The aim at Birkhill House is to offer a varied programme of modern and traditional crafts for both children and adults.
Obviously, Covid has limited what is possible in terms of a crafting schedule. However, you will find below a selection of workshops that were sadly cancelled - to give an idea of the sorts of things that were on offer and will be again, once restrictions are lifted and we feel safe enough to gather again.
In the meantime, At Birkhill House has been offering a number of free communal crafting opportunities through the duration of lockdown. Follow along on Facebook.
Saturday 14th, 21st & 28th March, 1-4pm
Does turquoise go with red? Can I mix pastels and neons? Does my tiny book convey how much I love you? All valid questions in this three-week block of funky crafts, including jewellery-making, friendship bracelets and tiny personalised notebooks, led by Lara Armitage.
£45 for the block, aimed at tweens & teens, spaces limited, booking essential
Origami Mother’s Day flower bouquets
Sunday, 15th March, 1-4pm
What to give the mum that gives her all? Something really beautiful and unique, that’s what! Come along and learn to fold these magnificent, intricate flowers and take away a bundle for your long-sufferin’ ma! Lara Armitage teaches absolute beginners to make these complex (yet secretly simple!) blooms.
£15 per person, age 11+, spaces limited, booking essential
Willow Bird Feeder Course
Saturday 28th March 2020, 10am - 12pm
Weave a bird feeder/garlic storage basket (the choice of how you use it is yours). This course will be led by Carys Dawes, aka “The Willow Warbler”. You will be given step by step instructions and demonstrations on how to weave each section and you will leave with your very own creation! This course is suitable for novice weavers and people with some experience too. Cake and refreshments will be available and all materials will be provided
£25 per person, adults only, spaces limited, booking essential
Sunday 29th March 2020, 2-4pm
Come along to learn the basics of lino-cutting and single-colour printing with renowned lino-cut artist Tom Davidson, who is local to the area. All materials will be provided in this fascinating introductory course. You will go away equipped with knowledge of tools and techniques, as well as your very own finished lino block and practice prints. Tea & biscuits provided, cuddle with the cats/alpacas optional.
£25 per person, adults only, spaces limited, booking essential
Saturday 25th April 2020, 1-3pm
Ruth returns! Learn the basics of papercutting with Ruth Watt (AKA Ellie and the Rubester). Make several small papercuts or one or two more complex pieces. Frame included in the ticket price. No experience necessary. Lots of laughs and maybe even a biscuit and a cuppa to be had. Over 18s only due to the sharpness of the blades.
£30 per person, adults only, spaces limited, booking essential
Willow Plant Support Course
Saturday 2nd May 2020, 10am - 2.30pm
Spring has sprung and you will no doubt be itching to get into your garden! Get ahead of the game by weaving your very own (huge) willow plant support. This course, led by Carys Dawes, aka “The Willow Warbler”, will provide all the materials and instruction you will need, along with refreshments and, of course, cake! It is suitable for beginner weavers or those who have tried it before. Spaces are very limited, so please book well in advance.
*There will be a break in the middle so please bring a packed lunch.*
£45 per person, adults only, spaces limited, booking essential
Saturday 16th May 2020, 10am - 4pm
Duns-based weaver Eta Ingham Lawrie leads this beginners workshop in weaving. You will be working with Eta's hand-dyed fleecewool, rugyarns and other natural fibres to create your own wallhanging to take home. All equipment & materials will be provided but please do bring your own scissors, a blunt ended needle and any other bits and pieces you might like to incorporate. Please also bring along a packed lunch, as there will be a break midday. Tea, coffee and cake will also be provided in the afternoon.
£55 per person, adults only, spaces limited, booking essential
Sunday 17th May 2020, 2-4pm
This is a relaxed and supportive workshop led by Edinburgh interior design artist Nagma Sharma, which introduces you to the simple techniques and tools required to make a basic drum lampshade. There will be a variety of fabrics to choose from but if you have some particular fabric you want to use, you are welcome bring it along! Everything you need to make this beautiful Lampshade will be provided in the class.
£40 per person, adults only, spaces limited, booking essential
I am a collector. I curate the things that seem to want a second life and try to use them in innovative ways. Origami is one of my passions and I always have paper near to hand. My workshop hosts overflowing bowls of cranes awaiting flight, files full of maps and old music sheets yearning to be rediscovered and objects in need of new lives. I am also partial to upcycled crafts, using things that would otherwise go to waste. I enjoy teaching children and have spent many years running workshops designed for kids. Having got my start in costume design during my English Literature degree at the University of Edinburgh in the 1990s, I still fly a flag for theatrical/dramatic presentation and look to use things in unique ways. I am a dreamer... but a very social one! My aim to share the dream.
I began making my own sketchbooks while studying Fine Art Sculpture at Art School but have really honed my bookbinding practice over the past seven years. I create artists books, as well as undertaking commissions, which include visitor books, wedding guest books, travel journals, photo albums and bespoke sketchbooks, for a range of clients and have also developed a dynamic programme of bookbinding and mark making workshops.
I use and teach traditional bookbinding techniques, which I combine with more contemporary processes, using everyday materials and found objects to create one-of-a-kind books. I particularly like the challenge of working with scrap and pre-loved materials, giving them a new lease of life by transforming them into unique and usable books.
Tom graduated in Graphic Design in 1977 and turned to printmaking in 1984. While lino-cuts are his preferred medium, Tom also paints in various other media. He opened The Tom Davidson Gallery at Earlston, in the heart of the Scottish Borders in 1995.
Tom’s work is in private collections all around the world as well as nearer home in the collections of Paintings in Hospitals (Scotland), The Houses of Parliament, Floors Castle and Durham University. His lino-cuts are produced from a single block of linoleum, using a reduction process, printing each colour on top of the previous colour, working from light to dark. All of Tom’s works are hand-drawn or cut and printed by the artist. Prints are produced in limited editions of between twenty and thirty.
Carys discovered the art of “willowing” in 2011, when she attended a plant support course at Harestanes. She quickly became addicted and began making useful and beautiful willowy objects using “recipes” from other weavers and also designing her own. However, sitting in a workshop by herself didn’t really suit Carys, which she realised when she started listening to repeats on Radio 4! She started “The Willow Warbler” in 2012, which was partly about making a range of willow objects to sell but mainly about teaching others skills in willow weaving."
She has run many courses in the Lothians and Borders and enjoyed every second, meeting new people and watching them grapple with and grow to love willow. After a bit of a break, she is excited about running some new courses on willow weaving. “I am absolutely sure that you will grow to love willow weaving as much as I do.”
Eta Ingham Lawrie
Eta Ingham-Lawrie was born in Offenbach am Main, Germany. While still at school, she started helping out in the tapestry studio Mohrhardt/Richter in Offenbach, subsequently moving to The Netherlands in 1961,where she worked at the Het Paapje studio in Voorschoten. From 1961-62 she attended the Royal College of Art in London but, as there was no tapestry department at the time, she decided to freelance, designing and making her own wall-hangings initially in London and later in Kings Langley and Bovingdon, Hertfordshire. In 1964, she took a textile research trip to Finland and from 1972-78 was a part-time lecturer in visual arts and later creative textiles at Middlesex Polytechnic. In 1985, Eta relocated to Wales and since 1986 has been giving courses in weaving and natural dyeing nationally and at the Trigonos Centre in Nantlle, North Wales, as well as giving demonstrations to groups and guilds and continuing her freelance work. Since 1964, Eta has taken part in many group exhibitions, both in the British Isles and overseas and has had over forty solo exhibitions. Her work has gone to private and public buildings and collections in Britiain, Europe and internationally. She now lives and works from her studio in Duns, Berwickshire.
Nagma Sharma is a textile designer and art enthusiast. After completing four years of a Bachelor’s Degree in Design, specialising in Textile Design, in India in 2002, Nagma worked as a designer in some of India's most famous export houses. "Working there gave me a chance to interact with the local artisans and gain first hand experience of screen and block printing."
Nagma moved to the UK 14 years ago, settling in Edinburgh. Following her love of creativity, she held regular classes, workshops and stalls where people could make or buy personalised home decor product like lampshades and cushion covers. "Printing is my passion and last year I turned my passion into my work by setting up my company Springfeathers Limited. Here at Springfeathers, I believe that your home reflects YOU! And what other way is better than decorating your home in your style?"
Ruth Watt has spent most of her life dedicated to the art of crafting, progressing from early homemade pieces to the intricate personal commissions she takes on as a part of her Ellie and the Rubester Papercuts business.
Alongside her business, she also runs workshops in and around Edinburgh where she teaches others the basics and essentials of the craft of paper cutting. Using the simple tools of a sheet of paper and a sharp blade, Ruth transforms the personal details she’s given into a unique and deeply sentimental piece of art to commemorate any occasion - births, engagements, wedding, memorials, birthday celebrations, and more.
Christmas Crafts for Kids
Origami Christmas Tree Ornaments
Autumn Delight - Crafts for Kids
Origami heart bunting