fraser Scarfe will delivering a full day workshop ‘Atmospheric Landscapes’ using interactive acrylics. If you haven’t used these versatile paints before, Fraser will introduce you to the possibilities of what can be achieved and you won’t need to go out and buy a set before hand as all materials are supplied for free.

Fraser Scarfe
Atmospheric Landscapes
in Interactive Acrylics
Saturday 21st April

more details

Our other artist joining us for the first time is Anthony Nield. An accomplished artist and illustrator, Anthony will teach you his approach to creating beautiful, traditional scenes in line and wash.

Anthony Nield
Creating Scenes in Line and Wash

Sunday 22nd April

more details

Well that’s it for this cold February afternoon, roll on March the evenings are already getting lighter.
Banksy and I will be spending Valentines day together – Oh and Nigel!!!

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