Workshop leaders

Lara Armitage
Lara Armitage

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 space 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 made 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.

Cass Barron – Bookbinding with Cass

Cass is a self taught bookbinder who has a particular interest in working with pre-loved and everyday materials. She first delved into bookbinding while studying Fine Art Sculpture at Glasgow School of Art, making her own sketchbooks to record her creative process.​

After a brief stint in Newcastle and at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, where she studied a Masters in Art Museum and Gallery Education, Cass moved to Edinburgh to take up the role of Development Officer with Voluntary Arts Scotland, where she worked for 8 years, providing support to voluntary-led creative groups across Scotland.​

In her early Edinburgh days, while volunteering with Remade in Edinburgh, a donation of leather (from an old sofa) re-ignited Cass’s interest in bookbinding and has led to her developing a range of upcycled bookbinding workshops, which she now teaches full time, both independently, under the name ‘Bookbinding with Cass’, and in collaboration with a range of artists and venues across Scotland as well as offering kits and workshops online.

“I get a real buzz out of sharing my passion for bookbinding and inspiring others to see the creative potential of pre-loved materials that might otherwise end up in landfill. It’s great to see people leave each workshop with a unique and usable book, ready to start its creative journey, plus the skills and know-how to make more at home.”

Carys DawesThe Willow Warbler

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.”

Susie Finlayson – AKA Susie Stitch

Originally self-taught and now studying with the Royal School of Needlework, Susie acquired the name ‘Susie Stitch’ from a group of 3rd year students at Hawick High School who she worked with in 2019/2020.

Susie’s introduction to textiles and needlework came from her grandmother who taught her the basics of knitting and needlepoint at a very young age. Knitting and cross stitch continued to be hobbies throughout Susie’s working life but it was volunteering for the Great Tapestry of Scotland project in 2011 that opened up the world of embroidery and sparked a career change.

Susie is based in the Scottish Borders and is currently the Stitch Co-ordinator for five new panels which will be on display at the Great Tapestry of Scotland Visitor Centre in Galashiels which is due to open in 2021.

Susie runs workshops and gives talks across Scotland and the north of England as well as stitching commission pieces for special occasions.

Lara Greene – Transform Arts CIC

Lara Greene has a dynamic background in art & education. Many years creating public/corporate commissioned sculpture and interactive work for exhibition internationally have built her unique technical skill set. She teaches with enthusiasm, compassion and a sense of fun, sharing her knowledge generously. She inspires and supports every workshop participant along their creative journey. Transform Arts CIC is Lara’s new social enterprise, delivering creative workshops and events. All company profit is used to provide opportunity for children or young people who would otherwise struggle to take part in the arts.

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.

Joy Parker took her first breath in the Nilgiri Hills of Southern India, a country she returns to for artistic inspiration again and again. Her artistic awakening was at the age of five when she confronted Mahishaura, the buffalo Demon in Mysore. The magnificence and the mystery never left her and set a desire in her to make large and colourful work. However, with a move to Britain and a puritanical upbringing that preferred white walls and humility, she went into career in librarianship. With a move to Scotland and a marriage to the creative writer Robert Leach, who believed in her art, she began to study art formally, gaining an MFA in Fine Art from the University of Cumbria.

She now specialises in mosaic, though she continues to explore other mediums such as printing and painting.  In particular, she loves portraiture in in whichever medium she chooses. She has a WASPS studio in Selkirk.

Lindsay Roberts – The Border Tart

I’m inspired by colour and pattern, passionate about India, her artisans and textiles, and I value most highly all things made by hand. Trading as The Border Tart, I combine these forces in my own dyed yarns and small edition stitching kits. Making by hand brings so many benefits and imbues each piece with love. Encouraging and enabling people to find the joy in simple stitches, giving them the materials and confidence to explore and enjoy the making process, is the great pleasure of running workshops.

Marion Ross

After being introduced to the art of Mosaic in 2015, it was like my imagination had been turned back on after being dormant for years! It changed the way I looked at things like a broken plate or cup! No longer did they go in the bin, they were kept, to live again in a different form! I became a gatherer of things, stones, sea glass, shells, drift wood, rusty nails, you name it! I invested in books, and watched online videos, making small pieces as gifts for friends and family.

Looking online in 2018 I found Rachel Davies, a professional mosaic artist in Dunblane, who had an open house, showing her wonderful art work, mostly incorporating slate. She was also kind enough to share her wealth of knowledge, and with her guidance I made a small piece using slate.

The same year I also spent a week at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, in West Sussex, learning from professional International Mosaic artist, Sonya King. Since then I have become a member of the British Association for Modern Mosaic (BAMM) and am now helping others to have their own adventure in mosaic.

Christie Wilson – Nutmeg and Cece

Nutmeg and Cece began their creative journey in 2014. “After graduating in knitwear design in 2009, I missed being creative and discovered that I enjoyed various crafts outwith what I had studied at university. I love to learn new skills and have enjoyed learning a lot about fibre art over the last few years. Teaching is also one of my passions and I look forward to seeing you at a workshop in the near future.”


Birkhill House

Earlston TD4 6AR

email & phone

07779 339 653