|Cowslip Workshops, Launceston, Cornwall, UK|
Cowslip Workshops is based at Newhouse Farm, which is a small working organic farm reached down a narrow country lane. It nestles into the Cornish countryside, with stunning views across Dartmoor.
Joanna Colwill started Cowslip Workshops from her kitchen table over 14 years ago and the business has grown to include a purpose-built workroom, gallery and shop. Joanna’s lifelong love of textiles inspired her to develop and pass on her skills and she now inspires countless others.
In November 1996, a purpose-built workroom was added and students and tutors come from all over the country and around the globe. Internationally acclaimed tutors give workshops and lectures and Cowslip frequently stages solo exhibitions of their work.
Summer 2003 marked the opening of a new gallery, which displays the work of visiting tutors along with the various crafts on offer at the workshops. There is a continuous display of quilts for sale, made by Cowslip students and others, as well as cushions, willow work, pottery and paints. Here are some views of the Gallery.
The gallery has two very exciting exhibitions planned for this Summer, the first by world-famous textile artist Janet Bolton, 7-18 July. Janet is a frequent visitor to Cowslip and is also a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art. Her delightful textile pictures, using simple techniques, are well-known on both sides of the Atlantic and her exhibition should not be missed.
The second exhibition is by Cas Holmes, entitled 'Cas Comes to Cornwall', 3-14 August. Cas has had two very successful week-long workshops at Cowslip, where students were encouraged to look 'beyond the surface' of textile mixed media and create pieces using found objects. Next year, Cas will be returning in May/June to run a 4-day workshop where students can create a 'memorabilia' or 'story' book of their life or a collection of 'favourite' things, building up layers with lamination and stitches.
A wide selection of creative classes and workshops are offered in craft and textile arts, including many different forms of patchwork and quilting, folk art painting, textile jewellery, willow work, mixed media, creative embroidery, paint finishes, and much more. All levels of ability are welcomed, with dedicated beginners' workshops always available. (Two pics from Cas Holmes's last workshop at the Cowslip Gallery are shown below.) 8 - 14 students attend each class or workshop, with an 'optional' lunch of organic produce, which is sourced locally. Accommodation within easy driving distance can also be arranged,
The Cowslip Shop is an inspiring treasure-trove of top quality fabrics, silks, hemp threads, sewing accessories, books, gifts and cards. The shop is open every week, Wednesday-Saturday 9-5.