Round up of 2021
Despite the disappointing start to 2021 with the announcement that restrictions would still be in place we used the time shut productively!
After rescheduling all of the earlier courses until later in the year we got going with more improvements to our facilities and cracked on with revamping an old shed into a new dining room (called The Pantry to make life easy!) which boasts recycled windows looking out over our water meadows and sheep - very bucolic! This means that there will be no treking up to the house for lunches and it makes access much easier for those less mobile as we are all on one level. It also means we can do much better with social distancing, and ventilation as there are big barn doors on the front. We are assuming that these issues will continue to be a big part of our lives we think for some time to come especially as we like to ensure everyone feels very safe and relaxed whilst here.
We also hired in a digger to level out some of the grass below the Studio and created a new lawn area where we can erect our big tent to use for craft courses - definitely lots of fresh and and good ventilation there!! It's a fabulous spot for willow weaving, mosaics and plein air painting. I managed to lay 160 new turfs on my own which only had to be watered for a short time to establish before nature stepped in and provided regular soakings for the rest of the year!
We started back with courses towards the end of May when England opened up again - it was so wonderful to see everyone again, new and old (in the nicest possible way) faces, new tutors too as well to join the programme along with our regulars and favourite teachers. Everyone seemed genuinely delighted to be doing something 'normal' even if it still wasn't quite 'normal' yet as masks were required and tables were arranged to create as much space as possible in between folk.
It was an intensive time with more courses running concurrently than usual due to rescheduling but it was a total joy in every respect. Just a very big thank you to everyone who came for their support and friendship and also a massive thanks to our wonderful tutors who all embraced changes, restrictions, adaptations etc to make each course such a fabulous success. We finished the year with our wreath making week - the perfect start to Christmas!
This winter we continue to make improvements - the studio floor has been sanded and we are currently retreating it so it can cope with paint etc for another twenty years!