We have had the most wonderful time on our first retreat in the beautiful Yorkshire Wolds with a fantastic bunch of people, with activities ranging from Illustration to Wreath making, we really got hands on! Everyone was able to enjoy luxury accommodation at Broadgate Farm in their five star renovated barns and cottages, that looked out onto open countryside and lucky for us, blue skies.
We began our day looking out over a beautiful sunny morning, enjoying a coffee and some delicious pastries, before getting aprons on for our first activity, Illustration with illustrator Susan Cairns. We experimented with quick drawing, looking at fascinating props and using long twigs that had been sharpened into nibs, dipping them in ink and forgetting about the ‘control’ we always feel we need in order to draw ‘properly’. We also created vibrant washes of colour with acrylics, that would later dry to create stunning original paper, that could be cut and pieced together into beautiful collages.
After lots of tea, cake and a spot of lunch we continued our day with Pottery making and painting with Make’n’Take ceramics. Here, we created coiled baskets out of Italian soft clay, weaving them around and for some, plaiting handles and cutting out shapes. Lots of our participants were hoping to make something to store those all important chocolate Easter treats in and others an olive bowl, to impress their dinner party guests with! The painting element was a really interesting session focused upon screen printing, creating a peanut butter like consistency out of ink and clay that then transferred onto our plate by rubbing it through the screen.
After further tea and cake consumption Joe and Lottie led a singing and samba workshop, appropriate to all levels of music experience. What a brilliant sound they made! Participants even got to create their own samba compositions with hand percussion, which were fantastic when put together with a Bossa Nova inspired backing from Joe on the keys. The only problem was we couldn’t stop humming the tunes later that day!
Guests and the retreat team then cracked open the bubbly and enjoyed a delicious meal prepared for us by Elaine from Toll Cottage private dining. It really was lovely to curl up in our cosy accommodation and get to know each other over good food and drink.
The following day we enjoyed a chance to get out and about around Walkington and Beverley on the photo challenge, set up to get everyone snapping and thinking about how we might represent unusual prompts, such as ‘Silence’ ‘Gift’ ‘Beneath my Feet’. They all came up with some fantastic ideas and we shared our photos together back at the barn on our shared app. Here are some of their fabulous pictures!
Following a good catch up over some hot lunch we got going with our final activity for the weekend with Diane and Keith, who showed us how to make a chicken wreath made out of conifer and lots of little decorations and wire! We learnt how to carve oasis, soak it and then fix foliage to it, so that it resembled the feathers and wings of a chicken. Perfect to go on your door for Easter or hang out in the garden! It’s lovely that everyone’s chicken was a little bit different and individual – what a lovely brood!
It was such an exciting weekend and we really feel everyone got to have a go at something new and enjoy some time away from the hustle and bustle in our countryside location.
We can’t wait to get planning for the next retreat and hope to see some our March ‘retreaters’ back again soon!