Hawkwood College is only about half an hour's drive from where I live and I have been trying for several years to find out how to get on one of these courses but they are very popular and always fully booked. Quite by chance only a month ago I was looking at Frances Pickering's website and spotted a red box saying 'Stop Press News - due to cancellations two vacancies on the Late Summer Course'. This was too good an opportunity to miss so I emailed straight away and got a place.
The house was once an elegant mansion but is now a little run down - it must have been very beautiful in it's heyday. It has a lovely atmosphere and all guests are very well looked after. This was the view from my bedroom window.
A longer shot here with the sun bleaching out the far distance.
There was little time for taking photos but I managed a quick half hour before breakfast on the first morning to wander round the garden and take these.
This tree was struck by lightning about a month ago but most of it seems to have survived.
There are lovely views all around.
I spotted this little stone carved way marker along the drive...............
................. and took loads more photos of the magnificent trees everywhere.
Couldn't resist these stately cardoons.
Now for just a few of Frances' gorgeous hand made books some of which are really tiny.
She very kindly allowed us to take photos of them and gave me permission to put them on my blog.
Two of my 'neighbours'.
We had plenty of working space and a lovely airy studio to work in.
Our show and tell table at the end of the course. My work is at the other end of the table and not quite fit for public viewing yet! There was so much to learn and I wanted to absorb as much as possible, so I haven't produced as much as I would have liked but will put it in my next post.
The accomodation was simple but very comfortable and the food was delicious. It's a good job we were only there for a weekend or we'd need a slimming course to follow! All in all a wonderful experience and, best of all, I've signed up for next year.